author's note. it's here! a new chapter of our story. i didn't know exactly how it would take shape, but wow, i barely scratched the surface! there's so much more. plenty ahead in the future.. i promise.
in my head, all along, buried under wild anticipation, there was a wondering if it would be awkward.. we were practically dating, and yet practically strangers. it was so weird. nobody knew that we knew each other. i didn't even know if i truly knew him. after hundreds of letters and a steady streak of late night phone calls, we were so familiar to each other. i thought about him every waking moment, could keep our conversation flowing for hours, and needed zero sleep. i was running purely on the fuel of exciting possibilities and gut feelings. but i still wondered, what would it be like to be with him? it was all a nervous mystery in my mind. and yet, i still had a feeling. i felt like i knew.
a few hours later, after a quick stop at a gas station to check if my sunglasses had made dents on my nose, i was driving into camp. i was ushered into the camp kitchen by fellow kitchen girls and judy, grant's mom. judy had already made me feel so welcome. she'd shown me where the aprons were hung, handed me a recipe to start on, and given me a big hug. i felt a little like a double agent in her arms. did she even know that i was interested in her son? did she know that he'd practically asked me out?! oh, it was such an exciting little burden to bear, despite the tinge of guilt. i would be spending the summer with the harms family, and none of them knew the extent of my relationship with grant. to them we might as well be perfect strangers. we had been very low-profile about it all.
as i rolled out dough for pizza, out of the corner of my eye, i saw grant walk into the kitchen. we were in the same room! my smile was uncontrollable. quick as i could, i took in the sight of him as he talked with his mom. he wore a carefree white t-shirt and the perfect guyish flipflops and looked so impressive and real. i knew he had seen me, but i didn't look up. i could hardly bear how big this moment was. i could feel the tension of the encounter and knew that he was feeling it too. i imagine it's a bit what a blind date must feel like. i didn't know how to act, so i kept my attention on the dough and tried to be normal. he walked toward me, perfectly calm, and simply said 'hi summer, how was your drive?' as if we'd been friends for life. whew. he had broken the weird barrier between us and made everything okay, but it was still one of the most bizarre moments in my life. was he a new person or an old friend? i smiled at him and attempted natural conversation, even though i knew this was a historic hour. everybody was standing right there, so we had to play it cool. people wouldn't have understood if i ran and gave him a hug- he was supposedly meeting me for the first time today!
at dinner, i took my plate and sat down at his table- next to him. can't believe i was that bold. i don't remember the conversations, but i do remember feeling flawlessly happy. i was at camp, by his side. all was right with the world. i remember feeling as if we shared a grand secret. we were holding back in front of others, but we looked at each other knowingly. thinking, you are the person i've spent this whole year thinking about, praying about, writing to. it was an amazing feeling to have come full circle and to now be in each other's presence. i couldn't wait to be able to talk to him alone, and wondered when that precious opportunity would come. i wanted to shout 'we're finally together!' and ask him where we go from here. i wanted to hear him say, 'this is what i've been waiting for', because that's exactly how i was feeling. but i would have to wait. that day would come.. i hoped.
when it got to be bedtime and the staff started to go our separate ways- boys to cabin 1 and girls to the brygger bedrooms- grant came over to me and said, "did you say you forgot your pillow?" i had forgotten. i mentioned it earlier in the evening, but my thoughts were too overwhelmed with him to think about how to solve that problem. gentleman that grant is, he came to my rescue. it was such a simple act, but it sent a clear message to me: i care about you. he wasn't just another boy and i wasn't just another girl- he saw me separately from everyone else. the relationship that had been so real to me in letters was real right now, in life. the groundwork had already been laid, and now it was being established before my eyes, starting with a borrowed pillow.
morning felt ages away, but having grant 'take care of me' gave me something to dwell on until i could see him. i couldn't wait to have him in my sights again. in my head, i replayed all the clever things he had said throughout the night and his sweet pillow gesture. it was truly a pillow to build a dream on. and as i laid in my bed that night, i had one thought.
i knew it.
i knew he would be the one.