That is the distance he drove to show up at my hotel room at 4 in the morning. I was sound asleep, but my friends knew he’d be arriving, so when he knocked on the door, they answered.
And as I stirred from my slumber, I saw his 6’4” silhouette standing in our doorway. Unsure if I was awake, I inquired, “Am I dreaming?”
One of the others flipped on a light, and as I sat up in my bed, he walked over to me and kissed me on the forehead. “No, you’re not dreaming. I’m here.” His tender kiss moved to my lips. “I’m really here.”
“I can’t believe you’re back.” I stated, stunned, yet delighted to see him again so soon.
“I couldn’t stay away.” He reached for my hand. “Want to go for a walk?”
“Sure.” We headed outside to walk the Atlantic shore, where our kisses and conversation could continue without an audience.
“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you.” He explained. “I had to see you again before you go.”
We had met just the week before, but we were 18 years young and completely in love. The kind of in love that is intoxicating and free from logic. It didn’t matter that he lived in Florida and I lived in Michigan. For the time being we were together and that’s all that mattered. And we had no list or reasons for liking each other – we just did. (This was long before theology and books on Christian dating ruined me. I didn’t know the rules yet, so love came easy.)
I was in Daytona Beach, on Spring Break with friends. And he had been in the area the previous week vacationing with family. We met, and there was an instant connection - a chemistry that typically only happens in the movies. But we were real people, experiencing a real life romance that soon shifted to long distance letter writing.
Thank God I had at least one romance in my life that didn’t revolve around the use of technology. I still have every letter he wrote me, and I recently found them in a bin at my parents’ lake house. I’m a hopeless romantic, so tears streamed down my face as I reread his words. And I wondered why I was so foolish to end things with this guy who adored me like no other guy has since.
He made me promise I would never forget about him as we parted ways following his return visit.
Believe me Jonathan, I haven’t.