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Chapter 13 – Should we try again?

I have left my love story sadly hanging there all alone! I am so sorry, I just haven’t gotten around to writing it! Last time you read I was in Vegas with another guy when I received a call from the one guy I cared about being with! I’ll catch you up a bit, but if you want to be fully caught up, here are all the chapters in order:

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve

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One of the things I like about myself is that I’m a pretty laid back person, for the most part. See, I didn’t know back then that this man would be my husband and he would be the best thing to happen to me. At this time I just knew I liked him more than all the other dudes I had ever hung out with but quite honestly I wasn’t sure he was the best for me either. In fact, I remember telling my friend Lauren”I want to get married after college to guy I’ve known at least two years. And the only guy I know like that is DM. And I could never marry him.” I didn’t exactly care that he wasn’t marriage material. I had a thing for him and no matter what I did, it wouldn’t go away.

Years later and some hindsight tell me that I was in fact, in love and I saw qualities in him that I greatly admired. He was also a really good friend. When we were together there was substance. We laughed, we talked, we joked and teased. We fought like Noah and Allie and always made it back around to each other. There was something there even if we couldn’t exactly put our fingers on it. Even he says now that I got away with things he would never handled with other girls. I guess even though I didn’t know it then, he had it bad for me too.

I feel really bad about this next part. I was in Vegas with a friend when DM called. From the second I snuck into the bathroom to talk to him while on vacation with my other friend, that was all I could think about. I was in Vegas with another guy while he was waiting for me to get home. Nothing about Vegas interested me after that point. I didn’t want to see shows or have a nice dinner, I was just biting at the bit to get home. I feel bad because the guy who I was with had paid for pretty much the whole vacation and I am not sure I was that polite. I wasn’t rude, he was a good friend, I just think he knew that I was anxious to get home to the guy I really cared about. My apologies if that guy ever reads this. You’re a great dude!

When I made it home I wasn’t sure how he would react. Would he be mad that I was on vacation with another guy? Would he believe me when I tell him that it was totally platonic and me and this guy were just friends? Would he want to be with me at all or was he calling to tell me that he met someone else? I had no idea what was going to happen or how this would turn out, all I knew was that I had to see him. When I got back to my house, I gave him a call. We decided to go hot tubbing that night, something we used to do often. It was March in California, the perfect weather.

When we got in the car he didn’t say a word. He didn’t say anything about this other guy or what we did or who he was to me. It was just him and me. I must admit I was little relieved. He actually was quite different than anything I expected. He was holding me like I had been his girl forever. My hand, around my waist, it was a feeling I hadn’t known in a while. But I didn’t like this so much. Don’t get me wrong, I liked him. I liked being with him, but the last thing I wanted was to start ‘kickin’ it’ again. That never got us anywhere and I wanted to be his girl or be nothing at all.

We talked about it and for some reason we thought it would be wise to wait a week to see if we still wanted to be together. I mean really? After everything we’d been through, other dates, other people intervening, if we didn’t want to be together now, then we never would be. All the week that we were ‘deciding’ we were actually just hanging out like a regular couple that was dating. So when Thursday arrived, I want to say it was March 10th for some reason, he asked me to be his girl. Without a thought in my mind I said yes.

That was it. Turns out that without people all up in your business telling you who you can talk to and date, dating is actually rather easy! I was pretty detached from the school senior year of college, so I didn’t have everyone all up in my grill about us. And it was great. We had fun. We talked, laughed, hang out, did stuff with friends, the stuff normal dating people do that we never really got a chance to do. Basketball was over, volleyball was over, and we were almost out of that place! We graduated in 2005 and I met his family for the first time. Guess what? Not a single issue from any of them. I didn’t hear a peep about my being white or from America or anything of the sort. They were great.

Then the summer came. DM stayed in California because he was working toward playing basketball overseas. He went to a few camps, signed an agent and was offered a job in St. Quentin, France. Come September he was out of here. Without a second though or even a conversation about it, we stayed together. We hadn’t really talked about marriage or anything, we just liked being together and we decided we’d make it work. I had a full time job and he was living his dream. I remember the first time I flew to France for the weekend. Yep, I left Thursday and came back Monday. Oh the days where I could just flitter around like that. It was so fun to have a boyfriend who was a professional basketball player in France. I was so proud.

There was only one little thing that was constantly eating me alive. I had been brought up to remain pure until marriage and I truly wanted to be. And although that ship had sailed with this man a little bit back, it was still something I hated. I felt terrible for this particular sin and it ate me up inside. For me, the answer was marriage. For him, he wasn’t ready. As you might have guessed, this took it’s toll on our relationship until one time I just couldn’t take it any more. After over a year together, over the phone, I told him we needed to take a break. He was crushed (I found out later) and so was I. I was so madly in love with this man, I just didn’t like the way I couldn’t control myself with him. I felt it was the only way to try to stay pure.

And that was it. I didn’t hear from him for months. There was no Facebook or Instagram at this time and I couldn’t stalk what he was doing online. Heart broken, I tried to date other guys. For some reason this was an answer for me. An older, wiser Natalia realizes it really wasn’t the best answer, but it helped take my mind off of him. I ended up finding a decent dude too. He was a really good guy, fit perfectly into what I thought I wanted. He was polite with my parents, loved camping, we had fun together — it worked. While I was talking to my cousin one day, telling her about him, she said “Ya, he’s great. I really like him…. — long pause — He’s just not DM.”

And she was so right.

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