Only 2 days after their midnight walk, the boy and the girl parted ways. He headed northward toward the Isle of Skye. She, to Ireland to continue her backpacking adventure with R.
This was someone I know I could love. She wrote in her diary.
Sentimental, sure, but she knew something was different. He was kind, honest, and good. It didn’t take more than a moment to understand those things about him.
They messaged back and forth, chatting about their journeys and their daily lives. A more reasonable person would have moved on, forgotten the boy and looked forward.
But the girl could not. She had a sense that there was more to the story.
She knew she needed to see the boy again.
So she mustered her boldness and invited him to meet her in London. He agreed and they shared another memorable weekend, wandering through Notting Hill, enjoying a chilly winter festival and sipping mulled wine.
But again, it came time to part.
Euston Station felt cold and unwelcoming. They hugged and she suppressed her tears, knowing this would likely be their last time together. She kissed his cheek, and his train came.
The next day, she returned to America.
For awhile, their messages tapered. Perhaps it all felt a bit hopeless. Then, suddenly, they began talking on the phone, almost every day, and for hours.
They got to know one another better, discovering how much they enjoyed the other’s company. She had never found a better listener. He had never laughed so much.
Chats turned to a visit. By the end of their week together in Vermont, it was clear this was not going to be the end of the story.
For a year or more they continued their relationship, despite the division of states, countries, and sometimes continents. The boy went to Thailand. She returned to Scotland. But through it all, their love only grew stronger. There were challenges and there were struggles, but they cared deeply for one another.
And so it continued…. they traveled together, they took adventures, they lived in new places. They journeyed to Australia and bought a campervan, which made for unusual and unforgettable memories.
They were very different people. He, an introvert, she, an extravert. She was chatty and expressive. He was solemn and thoughtful. Despite these polarities, they were continually drawn together. By a love of knowledge, a desire to explore, and most of all, an appreciation for travel. They loved deep conversations, philosophical discussions, and making the most out of life. Over time and across the world, their bond only grew stronger and more profound.
And then one, early Autumn day almost 4 years later, that boy asked her four monumental words, and the planet shifted.
From that point on, their journey would have a different meaning, knowing that this was real, and this was forever.