New Year, New Semester, New Chapter to my Love Story

Late at night on December 12, while lounging in the backseat of his father’s old Honda Odyssey that was parked in his family’s driveway, I asked my boyfriend the biggest question that bubbles up in almost every girlfriend’s mind. 

For some background: My boyfriend and I have been happily dating for almost a year and a half this February. He used the “L” word in my presence within only two weeks of dating. The moment I heard him say it…well, I immediately made him pull the car over. He had been driving me home after a wonderful date. Boy, did he look terrified after I made him park the car. I honestly had to get ahold of my quivering heartbeat and make sure that he was talking to me, and not someone else. Yes, we were the only two people in the car, but come on, a girl can never be too sure, you know? 

This holiday season he and I had been spending every waking moment together during our Winter Break, much to the chagrin of our parents and friends. I will admit it first, the affection between my boyfriend and I can become annoying to a bystander, especially by my best friend who, if she could, would use a crowbar to pry us apart. Anyway, that night we were sitting in the van I had my legs draped over his, while his head leaned back against the seat. Him and I had been looking longingly into each other’s eyes, a couple affectionate kisses her, some jocks cracked there. It was blissful happiness in its purest form. My boyfriend and I locked eyes, and I suddenly began to burst into a fit of insane giggles. Him, being adept to my weirdness, chuckled, leaned closer to me and asked "what’s up?". I said, “Is this it?” 

He pursed his lips, and frowned, not totally understanding my vague question, and quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if I understood it myself. I leaned my head back against the side the van and said, “Is this love?” His face mushed into the most ridiculous smirk as if to say, “wow, my girl is corny.” I, having already seen that expression many times before, immediately interrupted his thought and exclaimed, “I mean it! Is this love? You know…everything we have been taught to anticipate and look for all this time, since we were children. Do you think we’ve found it? 

His eyes gazed up at the dark roof of the van, searching for an answer to my question, and I realized that at that moment he had been asking himself the exact same question. I was shaking from nervousness, praying that he wouldn’t notice. I really did not want an answer right away, and hoping to back out of the conversation gracefully, I told him that it’s something we could just think about. 

Our relationship is long-distanced. He is a junior at University of Mary Washington, while I am a sophomore at St. Vincent College. Going to school 5 hours away has its ups and downs without a doubt, but leaving him with that question just before we had to return to school was probably not the best decision, I know. 

The next day, after having spent the whole morning and afternoon packing my 20 pairs of shoes and dozens of coordinated winter outfits to brave the Western Pennsylvania bitter chill. He came knocking on my door that evening. It was our last chance to see each other, and I promise you this: it never gets easier. This is my third semester of college, and I was tearing up as he held me in his lap. He pulled me in and said, “to answer your question from yesterday…Yes, I think this is it.” Well, I cried then. I mean, who wouldn’t? Starting off a new semester while being a considerable distance from your significant other is heart-wrenching. But, after having communicated our feelings so honestly to each other before departing, I am ready to tackle anything knowing that I’ve found “it” with him.