My first meeting with Dustin was not one of my proudest moments. It was actually during one of the worst and most infuriating days I had ever experienced, (or at least in a fit of teenage angst, I thought it was the worst day.)
In order to make myself feel better, I stopped at a local donut shop to grab a coke (which means, Dr. Pepper) and there he was, a tiny little freshman. He looked at me and then looked to the older trombone player that he was with for confirmation of whom I was. I greeted the older boy, as I knew him from band and he introduced us saying, “Dustin, this is Julie, she’s a pistol and we trombones are fond of her, so be nice.”
Dustin, whom in his younger days was exceptionally shy, waved and said “Hi.”
As I was finished paying the cashier, I muttered, “Morning.” I grabbed my coke, fist bumped the other trombone player and waved goodbye to Dustin.
I’m slightly ashamed to say that it wasn’t love at first sight. Angels didn’t descend from the heavens, in fact it was as boring as it could be.
He was accepted into my group of friends pretty quickly, becoming well known as our stereotypical ginger kid and he took all of the jokes very well. He also dished them back just as fast. About 6 months after that fateful day in T&T Donuts, I started feeling the “more than friends” vibe right before homecoming and we agreed to go as dates. (I honestly think he was just excited to go out with a senior) and we dated for a little time after that.
The inevitable “I’m graduating high school” breakup came, and then I went to college and three years passed by. We spoke occasionally and kept up like old friends do. After a particularly nasty breakup that I had just gone through, we began to talk more, his father had just passed away and we were both seeking neutral friendship.
But this time, those feelings started to surface a lot quicker than they did the first time. He later admitted that he had not dated anyone since me. He said “I never met anyone who was like you, nothing could compare. If we weren’t meant to be then I was okay with being alone because you were it for me.” I can’t lie, I swooned.
He took me to see Iron Man 2 in a freak snowstorm just before spring break, and after the movie (while we were sitting outside of his dorm in the parking lot of Jones Stadium at Texas Tech, in the rain) he suddenly kissed me. We began dating again and it was at a better time for us, which something we hadn’t thought of. Sometimes you have to put a pause on your love story so you can pick it back up when you’re actually ready to finish the story.
We’ve had our ups and downs, and oh boy has there been fights, but love grew and grew and grew. I knew that he was the man that God wanted me to marry. That small little ginger was the man that God said to me on the first day that we met, “Prepare yourself, there he is.”
PS – this photo says a lot about us, I’m so clumsy (hence the wrist brace) and he cannot fathom the awesomeness of this cranberry juice and needed a bib.