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cypress street station

Cypress Street Station, downtown Abilene, early spring

Thanks for the picture, Micah!

The restaurant was already pretty empty at 8:30, because it was a Thursday and the weather was bad. I sat by the window, checking my hair in the reflection every 37 seconds or so, and waited.

He was late. He was always late.

The waitress kept coming by to check on me, which was annoying. I mean, obviously, I’m there waiting on someone. OBVIOUSLY, I’m nervous as a cat. So why do you keep reminding me that I’m sitting here alone? You’re not helping your tip, honey.

Then she brought me over a glass of wine, which I hadn’t ordered. She said, “We all know you’re waiting on a man, but it’s even money as to whether it’s a blind date or an ex. So tell me what the deal is.”

I laughed.

I said, “My ex. We broke up a year and a half ago, and haven’t seen each other since.”

She said, “Oh wow! Awkward! So, why is he meeting you here?”

I said, “We just randomly emailed each other, and then talked on the phone for 4 hours last night, and the timing felt right. He’s driving in from Midland, and I drove in from Stephenville.”

The waitress then sat down. I guess my story was engaging.

She asked, “So are you single? Have you just been waiting for the timing to be right?”

I said, “No, I’m not single. I think he is… I don’t really know. I have no idea what’s happening. I probably shouldn’t even be here. I don’t know what he’s looking for. He’s probably just lonely.”

The waitress… her name was Jenny… said, “Lonely doesn’t drive two hours for dinner with baggage.”

She was right. Harsh, but right. I checked my hair again.

She said, “So, you know he’s coming. What’s your plan?”

I said, “I have no plan. I haven’t really had a plan in a while. I’m just having dinner with an ex-boyfriend.”

Jenny the waitress tilted her head to one side. She looked thoughtful. She asked, kind of quietly, “Do you still love him?”

I said, “I don’t know.”

She could tell I wasn’t enjoying the little inquisition, so she stood up and told me good luck, and that she’d won $12 on her guess of “ex-boyfriend”.

As she walked away, I put my head in my hands and wondered again what the heck I was going. This was ridiculous. People break up, and they date other people, and they move on. They don’t drive two hours each to meet in the middle and have dinner on a whim. This is unhealthy.

I picked up my phone to leave. He walked in. I swallowed my gum.

I don’t remember much else specifically. I know dinner flew by, and soon they were closing the restaurant. We were still talking, so we decided to walk up and down the street outside the restaurant.

I know that I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk, and my heel caught. He took my hand. He said with a smile, “That’s a good excuse to hold your hand, right?”

And I thought to myself, “I’m holding hands with him again. Oooh, this is not good.”

But it WAS good. It was easy and smooth and comfortable… like a really great pair of shoes. I looked up at him, and I knew what I was doing.

He showed up late, but managed to be right on time.

13 months after that night in Abilene, we got married.

And I hold his hand when I trip, and I laugh when he’s late, and I praise God for making me wait.

  1. Amanda Johnson

    August 16th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I’ve always loved your stories. And you are a total cow for making my cry first thing this morning.

  2. Liesa

    August 16th, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Unequivocally amazing. If you ever lose your day job (which you won’t) you could certainly be a writer. Love you, M&G duet!! Glad y’all hooked up again! 🙂

  3. Mack

    August 16th, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I had no idea you were going to post this, and thought nothing of it when you took that picture of our hands last week. But now I need to get my junk together before I go to work, because sobbing on the job is probably frowned upon.

    I love you so much, and I’m SO glad you didn’t hold missing my exit against me that night! You’re amazing, and I look forward to listening to you tell this story in 50 years or so 😉

  4. Misty

    August 16th, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Awww JEEZE, I totally got goosebumps…so.much.LOVE! Glad you shared this story 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  5. Bre

    August 16th, 2010 at 8:10 am

    What a beautiful love story 🙂

  6. Katrina

    August 16th, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Aww, I’m all misty-eyed now, too. Thank you for sharing! Love to you both.

  7. ambo

    August 16th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I remember this night like it was yesterday, I remember talking to you on your trip there, how nervous you were, how excited I was for you. I remember the dread in your voice when you realized you were gonna lose cell reception and the bounce in your voice when you got reception back and my phone rang again. I remember waiting for the phone call to hear how it went. And I remember being the happiest person the day y’all got married, cause I knew my best friend had found a wonderful man. Love you guys!

  8. Hannah

    August 16th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    OH tears!!!!! That is the sweetest thing ever.

  9. Tiffany

    August 16th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I had no idea!! I have also been reduced to tears. Awesome story.

  10. Courtney

    August 16th, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Oh this made my Monday 🙂 Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!

  11. grom

    August 16th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Ooooohhh! You made me cry too. Sweet…your really need more time for writing as well as photography because your heart and soul come through on the page. Love you both and I’m so glad you hold hands.

  12. annie

    August 16th, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Really, really love this. Really, really love y’all. And totally agree with Grom… we need to have more of your writing… I miss it.

  13. The Nan

    August 16th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    God blessed us all the night Mack was late!!!! I love you both and praise God for His work in your lives!

  14. Stefani

    August 16th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Such a sweet story!

  15. Hily

    August 16th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Love you Chels and miss your writing! I used to read whatever you were writing back in high school and make you edit my work 🙂 As for you and Mack…. I prayed for you to find the right guy when we were in high school…. after everything. I’m so glad He answers prayers!

  16. vickie

    August 16th, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Keep holding on to each other. Charles and I just celebrated our 30th anniv. on Aug. 2nd. Thanks for Hilary and Cody’s album, we love it. We also love the picture you took of Charles and I at the wedding. Loved your true love story.
    Vickie

  17. Amber Burris

    August 18th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Wow Chelsea!! Beautiful love story…ya’ll were so meant to be. I look at ya’ll in pictures all the time and ya’ll just all fit so well! Oh and there was a tear girl!! I must say that’s an amazing love story!!

  18. Nicole

    August 22nd, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Wow…Such a great story! I love that you feel comfortable enough to post things like this!

  19. Casey

    April 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Aww. Abilene does have some good love stories 🙂

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