Sorry that I left you hanging ... and just when it was getting good! (If you're new to this little series of letters to my younger self, you can get caught up here.)
1996 will be a huge year for you. (And yes, I just told the world your age. Oh well.) You'll graduate from Auburn (War Eagle!), do a little substitute teaching (confirming once again that you aren't designed to be a middle school teacher), and get a fun job at a travel agency.
Remember the heartache I warned you about with the reappearance of this guy? Yes, that will be this Summer. You initiated the reunion (re-reading old love letters will tend to have that effect on a girl) and had such high hopes. But it's just not meant to be. It will be excruciatingly painful to see how much this person has changed, but thankfully it won't be a long process to find this out.
Going to grad school at Georgia Tech is the right decision, but you're about to enter one of the most challenging times of your life. Moving to Atlanta all by yourself is exciting, but also terrifying. When The One calls to ask if you want to go to Six Flags the first Saturday you're there, you'll be quietly amazed at how excited you are about him coming. After all, going out with him has never been particularly exhilarating before.
A fun day at Six Flags will turn into supper at The Varsity and a late night. With nothing more than a "see you later," The One will head back home to Auburn. When you watch him get into his car from your window, take a good look at his right leg. It's the last time you'll see it in one piece. Everything is about to change ... for him and for you.
There's something about realizing how close you came to losing someone that will make you never want to lose them again. Watching The One bravely deal with his injuries and later making the brave choice for amputation will create feelings of love that were never there before. (And catching a glimpse of his cute bottom in that hospital gown won't hurt either!)
Nevertheless, such a life-changing event doesn't leave a man immediately ready to make a lifelong commitment.
While The One is trying to figure out how to move forward in his new circumstances, you'll briefly date a guy from down the hall. He's an aerospace engineer from Michigan. Nice guy, but definitely not The One.
But don't despair. The adventure of a lifetime is about to begin....
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