The Tracie & Austin Story -- Part Three
As December was beginning I found myself getting excited to go to work. I told myself it was silly since I didn’t like Austin “that way.” I convinced myself I liked the attention and that’s why I was getting butterflies. We were spending so much time together it’s as if we were dating, but we were “just friends.” This was fine with me since I was going on a mission. I had decided after the breakup with Devon that’s what I was going to do. The following April I would turn 21 and I would go. In fact that semester I even took a Mission Prep course at BYU, which was a fabulous class by the way.
Then one night, it happened. We had watched a movie (we don’t remember what) and stayed up talking. We slowly got closer and closer together. And then around three in the morning (!), Austin started to seduce me by kissing my face near my mouth, but never my lips. There were some parts of me that didn’t want to kiss him, and I had never once before “given in” to a guy that wanted to kiss me that I didn’t. But the temptation was great, and I did give in, and Austin and I kissed. And it was good. (Though a part of me was upset that I had given in.)
Then Austin went to Texas for Christmas break. He was going to be gone for three weeks. Austin was not the only guy I was hanging out with. There were some other guys that lived together in an apartment in Heidi’s ward in Provo, and we (Heidi and the boys) hung out. There was one boy who showed an inkling of interest in me. So one night I cuddled with him. Austin and I were not a couple, but I did feel guilty. I don’t think I told Austin at the time, but I did also go on one lunch date with this guy. At a later date the boy attempted to kiss me, but I felt it was wrong to kiss two guys at the same time, even if Austin and I were not “officially” together. The boy had been teasing me about my “boyfriend” because I talked about Austin as if HE were my boyfriend, kinda. Not to mention Austin called me A LOT. He kept calling and leaving me a lot of messages the night I almost kissed the other guy. (This is because I did it to Austin one time to be funny. I called him like 13 times and left funny messages.)
Austin and I talked A LOT while he was gone. I ended up having to pay a $200 phone bill the next month because we talked so much. We got to know each other even better, but the one thing I did not expect was for Austin to tell me he loved me. I was shocked, surprised (well, not extremely so. I am amazing.) and totally overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do with this information. I knew I had some feelings for Austin, but I did not love him. I cared for him as a friend and perhaps more, but that was it. We weren’t even officially dating yet! How could I already love him? It only added to my confusion that I was still in love with my ex.
So I talked to Devon. And I realized that yes, I still had feelings for him, but no, there was no chance of us getting back together. I wasn’t there to beg him to get back together or anything like that, but I guess I had to find out if the door was closed permanently. I also needed to know whether or not I could be friends with him. That was one of the hardest parts (at the time) of losing Devon, I was losing a very good friend.
It was a hard thing to do, but I’m glad I did. I know it was painful for Austin, but I HAD to know. Devon did not regret his decision, and neither do I. So I told Devon that I wanted to be friends when he was ready, told him I was going on a mission, and said goodbye.
The night Austin came home was an exciting, nervous, and scary night for me. We had decided that we would decide what we were going to do about “us” when he got back as it wasn’t fair to make a decision like that with him gone. I still worked nights, so I waited anxiously with butterflies churning in my stomach. I knew Austin was coming in to work to see him when he got back. I was so distracted and nervous I didn’t see him come in, and he scared the crap out of me. I didn’t know who he was for a moment. He looked completely different. He wasn’t wearing glasses, he was wearing a bright red shirt announcing that “the party has arrived”, and he had cut his hair very short. We hugged and I slowly recovered from my heart attack.
I remember the moon was shining and Austin remarked that I looked beautiful in the moonlight. And then we kissed for the first time as an "official" couple.
But, I reminded Austin, things couldn’t get serious because I was going on a mission in a few months.