Our Story: A Month Apart

I love a good love story. And that’s why I love nothing better than having a couple sit on my couch and tell me how their love story began. That simple question, “What’s your story?” brings smiles like no other as, in a split second, moments of their relationship pass by their eyes. The feeling of butterflies, the first kiss, the moment he knew she was the one. Hearing a couple tell their story tells you so much about who they are. So Ryan and I wanted to share our story too. From first crush to first day as Mr. & Mrs.

Part 1: When Boy Meets Girl
Part 2: Code Words & Crushes
Part 3: Class Rings & Field Trips
Part 4: A Christmas Gift
Part 5: The First Date Mistake
Part 6: Graduation Day
Part 7: Student IDs, Scantrons, & Schedules
Part 8: A Month Apart
Part 9: A Proposal
Part 10: I Now Pronounce You... Not Compatible
Part 11: Commencement
Part 12: A Lumpy Blue Couch
Part 13: Our Wedding Day


I shifted my weight from one foot to the other as Ryan and I waited together on the sidewalk. It was commencement day. And we should have done what every other sensible junior had done that morning: locate our friends among the sea of black gowns and mortarboards, hug them, pose for a quick photo, and then run straight to our car, already packed, and hightail it home. Instead we lingered on the lawn. We made small talk. And then when the graduates scattered, we drove to the park and ate lunch together. And we lingered some more.

Then we stood on the sidewalk outside my dorm, with suitcases, dirty laundry, and a mini fridge, waiting for my dad’s car to pull up. 

It’s just a month we told ourselves. You can do anything for a month.

Our summer would be filled with classwork. I was taking two courses online from the local community college back home and two correspondence courses from the university. But the classes Ryan had to take could only be done at school, as accelerated courses during the month of May. And so instead of loading up and driving home together, he helped my dad pack my things in the trunk. And then we said goodbye. 

I really shouldn’t have complained. A month-long separation is nothing. My friends in long-distance relationships would have killed me if I’d said a peep about it to them. A month was nothing.

But to the two of us it wasn’t nothing. We had spent months sitting across from each other in the crowded cafeteria, sharing and talking over two meals every day, and now we were eating at separate tables hundreds of miles apart. We had spent evenings and weekends lounging at the field house, textbooks in our laps, doing more talking than studying. We had said goodnight in person outside of my dorm every night and now a phone call was the best we could do.

No, it certainly wasn’t nothing to us. And although we tried to keep ourselves busy, we were counting down the days until we’d both be home again.