This is Part II, you can catch up on Part I here.
I was 18 and Daniel and I had been dating on and off for almost two years. I was offered a full scholarship to Baylor University and accepted into their elite University Scholars Program within their Honors College. It was not an opportunity I could pass up. Although I considered staying in Tallahassee and attending FSU, I decided to move to Texas and attend Baylor. Daniel spent most of the summer doing sustainable agriculture in the Philippines. Although we had planned to have a long-distance relationship, when it came time for me to leave, we decided to break up instead. Ok, I’ll be honest, Daniel decided it would be better to break up. I was heart-broken, but I was excited about starting college and my life ahead.
Even though I missed Daniel a great deal, I wasn’t going to wallow and jumped into life at Baylor. I firmly committed to never dating Daniel again. Getting your heart broken twice is enough, I thought! I didn’t contact him at all but he would call every few weeks and we’d catch up briefly. I started dating a really great guy from Plano and we would enjoy concerts and artsy movies in Austin on the weekends and hung out at the coffee house on the edge of campus. He was a wonderful boyfriend and we had a great time together, but I couldn’t imagine marrying him. Although we had plenty to talk about and some common interests, we simply weren’t on the same page about most important things. So, we ended the relationship after a couple of months before either of us got our hearts broken.
As I was packing to fly home for Christmas, Daniel IMed me (remember, folks, it was 2004) to say, “So I guess I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.” “Actually,” I coldly replied, “my family is meeting me at the airport at 7:30pm and I’ll be spending the evening with them. I’m sure we’ll run into each other sometime over the break.” “See you tomorrow!” he confidently and irritatingly replied before signing off. Surely, he won’t just SHOW UP at the airport, I thought. That would be bold to the point of absurdity! But as the plane made its descent to Tallahassee, I reapplied some lip gloss just in case.
When I stepped off the plane, I was greeted by my parents, my brother, his roommate, and….Daniel Stewart. A bold move, indeed. In his defense, during my time in Texas he and my brother had become very close friends. So, the fact that he was out with my brother was not at all odd….but to show up as part of the Welcome Home, Haley committee…rather unexpected. I gave everyone a warm hug hello and then gave Daniel a rather icy side hug. Yes, a side hug. I thought that would send the right message. I rode with my folks back to their house and Daniel rode with my brother. The word on the street is that when the boys got back in their car, they looked at Daniel and said, “Side hug….ouch.”
I spent the rest of my Christmas vacation being generally unpleasant to Daniel whenever our paths crossed. Daniel, on the other hand, was kind and warm which made my resolution to not give him the time of day far more difficult. We finally had a chance to really talk things out at my brother’s house on New Year’s Eve. The long and short of it is that Daniel convinced me that we should be together. But, I was scared to get my heart broken again and told him that for the time being, I just wanted to be friends. We spent plenty of time together the following week and he drove me to the airport for my trip back to school. But we parted with a hug, not a kiss, because I wasn’t ready to be anything more than friends…
Can Daniel convince me to give him another chance?! Find out in Part III…