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“Not quite”

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I casually asked, just as a conversation starter on our second date, “So, what don’t I know about you?” and he blurted out, “I’m not quite as ‘divorced’ as I said I was.” Even though he had been separated for 1 1/2 years, the divorce was not final yet. But, I knew I was with a man who could not keep secrets from me.

—Becky

Postscript: We dated 3 1/2 years. The one secret he did keep from me was that, at the end of the day, he really didn’t want to be in a long-term relationship again.

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“For the first time ever”

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We drove to the coast on a whim and spent the night on the beach in the back of his car. I woke up dehydrated, morning-breathy, with my contact lenses shriveled, and no makeup. For the first time ever, my happiness to be waking up with someone completely overrode my self-consciousness about my morning appearance. I didn’t know that was possible.

—Autumn

Postscript: We stayed together for two years after that, breaking up when I moved across the country to begin my career. He was the first person I fell in love with, and I him.

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“Can’t Take a Break”

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About a month after being asked to “take a semester off” from the special program I was in in college, I realized that I couldn’t live without the boy I had been casually hanging out and sleeping with for the month before I left. I truly loved him and needed to get back to him.

—Skyler

Postscript: It took eight long months of being away from him before we could be together again. It’s been two years and we’re still in love and planning on getting married.

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“More than a Thrill”

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He was dating someone else, and I was just chasing him for the thrill. But three months and dozens of drunk dials later, I was forced to accept I was a little more attached than I thought. One night, when he came to pick me up from the bar, there was a moment when he looked across at me with this stupid, sentimental worried look on his face, and I thought, “Crap, I love this fucker.”

—Sebastian

Postscript: He’s still dating a boy who looks like the Gerber baby, and I’m still pining.

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“Stopped at the Stairs”

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After packing my bag and stepping out of the door, I saw her waiting for me with a serious look on her face. As she led me down the empty hallway of our school, she wouldn’t say a word. With uneasiness forming in my stomach, I suddenly grabbed her wrist to stop her at the stairs. I leaned in with every intention to kiss her. She welcomed the gesture.

—Gail

Postscript: We stayed together for about a year, until our college dreams broke us apart.

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“Love Revealed”

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He was the skinniest boy in our class, and everyone made fun of him. But when he took off his shirt in the back of my car, I could see the wiry strength in his arms, the flame kindling in his goofy eyes, and a universe of love and need and goodness written above his heart. I remember he touched my chest, and I almost cried. I loved him then.

—Susannah

Postscript: He’s always been so different from other boys.

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“Love in A Hopeless Place”

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We’re both in the army and aren’t supposed to be together because of our rank. Couple that with me receiving orders to move 10 hours away, and I’m sure we thought that whatever we had going was going to end.  A week after I left, I jumped in my car and drove back to see him. When I was about 30 minutes away, I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t realize how much I missed him until that night. I just wanted to tell him I loved him.

—Kera

Postscript: Now he’s in another country, but our love is as strong as ever. True love can overcome distance, circumstance and time.

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