Over the next few weeks, Charles and I continued going on dates over the weekends and texting late every night. We quickly developed a very innocent and special friendship. On our second date, Charles and I enjoyed a beautiful autumn stroll in the park. After the date, Charles got to meet my dad. It was honestly, just as awkward as I expected. Charles was a true gentleman and introduced himself to my dad. My dad made jokes, tried to be intimidating and asked Charles many, many questions.
After the awkward meeting with my dad, we joined my parents at our local pizza parlor. Charles and I both ordered pizza calzones, that were bigger than our heads. I took two bites of it, and had to get a to-go box, as I was way too nervous to eat. Regardless, of my nerves and the occasional embarrassing moments at dinner, it was all-in-all a good date.
About a week before Halloween, Charles and I were texting late in the evening. I asked Charles something that had been on my mind for awhile, that I didn’t know how to bring up.
Kaylee: So, what do you think we are to each other?
Charles: What do you mean?
Kaylee: I mean do you think we’re friends or special friends?
Charles: I don’t know. I’ve never really had a best friend before. But yeah. I guess we’re friends.
As I texted Charles, I realized I wasn’t being completely clear as to what I was asking, therefore he didn’t know how to answer my question.
Kaylee: Do you see this going further?
I realized I was still being vague, but I was too chicken to come out and say You want to be boyfriend and girlfriend? I am also old school and felt it was his job to ask me… even though, I was dying to know.
Charles: I’m not sure.
I ended up changing the subject to something else. I was afraid I would scare him away with my questions and felt embarrassed for even bringing it up. I told myself I wasn’t going to bring it up again, I was just going to let things play out.
On Halloween, my friend Andrea and I made a spur of the moment trip to her family’s cabin up north. We planned to leave Friday, after I got out of work at 5. I told Charles I was going and he was very excited for us. My mom and Charles took me to Andrea’s house so we could leave right away. It was very exciting to have a guy see me off on a trip,
When my mom dropped me off, I gave her a hug as she told me to be safe and have fun. Charles helped me with my bags and walked me to the front porch. There was a slightly awkward moment as he looked at me, not sure how to say goodbye. He said…
“Well, I hope you have a great time. Be safe, and I will see you when you get back.” He smiled at me, not sure what to do next. Again, I was sheltered, and homeschooled. This was all new to me. Not only was this awkward because we were obviously both smitten and staring at each other, but my mom was also watching from the car, and Andrea and Alli’s dogs were barking at us from the window. Thankfully, Andrea opened the door, and the dogs ran out to greet us, which broke the awkward moment. Andrea said hi to Charles, and they had a quick get to know you conversation.
Charles and I again stared at each other. Charles put his arms out, as if to offer a hug. I gave Charles a hug, and fell even more for this guy that had become such a good friend, and huge presence in my life. We said goodbye, and I walked into the house.
Alli was standing at the counter, out of breath as if she had just ran three miles. She told me she had frantically cleaned because she wasn’t sure if Charles was going to come inside. I found it so funny, that she tried to make a good first impression for the guy that I liked.
On the way to the cabin, I told Andrea all about Charles. I told her about how we met, the different dates we had been on, taking Spanish together and everything in between. Of course, I had told her all of these stories before, but I couldn’t help but talk about them over and over again.
We arrived at the cabin around midnight. We unloaded our bags, filled the wood stove and ate a quick dinner. We spent the evening talking and updating each other on life. From the moment we left for the cabin, the whole trip felt like it was going to be special and truly unforgettable.
The next morning, I woke up to the smell of brewing coffee, and the sound of Christmas music, flooding the cabin. It was officially November, so Andrea was quick to turn on the Christmas music. The first full day at the cabin, I’m pretty sure we did some thrift store shopping, and admired the beautiful changing leaves of November.
Later in the afternoon, Andrea and I drove to the nearest small town store that was famous for its’ jerky, and was at least a half hour away. Before leaving, I asked Andrea if we should unplug the space heater. She said we shouldn’t have to because it was relatively safe and could be left on for hours if need be.
Before leaving, I prayed everything would be ok, and then we took off to the store. While at the store I bought a bunch of jerky for my family and Charles. We spent probably 20 minutes at the store, and then headed back to the cabin.
After unloading and arriving in the cabin, we both smelled smoke. Andrea checked the kitchen and all was good. We both headed into the bedroom and noticed the space heater was not on even though we left it on. We immediately went to the outlet, and noticed that the plug melted into the outlet. Andrea quickly unplugged it and said “Thank God”
After putting away the meat and getting in comfy clothes, I called my parents to tell them what had happened. My dad answered and after hearing my story, told me he was glad everything was okay. I hung up from him and helped Andrea open windows to get smoke out of the cabin.
A few minutes later my mom called in a panic and said “Kaylee you really should call the fire department and have them check out the wall. That is how our house fire started. There was fire in the wall.” After thinking about it, she was right. I went into the bedroom and touched the wall just above the outlet. It was still hot. I then hung up from my mom, told Andrea what my mom said and called 911.
When the dispatcher asked for the cabin address, Andrea read it to me off her gps on her phone. After hanging up from the dispatcher, Andrea and I scrambled to put our clothes and other belongings away since they were laid out all over. As you can guess, we were not expecting company.
After putting our things away, Andrea and I stood on the front porch waiting for the fire department. A few minutes later, the dispatcher called me back and said “Hi, I’m sorry but the firefighters are having a hard time finding your cabin. Where are you located?” I repeated the address to her and she told me the firefighters are at that location and it seems to be the wrong house. She then suggested I run down to the end of the driveway to see if I could see them. Once I headed down the driveway and reached the road, I looked both ways. There were no signs of the fire engine.
I continued talking to the dispatcher trying to explain where we were at. She asked “Are you sure that is the address” I then remembered seeing the address numbers on the porch and read them off to her. Come to find out we were a number off and they really did go to the wrong house. Oops. Andrea stayed on the front porch and I headed back down the driveway trying to spot the fire engine. Once I spotted the fire engine slowly coming down the road, I told the dispatcher and hung up.
Once the fire fighters pulled into the driveway, Andrea and I decided we needed to just play dumb and innocent because we were already super embarrassed. When the first firefighter got out of the rig he said “You guys need to learn how to read an address.” He was so mad, but he had a point. At the time I felt bad, but now I can laugh about it.
They checked out the cabin to make sure it was safe. They checked out the wood stoves as well as the outlet where the fire happened. They took a thermal imaging camera to check the temperature of the wall and it was around 100° and going down. It was likely just a faulty plug. By then I knew we were going to be okay. As the firefighters left, we apologized multiple times for the confusion and thanked them for their help.
After the firefighters left, I texted Charles and told him what happen. Charles called me immediately to make sure I was okay. I felt a bit awkward talking on the phone, as I had never heard his voice over the phone before. I found it very sweet Charles called to check on Andrea and I. After getting off the phone with Charles, we continued texting. Charles took me completely by surprise at where he directed the conversation.
Charles: Do you think we’re more than friends?
I was completely taken a back and had no idea what to say.
Kaylee: I consider you a very good friend. Why?
Charles: I’d like to think that your my girlfriend. What do you think?
Kaylee: I’d like to be your girlfriend.
At the time, I had no idea how deeply focused I was in my texting conversation with Charles. Andrea asked me what was going on and why I was smiling so much. I started blushing and tried so hard not to get ahead of myself. I told her everything and tried to stay calm and use caution. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to be completely honest and up front with my boundaries, values and expectations when it came to dating, and being pursued by a man.
I told Charles how I had never had a boyfriend before. I had never been kissed and never even held hands with a guy. I also expressed to him that I was not one to be quick in giving my heart away. I had always wanted to be in a courtship and go into a relationship with the intention of marriage, instead of just dating to date. I wanted to date with a purpose, and I wanted to be in a relationship that was honoring to God. After expressing this to Charles, I knew it was going to be either make it or break it. He was either going to be completely on board or I would completely scare him off. I nervously waited for his response.
Charles: Okay, I can understand that. I would like to talk more about this on Monday before class.
That night, I stayed up late talking to Andrea. I went over every scenario of how Monday would play out between Charles and I. I worried that I had scared Charles off, and he just wanted to tell me in person. I worried that I was going to try and end things on Monday because I wanted to avoid getting hurt. I worried that even if things continued into a relationship, that it still may not end in marriage, but with heartbreak.
Before going to sleep, Andrea said something that gave peace. She said:
“With love there is always a risk. Yes you could start a relationship and break up or you could start a relationship and eventually get married. Either way there is a risk, and there is no guarantee you won’t get hurt. But no matter what decision you make, I’ll support you.” Andrea said a quick prayer and we both fell asleep.
The next day, Andrea and I took a quick hike near the cabin, packed up and headed home. On the way home we continued talking about boys, listening to Christmas music, and enjoyed the end of our much needed girl’s weekend away. For the rest of Sunday, I pondered how things would happen when Charles and I would find each other and have our Define the Relationship talk Monday morning.