I remember class the very first day. MSN Messenger was ALL the rage and he messaged me that it was time to go to class, so I met him downstairs just outside the lobby to “walk” to school. It was a quick 5-minute walk, but I was walking on air. We walked side by side with our backpacks on (probably Jantzen) and I was beaming at anyone that we knew that walked by. I just knew what they were thinking. “Are those two dating? When did they get together?” Even though I knew that nothing had really happened yet.
We got to class and sat down. Low and behold my ex hadn’t shown up yet. But as soon as he walked in the door, his eyes went directly to me. Oh, crap. I slid down in my chair and turned toward Josh to start up a fake conversation. I was looking out of the corner of my eye and he was walking towards us! What the…? As I did a quick scan of the room, I realized with horror. The only empty chair was directly next to me. My heart sank into my stomach. Of all the places he could have sat. Luckily I had Josh there to “protect” me. It was a class that we had to attend 5 days a week, so we got to walk together 5 days a week. Luckily my ex didn’t sit by me ever again. I made sure there was never an empty chair nearby.
The nights and weekends were spent on the phone for hours with Josh (mostly me talking) or in each other’s room “studying”. But I was too enthralled with him to ever really study. I wanted to keep talking to him. But, he never really talked back. I didn’t understand why he kept hanging around if he didn’t like me. So, I just kept talking and telling him everything about me. Later on, he told me that he loved those nights when he could just listen to the sound of my voice. He is more of a listener anyways. He likes to take everything in about a person and get to know the real them before he reveals himself. Many people think that he doesn't like them when really, it is his way of getting to know them (by sitting back and just "observing" - he calls it). Then one night in my room while we were watching a “Friends” episode and trying to study, he leaned over and kissed me. Oh. My. Goodness. Fireworks! Bright Lights! Cupid’s Arrow! Need I say more? It was the greatest night ever. He gave me butterflies and all that good stuff.
Side Note - I had this poster :)
We became an official couple in November of 2000. This was almost 3 months after we met. And since we had done A LOT of talking and spent A LOT of time together, we really felt like we knew each other. He would leave me little poems on MSN Messenger for me to home to after classes we didn’t have together. Remember all those little icons you could post, too? (hearts, flowers, smiley faces). He did those ALL the time. We went to each other’s houses for Thanksgiving and Christmas. On Valentine’s Day, he asked his manager to key into my room and left hearts and decorations and flowers COVERING my room. We took a residence hall trip to Canada together, and were a stable relationship amongst our friends.
Josh has wanted to be a pilot ever since he was a young boy. We have a picture of him when he is 9 or 10 in an Air Force Jet seat (with facemask and all), beaming a grin the size of Texas. His mom was a reservationist with a major airline for more than 30 years before that airline went bankrupt during the Recession. She said the most exciting part of her job was getting to solve the travel issues of people all across the globe. She got to talk to people from countries in different time zones and had to decipher accents that she had never heard before. She said, even now, she misses that sometimes.
Josh decided to go to our college because he knew he could receive a four-year degree and come out with all of the training, certificates, and documents that he would need in order to get a job at a major airline. At that time, our college even had a “direct hire” program with a regional airline that he liked and hoped to work for. Right after his senior year in college, he was a flight instructor, hoping to gain hours and experience needed for the minimum to get hired on by that regional airline. Things were going great! We were happily dating. I was a junior in college now, a manager of a residence hall with my own apartment, and we had our lives ahead of us.
Then September 11, 2001 happened.