HA note: This series is reprinted with permission from Caleigh Royer’s blog, Profligate Truth. Part Six of this series was originally published on June 7, 2013.
Also in this series: Part One: What Is Courtship? | Part Two: We Were Best Friends | Part Three: The Calm Before The Storm | Part Four: To Lose One’s Best Friend | Part Five: To My Darling Clementine | Part Six: The Storm Starts Brewing | Part Seven: The Five-Year Relationship Plan | Part Eight: The Means To An End | Part Nine: We Made It | Part Ten: I Am A Phoenix | Part Eleven: Conclusion, Don’t Brush Off the Next Generation
Part Six — The Storm Starts Brewing
For those who have been following Phil’s and my story, this is where is starts to get really uncomfortable to write. If I thought the past few posts have been hard, this is where I start losing hope and when I lost hope that things would ever be happy again.
This is the beginning of the darkest two years I have ever been through yet.
Also, on another note, as I’ve been reading through my original journal entries, I am realizing that there is a lot I am leaving out, and a lot that I am having to condense. Not only that, but it is really sad to read just how brainwashed I still was during this too. A lot of my honest reactions weren’t until later, much, much later after the original incident. I still believed that my dad was going to do right in this relationship.
I still believed that fathers were supposed to rule over their children’s relationships, and that it was my job to trust my dad and sit back and be a good girl.
Oh, I was so wrong.
The calm I felt when I realized that I truly did love Phil didn’t last for very long. In fact, it only lasted until I had gotten home that night and faced my dad. I don’t know what I had been expecting when I called him at work to confess my love for Phil and to ask my dad to help bring us back together.
Was there some part of me that was actually normal and healthy and desiring a daddy who did what daddies are supposed to do?
Maybe, I don’t know, I just know for a moment there when I called my dad, I was in another world. Sitting down with my dad that night, I sat on the corner of the couch in which I felt most safe. I sat under a lamp and Dad sat in a chair across from me. Looking back, I will admit it felt like sitting in an interrogation and to this day, if the only seat available in a room is one under a light, I will sit on the floor or lean up against a wall instead of sitting in that seat.
My dad sat there looking at me and I waited, holding the tear stained piece of paper I had written on all of the reasons I could think of as to why I loved Phil, and why we should talk. I think I read the notes to my dad, and then nervously, eagerly waited for his response. His response was what I should have expected, but it still threw me off when he gave it.
He gave me this long sermon about how I was lusting after Phil and that I was making him an idol, and how it wasn’t wisdom for us to interact at all right now.
I was floored and even sitting here writing this, I am feeling the wrath in the pit of my stomach starting to churn again. Those three things were his main points, and yet I sat there for at least a half hour listening to his flowery dressed up speech.
The thing that made me the most mad was here was a man with an addiction accusing me of lust simply because I said I loved a guy and wanted to be with him.
As with everything that was said to me during those years, and even to today, I can’t let the words go until I’ve thought through and pondered everything. When my dad accused me of lusting after Phil, I went bed that night turning that over and over and over in my brain and the more I thought about it the less I could find that was backing up his point. See, the thing with my dad is that he talks some good stuff, but if you can get past the flowery words, there is very little weight to what he is actually saying. I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with my dad, walked away feeling like he answered my questions, only to realize that he hadn’t answered anything and in fact had only made me more confused.
About the same time I was working all of this, Phil was realizing that he was even more in love with me than ever. He told me later that at this point he had no idea how I felt towards him, but he loved me even to the point of wanting only what was best for me, even if that meant me falling for someone else.
The month after I realized I love this man, I spent a week up in PA with the couple that have become my surrogate parents in a way. During that time, Phil and his dad met with my mom and dad. I remember anxiously sitting by the phone after making my mom promise that she would call me and tell me how the meeting went after Phil had left.
I paced around the house up in PA, crying, wondering, and spending hours talking with this dear couple as I waited to hear what was going to come of this meeting. I was hoping, hoping with all that I could that this was when I would find out if Phil was waiting for me or not. I managed to get a hold of Mom late that evening and she told me the meeting went pretty good.
I asked her if Phil liked me, if he had said anything, and she gave me a very cryptic answer of something like he said he was waiting for me.
I was over the moon, and went to bed that night feeling like maybe there was hope, maybe this guy really did care for me.
I got back from my week in PA eager to see where things were going with Phil. I was also uneasy because I talked with my dad the day after the meeting and his lack of info about how the meeting gave me enough of a red flag that I wasn’t sure what to expect. Anti-climatically after getting back from my week of rest, almost nothing happened with Phil for a few weeks until one day, my family was getting the internet back at our house and needed help with setting up the computers and Phil was the guy to help. I was thrilled that Phil was going to be coming over to help with the computers. That meant that Phil was going to be in the same house that I was, he was going to be sitting in the same room I could be sitting in and maybe I would get to talk with him.
Wow, I could not have described a more awkward scene than the first few times Phil came over to work on our computers. I didn’t know whether or not I should say anything to him, I didn’t know if I was going to face a talking to from my dad if he knew that I had even said so much as hello to Phil. We both skirted around the fact that we were in the same room and that it is usually courteous to say hello to each other and instead simply enjoyed the fact that we could look at each other. That had to be enough for now because the risk of talking, the risk of my dad’s wrath on me was too great. By the third or fourth time Phil had come over, I had worked up enough guts to give him the letter that I had written to him almost six months before telling him that I would wait for him for as long as it took.
I gave him the letter and asked him to read it in front of me. I watched him open the envelope and major nerves set in as I watched him read through it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy get that pale before. The color drained from his face as he suddenly stood up, eyes shinning, smiling from ear to ear as he rushed to the bathroom.
I had no idea what was going on but found out later that I had made him so happy, so incredibly nervous, and so relieved that he felt like he was going to lose his lunch.
He thanked me profusely for the letter when he had the chance to say something privately to me. Him thanking me was enough in that moment, but I began realizing as the days and weeks went on that I had no idea still how he felt about me. It seemed pretty obvious from how he acted around me, but I had not heard it straight from his mouth.
That’s when I snapped. It was as if the past six months had been built on a foundation that was under enormous pressure and it was no longer able to stand up to it.
I didn’t realize it in that moment, but when I finally did snap, it was one of the first actually healthy things I had ever done in my life.
It was a beautiful, sunny fall day at the beginning of October, four years ago, I knew that Phil was probably still in class (side-note: the first full college semester that we were friends, Phil had given me his class schedule so I would know when he was online. and ever since then he had somehow managed to let me know what his class schedule was for each semester after that), but that didn’t matter, I had had enough. I sat outside on the hill at the side of the house, dialed his number, and left a message asking if he could please call me when he got a chance.
It was probably the first time in over six months I had spoken a full, confident sentence to Phil, even if it was in a message. I hung up, unsure if I was really sure of what I wanted to talk with him about, of even if he would call back. Ah, but I didn’t have to wait long for an answer, he called me back within five minutes. He was breathless like he had just been running (which I found out, he had. he had been so excited to get a message from me that he had raced out of class so he could call me back).
After getting the pleasantries out of the way, I asked the question that I had been burning to ask from day one; “what are your feelings towards me?”
His response was instantaneous and I will never forget it.
He told me that he loved me, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He told me that I was his best friend, that he wanted to be with me more than ever and he wanted to marry me.
That day, October 6th, 2009, I felt for the first time I had made the right choice, I was going to stick with this guy for as long as I could.
That day was also the beginning of a wonderful week that ended with an enormous bang that left us reeling for several months after. But that part of the story is going to have to wait till next time.
To be continued.