Friday, May 27, 2011

The Story of Us....(Part One)

*Disclaimer: For anyone who knows me, this isn't the first time I've told this story. And it surely won't be the last. Had I [openly] blogged when Jacob and I first met there might not have been a reason to tell this story in its entirety. But it's a fun story to tell, and I plan on doing it with every passing year. Who knows, movie deal??*

With each passing year since Jacob and I found each other I often look back at where we came from, where we started.

Oddly enough, we first met because of my brother. He was in a hurry to get to upper elementary and either didn't realize there was more than one kindergarten classroom with only one way to get there, or thought I'd figure it out myself. But, I sat down with Jacob's class and that was the beginning of history. A few moments later, though, and my actual kindergarten teacher came over, frantic because one of her kids was missing (me).

The following year, and the one after that, Jacob and I were in the same class. For third grade we weren't, and we weren't in 4th grade, either, but halfway though his family moved to Montana and I never saw him again.

I don't remember much about those years. But going back there now seems like a dream, familiar but unfamiliar all the same. Jacob was always in my orbit. He was small, quiet and shy. But if you could get him to smile, it was one that took up his entire face. That is what stands out in my mind whenever people ask, "Did you remember who he was?" The funny thing was - and I don't know if it's because I have a brain like, as Jacob says, a "court stenographer" - but I didn't even have to pause to think about who he might have been; I remembered him instantly, but that still doesn't do the experience justice.

The day was June 20, 2008.

I conducted my usual morning routine like any other day. I arrived to work and, after making sure I had nothing pressing to attend to, checked my usual internet haunts (which wasn't as extensive as it is today). Among them was my e-mail. On this particular summer day, Facebook had sent me a message and the subject line read, "Jacob McIntyre has sent you a message on Facebook."

There are no words to describe what my jaw or eyes did at that moment, even before actually opening the e-mail to see what it said. I may have even said out loud, "Holy fuck!" Anticipation took over and it seemed like I couldn't get the e-mail open fast enough.

We continued to e-mail each other at least once a day, interjecting mild flirtations as we got to know and like each other. Honestly, though, I liked him from his first e-mail. And for the rest of June 20th I could not stop talking about my blessed e-mail. I guess the Breanne tattoo does not wash off so easily.

For a month we did this until I broke down and gave him my number. Once I did, we began talking each night and text-messaging throughout the days (and we haven't stopped since).

By then we had reached a cross-roads in our relationship, and a pivotal point in which to decide if we moved forward and allowed stronger feelings to develop, or decide to call it quits because of distance (which would have been the only reason). Jacob decided to grab the bull by the horns and just blurted out one day, "I love you Breanne. I've been in love with you since we were kids." Even someone with as black a heart as mine would melt like butter. But my feelings for him were the same. Now we just had to figure out where to go from there......About 2000 miles to the left.

For my 26th birthday, I wanted to spend it in Denver. As luck - or fate - would have it, Jacob liked to do the same thing, and at the time his best friend resided just outside of Denver. I asked if he wanted to meet in Denver over my birthday and without skipping a beat he said yes.

I couldn't get to Denver fast enough and I was a nervous wreck the night before Jacob was to arrive. I don't have a picture of when Jacob and I first saw each other after 16 years, but it was right out of the movies. Well, at least I think so. Otherwise, it wasn't too out of the ordinary.

I was staying with a friend in downtown Denver with a view of the road Jacob would be coming in on. I heard his Honda before I saw it and went running down the two flights of stairs. He was calling me to let me know he had made it but I was already running out the door and into his arms. Any nervousness was gone in the blink of an eye and there was zero awkwardness whatsoever. It was rather amazing, really. We hung out and marveled at the physical sight of each other (I was afraid he'd be 4-foot tall, he was afraid I'd be 6-feet tall) and then he slept until my birthday celebration that evening.

As anyone who knows him will tell you, he isn't the most comfortable in public places. But he put it aside and went to a sports-type bar with a group of people he didn't know. Coincidentally, one of my friends happened to work at a gas station Jacob frequented during his short stint of living in Denver (not when he was in 4th grade; he came back as an adult to live for a short period of time). The plan was to continue our debauchery at dinner, then at a dessert bar, but it never materialized. Eventually, everyone was drunk and having too good of a time until the bartenders forced everyone out. But before we got to that point, this picture was snapped of us - the first picture of us together in 20 years.

We only had 4 days together so we tried to make the best of it. We spent a lot of time visiting his friends, but made sure to walk down memory lane as well. We went to the elementary school where we met, drove by the houses we grew up in (well, me more so than him), surprise-visited old friends, all while wondering what would have happened had he never moved to Montana.

Perhaps it wouldn't have mattered.

During my Junior year of high school I had a fleeting thought one day. Standing outside of a classroom during the changing bell, I stood with my old friend, Erica. I randomly turned to her and said, "Do you remember Jacob McIntyre? I wonder what happened to him...." She wondered for a moment as well and then we both went about our lives. I had completely forgotten about this until Jacob and I reconnected 8 years later.

Shortly after Erica and I had this conversation, Jacob was sitting amongst the 12 fellow students he would graduate with in his English class in Columbus, Montana. Before class began, he glanced up to see a new girl entering the classroom. She had just moved from Colorado and her name was Erica.

From what I understand, Jacob didn't recognize her straight-off, but befriended her anyways. She sat down next to him and they began talking. She spoke of where she had lived in Colorado and he told her he lived in the same place. She just thought he was messing with her. Then he told her he had gone to Marshdale Elementary and that was when she realized who she was speaking to: the very Jacob McIntyre her and I had been discussing mere weeks before. Naturally, she brought up the conversation between her and I, which made him happy; he hadn't forgotten about me after all of these years, nor had I forgotten about him. In fact, I think after they had determined who the other was, Jacob asked about me and she told him I had asked about him just before she left.

But MySpace or Facebook hadn't been invented yet so contacting someone took actual research and effort. But by that point, we could have been anywhere. He moved around the west, to Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah but always found his way back to Montana. I left Colorado the summer of 2001 and didn't come back save for summers and Christmastime. I lived and went to school in Phoenix for 6 years, not learning Jacob had a chance to be in Phoenix at the same time until we later reconnected; he was supposed to attend UTI.

So life went on as normal, both his and mine filled with moving, friends, non-friends, significant others, heartbreak, drama, fun, family, dogs, work, sleep, etc. I moved to Florida in 2007, even further from the origin, and that was the distance between us when one decided to finally, after all of these years, seek out the other.

 A few days after my 26th birthday Jacob and I and Memory Lane had some time together. I got turned on to this burrito place when I came for a wedding in September 2007 so, of course, I had to take Jacob. He agreed - best burritos in the world.

 Perhaps this was when he actually fell in love with me? ;-) Posing in front of his baby, his Honda. It now sits in our garage, slowly getting a new engine.

 I have to admit that this is when I actually fell in love with Jacob. ;-)

 Jacob has an obsession with the unknown road. He loves traveling down roads that have either never been traveled, or haven't been since people drove wagons. While checking out the Qdoba, Staples, and Starbucks (Starbucks?!) that newly pepper my once small mountain town, we came across Reynolds Park. I'm sure plenty of people have been there plenty of times, but it was new to us and no one else was there.

 Our last night together before I had to head back to Florida, feeling even more like an outsider having reconnected so strongly with Jacob. For years leading up to this point, I had felt as if I were drowning, Florida being my oasis and safe-haven while I figured out who I was and what I wanted from this life and the people in it. Jacob quickly became my life-preserver; the only problem being that he was now so far away.

I purposely planned to leave Denver in the afternoon so Jacob and I wouldn't have to rush in saying goodbye to each other. So we went to the classiest place we could think of - Denny's.

As it happened, I didn't actually end up leaving that day after all.

The situation really wasn't all that dramatic. But I did sob all the way to the plane and then just prayed for an early take-off or I was going to claw my way through those plastic windows. And just as we were the next to depart, the pilot pulls the plane over on the shoulder of the runway. The shoulder.

About 30 seconds go by before the pilot gets on the loudspeaker.

"Good afternoon ladies and gentleman. We're terribly sorry for the delay. But just as I was taxiing down the runway I happened to look up and notice the top corner of the windshield had shattered. That could cause pressure problems up in the air, so we're going to turn this plane around and head back to the gate and see what it will take to get it fixed."

We were at the gate for about 20 minutes before he came back on again and told us they couldn't fix the plane so we'd have to make other arrangements. I frantically called Jacob since he was well on his way back to Montana. It was a good thing he actually wasn't, but instead was at his friend's house, so he could come back and get me. As luck would have it, we got to spend another 12 hours together. Unfortunately, this meant having to wake up, take me to the airport and drive back to Montana at 4am the following morning. Saying goodbye was about as pleasant as you'd expect.

 At DIA, saying goodbye at 4am. To make things even worse, Jacob got home with just eno0ugh time to get ready and go to work until midnight. :-( If that aint love, I don't know what is./

That plane did take off and took me back to life in Florida, one that meant a little something different to me now; maybe even confused me just a bit.

Jacob and I continued our text and phone relationship until January 2009. Even with echoes of a Special Session, I was able to get away to Montana over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend. This time around things were more serious since I was to be meeting his family.

 Showing me the Stillwater River that runs near Columbus. Notice my lack of winter attire. I had what is known as a Phoenix/Florida winter wardrobe.

Jacob showing me Beartooth Pass for the first time. Since it was January, the pass was closed with walls of snow exceeding 9 feet so there was only so far you could go. About 50 yards to the right, the gate to the road was closed (well half of it; it says travel at your own risk).

We had a wonderful time, as usual, but there was a little added tension since it meant that big decisions soon had to be made; i.e. figuring out how we could still be together. We had already made the decision that I would move to Montana. Quite honestly, though, it wasn't what defines a "decision," if only by that you equate it to the "decision" to breath. That's my fancy way of saying: moving to Montana was like breathing; the next thing to do

So then that was what we were going to do..............