All through high school, I dated a few boys, but never had boyfriends. I never felt comfortable with any guy I dated, no matter how cute, nice, religious, or smart they were. I used to cry all the time because I wondered what was wrong with me. Why did I NEVER feel comfortable? My brother told me once it was nothing to worry about, I just hadn't met the one. I knew he was wrong, there was more to it; but I nodded and kept trying to believe he was right.
My junior year I went to hang out with some friends who went to a different high school one night. I hardly ever saw them, but had always wanted to chill with them because they were drama geeks like me, but ten times funnier. Their group that night consisted of two gay boys and a (then) straight girl. I found her to be GORGEOUS. She had fiery red hair and icy gray eyes with smokey eye shadow. Perhaps she reminded me of Kate Winslet. This girl, my junior year, was the first girl I knew I was attracted to. Mind you, I did nothing about that. It was not even an option. This night, we were all watching their recording of a play they were all in and I sat side to side with the red-head. I found myself getting sick to the stomach because I all of the sudden wondered: "What the crap would I do if this girl leaned over and kissed me?" I'm sure she had no intention of doing so, but I wondered it anyway. "Would I actually stop her?" No. "Do I want her to lean over and kiss me?" Yes. "Why am I thinking this?" My brain started producing too many questions with no clear answers and I eventually made up an excuse to go home. I blocked that memory out for a long time.
Graduation meant leaving my 18-year home of Salem, Oregon - for Utah. The thought of that place made me want to cry. I spent the first three months living with my parents, dating odd boys, working a horrible job that made me depressed, and constantly calling friends from home. The time for school arrived, and I lived on my own for the first time EVER. The basement of an old Hispanic lady became my new home, shared with two Japanese exchange students. I stayed in my cold room as often as possible and just cried. I hated Utah.
Then I met Elise. For our ASL Storytelling class, we had to go to a conference in Salt Lake and I had no car. I asked the girl next to me for a ride and she wasn't going, but perhaps Elise, who was on her other side? Elise, at the mention of her name tipped back in her chair and I mimicked. There we sat, on the back two legs of our chairs, smiling without knowing why. She did give me a ride and from that day on, we were inseparable. It took me ten months to tell her I thought I was in love with her, but four days to know she was my soulmate.
Things happened, tears were shed, church leaders were met with, parents were told, more tears were shed. Guilt was my new constant companion. Guilt for loving her, guilt for acting on that love for her, guilt for hurting our families, guilt for hurting Elise by always giving in and then backing out. I was so confused and scared. Words cannot describe how I felt for so long. I hurt a lot of people I never meant to hurt. I was just trying to figure myself out.
Fast forward through a lot of good memories and a lot of painful ones. August of 2009 marked our first apartment together as a fresh-slated, out couple. Every single terrible moment in our almost five years of knowing each other all became worth it. We got past the terrible struggles, hand in hand and have been in the happiest relationship either of us has ever had ever since. I look forward to each new day with this girl, my best friend. My soulmate. I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for all the lessons I learned to get to this point. We got our happy ending. Well, I guess it's only the beginning...