I was wearing my usual bed time attire... a t-shirt and boxers and hadn't showered yet. I was looking lovely.
"How was the trip home?" she asked.
"It was good. Did you meet Steve yet?"
My mom started to whisper, fearing that "plumber guy" would actually over hear our conversation.
"I haven't seen him yet. Do you think he's still asleep?" my mom asked.
"I don't know. We should just let him sleep. Or maybe he's just shy and doesn't know what to do or where to go." I said.
Then my mom told me, "maybe you should go downstairs, peek in the room and see if he's awake."
"What if he's in his g's! I don't want to walk in on him while he's in his g's! What do I do?" I asked my mom.
"You know what your dad said to me last night, when he came to bed?" she asked as she changed the subject.
"No, what?" I asked.
"He said, "He's the one!" she laughed as she said this to me.
"Oh my word! I hope he doesn't say anything to Steve! Oh I would die if he said anything! Ohhhhhh pulease don't let him say anything!"
This statement from my dad actually made me want to jump for joy, but I tried to keep my cool. "Plumber guy" and I had not even muttered the word 'marriage' to each other and I didn't want to scare him off by having my dad proclaim "that he's the one" to "plumber guy". My dad tends to be a little intense at times and it was crucial that he played it cool.
After begging my mom to tell my dad to not say anything, we continued to whisper to one another, fretting about what to do. It was silly, but we were both nervous. This was going to be the first time the man of my dreams was going to meet my mom and, as you know, my mom is a worrier. I'm pretty sure she was worried that he would think our family was a bunch of nut jobs or that her cooking was unacceptable. Even if there was nothing to worry about, she would find something to worry about.
Then while we were whispering and fretting back and forth, "plumber guy" appeared from out of no where. You could tell he had just woke up and his hair was a little messed up and he was wearing his glasses. He was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. It was the first time I had seen him looking so casual. And just as I thought, he definitely had nice legs. (sigh) He even looked gorgeous just waking up.
"Good morning!" I said.
"Good morning to you," he said. Then he walked up to me and put his arm around my shoulders and gave me a little squeeze.
My knees went weak and I had to catch myself from toppling over. I felt a little naughty that we were showing affection for one another in front of my mom.
"Um, mom, this is Steve. Steve, this is my mom," I said as I introduced them.
"It's nice to meet you," my mom said. "I heard that you like to exercise and that you have a juicer." My mom didn't waist any time getting to know "plumber guy".
The two of them talked exercise and juice recipes. They seemed to be getting along just fine.
After breakfast I showed "plumber guy" the bathroom, so that he could shower.
I had a big day planned for the two of us and the first thing on the list was giving him a tour of my home town and hiking up to the falls.
After he begun to shower, my mom whispered to me in the hall way, "Jennifer, you need to get a bra on!" Leave it up to my mom to notice. "What if Steve notices you without a bra on!" she warned me.
"I doubt he would even notice, mom. He's not that kind of guy and if he did notice, he'd probably like it," I said jokingly.
I liked to rustle my mom's feathers!
After "plumber guy" and I were showered and I had curled my hair and put on full makeup, of course, we got into my car and were off to see the sights. We drove around my little town and I showed him my old schools and favorite sights. Everything seemed to be going perfect, but back in my mind I was worried about one thing. I wasn't ready to bring up that "one thing" with "plumber guy" and I hoped we didn't run into him. You see, there was this guy from my past. A guy that I had a 3 year relationship with and was once engaged to. I knew he stilled lived in my small town and I knew that he was going through a difficult time. He had become an alcoholic, which was one of the reasons why I broke up with him. He had actually called me a few weeks prior to this trip home and confessed to me that he still loved me.
"You know I'm still in love with you and will always love you," my ex-boyfriend professed to me.
"I just can't ever be with you again. I'm sorry. You need to get help and move on with your life." I said to him.
I did care for him and for his safety, but I knew that there wasn't a future with him. I knew that a future with him would involve alot of heartache and pain. My move to Utah was a fresh start for me and I knew that if I moved from beloved home town, I wouldn't be constantly reminded of the past and wouldn't be accidently running into the past.
"Um, I need to tell you something," I said with hesitation. "I've been dating this guy for about a month now."
"Are you in love with him?" I could sense the anger in his voice.
"Yeah, I'm in love with him. He's a great guy and he's right for me."
There was silence.
"Well okay. I guess it really is over then." Then he hung up.
I thought of calling him back to explain my side and to apologize, but I knew it would just start the same vicious cycle that I had experienced with him time after time. I had to let go and think of me and my happiness.
I had managed to avoid running into my past all day and then we drove up to Sinks Canyon and I showed "plumber guy" where the river disappeared into the side of the canyon and where it reappeared a couple of miles down the road. I showed him where the best sledding hill was located and then we hiked up to falls. I told him stories of how me and my friends would slide down the rocks in the water falls and would swim in the mountain pools. I could tell he was enjoying learning about me and hearing my old stories. As we sat by the side of the falls, we sat close to one another and kissed. This was turning out to be one of my favorite moments with "plumber guy". It was like a chapter from a romance novel. My heart was racing with joy. Pure and utter joy.
After a long day of hiking and taking in the sights, we returned to my house to clean up.
I had told "plumber guy" about how my little town's entire night sky would light up with fireworks on the Fourth of July. Fireworks are legal in my home state and it's a sight that everyone should experience. We decided to go to a fireworks stand and make a heavy investment in pyrotechnic entertainment. I drove to one of the fireworks stands just on the outskirts of town. I pulled into the dirt parking lot and that's when I saw him. I sat there in shock. There he was. A beer in hand, and he was wearing a bright yellow shirt with the fireworks stands logo on it. He had gained weight since I last saw him and he looked bloated. The shirt fit tightly around his beer gut and his face was red and puffy. I knew instantly that he was drunk.
"Oh please don't notice me!" I thought to myself. "If I get out, he's going to see me."
"I think I'll stay in the car," I told "plumber guy".
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'll just wait here for you."
"Okay," he said.
I tried to slump down in my driver's seat and not bring attention to myself. But it didn't work. It was too late. He noticed me and started to walk towards my car. There was a lump in my throat and I became extremely nervous.
"Okay. I'll quickly say hi and get back in my car before "plumber guy" comes back out," I thought to myself.
I got out of my car and walked right up to my past. He hugged me. He could sense that I was uncomfortable and I stiffened up as he hugged me. He scowled at me and shook his head back and forth with disgust. He wreaked of beer and my heart sank. He looked horrible.
Then he slurred, "hey Jen! How ya doin?"
"I'm good. I'm just in town for a couple of days then I'm going back. How are you?"
"I'm just great! I'm helping my friend out here. He owns this fireworks stand and he said that if I helped him, he would give me a case of beer," he slurred.
"Oh that's nice of him," I said.
Then the tone of his voice changed. "Is he with you? Is your, lover with you?" he asked belligerently.
I didn't dare say a word. I knew that if I said "yes" it could be detrimental. I just stood there, trying to think of way out of this uncomfortable predicament.
"What if "plumber guy" comes out. What will he think of him? What will he think of me and what do I tell him?" I thought to myself.
Then right at that moment I saw the man that I had fallen head over heels with, walk out of the fireworks stand trailer.
"There he is right now," I told my ex. "Please be nice," I pleaded with him.
I smiled nervously at "plumber guy" and then introduced him to my ex.
"This is Steve," I said to my ex.
My ex then shook "plumber guy's" hand and slurred, "It's nice to meet you. You know you have a good woman here? You better treat her right. I didn't and I've lost her forever. I drink too much. That's why she broke up with me."
I could feel my face getting hot and the look on "plumber guy's" face changed. He was uncomfortable and understandably, confused.
"Well we better go! It was nice seeing you," I said as I opened my car door.
My ex then grabbed my arm and gave me another hug. I tried to slither away, but ended up just giving him a quick hug.
"What do I tell "plumber guy"?" I thought to myself.
"Plumber guy" didn't say a word. We drove home in silence.
Once we arrived to my home the mood lightened up a little and I thought maybe I dodged that bullet and things would be okay. I didn't want the mood to be lousy for that night, because that night was the night of the infamous fireworks show at Dr. Bill's home and his barbecue. It was also the night that I would be seeing old friends and people from the ward and I would be showing off the man of my dreams. I couldn't wait to be sitting on the hillside, in the cow pasture, watching fireworks and cuddling with my "plumber guy".
Once we arrived to Dr. Bill's home, I was bombbarded by my various friends.
One of my good friends asked me if we were getting married then commented on "plumber guy's" butt and body.
"Jen! He has a nice butt and body!" she screamed with excitement. "Do you just stare at him all of the time?"
"I know! He has the best body! And yes, I do stare at him all of the time! I'm pretty sure I drool too," I told her.
I was having fun introducing him to my friends and to people that I had known all of my life. They could tell that I was in love and that this guy was special.
After eating dinner we made our way to the cow pasture. We placed a blanket on the hillside and sat down. It was beginning to rain and I had noticed that "plumber guy" was acting a little weird. He was quiet and wasn't his usual warm self.
"So who was that guy at the fireworks stand?" he asked.
He was serious and I could tell he was concerned.
"That was my ex-boyfriend." I exclaimed. I knew I had to tell him everything, even though I knew he would be disappointed in me. "I dated him for 3 years and we were once engaged. While I was at college, he became an alcoholic and he still is, as you saw. I broke up with him almost a year ago."
I explained my past, in further detail, then waited for his response. I thought that he would understanding and would know that my experiences with my ex-boyfriend were in the past and that I had grown and changed since then. I knew "plumber guy" would show me some compassion and we would just move on and then he would give me a hug and a kiss on the forehead and explain that it didn't matter, because he ended up with me anyway. But that isn't what happened. I had crushed him. He let go of my hand and looked the other way. It began to rain harder. I tried to get "plumber guy" to talk to me, but he continued with the silent treatment. I felt horrible.
"Let's go sit in my car and get out of the rain," I told him.
As we sat in the car, I began to become angry with "plumber guy". "I wasn't perfect! I had done some stupid things that I regretted in my past, but I made things right again. How dare he judge me!" I thought to myself. "I bet he's made some stupid mistakes in the past!"
Then he put my hand in his and he held it. I could tell he was upset. I could tell he was disappointed with me.
"So everything is okay now? As far as your ex-boyfriend and everything?" he asked.
"Yeah." I told him. My heart was racing. I was worried that he was going to break up with me. I knew I couldn't recover from this loss. I couldn't loose him now.
"Well, it was in the past. We just won't talk about it and just move on."
I threw my arms around him and I began to cry. I loved him.
He returned my hug and squeezed me harder and then he kissed me.
I knew everything was going to be okay from that point on. I knew, with out a doubt, at that very moment, that I was going to marry him.
The rain had stopped and we walked back up the hill to the cow pasture. Our relationship changed that night. It became closer. We had overcome our first hurdle and we each learned to forgive each other. It actually solidified our relationship.
We sat embraced with one another, under the stars and enjoyed the most amazing fireworks show, ever.