We grew closer and closer and fell in love more and more each day. I remember the first time we told each other we loved one another. We were sitting in my car in the parking lot at Meijer. We were kissing and holding hands before we had to go into work. He pulled away, looked into my eyes and said "I love you"... just as fast he looked away and said "Oh, I'm sorry... it slipped out"... I asked "Do you mean it?" He said yes of course and I smiled and said, don't be sorry then, I am in love with you too. We just looked at each other and kissed more. From that day forward we didn't miss a single day.
Towards the end of the year Eric told me that he was thinking about transferring to the main campus in Columbus and he wanted me to come with him. Come with him I said.. like live together? Of course that is what he meant. We made plans to transfer together and get an apartment near campus and live together. It was a big step since I was only 19 and were weren't engaged or anything. Spring 2003 came and we decided to take a vacation together. We decided on Dallas/Fort Worth Texas. He wanted to show me where he used to live when they lived on the air force bases. We made flight and hotel plans. It would be the first time that I would travel and the begging of my passion for traveling. Our parents wasn't too keen on a private vacation, and this was before we told them we planned to move out in the summer... We decided to take the vacation in June since that would be a nice time to go and we also decided to move into our apartment that month so we were making plans to tell out parents. I forget how this all went down but basically told my mom and dad and my mom flipped out stating I couldn't live with a man before I was married (we're Catholic). I gave her the I'm 19 crap and I want to do so deal with it. Besides I am in love this man and I will marry him, It's just not the right time. They did give their blessings and helped us look for a place. Even acted as co-signers. How nice! I think Eric's parents were fine with it since he was 21 and it was time for him to move out anyway.
The vacation was great. Not the most planned out vacation we have taken but it was our first time. We spent many days just laying in the hotel room and the rest exploring the cities. We got on the air force base without military badges (amazing since it was post 9-11). He showed me with pride his old house, elementary school, play ground, and where his friends lived. I got the appreciation that he loved it here and was sad to move. He lived all around the world and moved about every 2 years so he didn't have the chance to set any roots anywhere. I was honored to be with him and loved every second of it.
Moving day was upon us and we were excited and nervous. He purchased our queen size bed and our first couch and we moved into our little one bedroom apartment. It wasn't much but it was ours. We loved it there, mostly because we were together. It was weird living with him at first because you really don't know someone until you live with them. I was glad to find out that we melted well and we soon fell into a pattern.
The rest of the year I hinted to him that I wanted more out of our relationship. I wanted to be with him always. I wanted to marry him. He agreed, but firmly stated that he wanted to wait. I don't know what I was thinking but I told myself if he didn't propose to me by the end of the year I was moving out and going back home. I'm not wasting anymore time with this. I didn't want to play games and spend my time with someone who wasn't serious about me. Every major event I got excited.. was this going to be the day? Nope, not my 20th birthday, not Thanksgiving.. it was nearing Christmas and I was getting sad. There was no way he is going to propose to me. He hadn't hinted or spent any money. I was managing out bills so I would see if bought something on his credit card. However, he is the smooth one and he had a plan.