Hiya! Thanks for reading along so far, if you need to catchup, click here to read Part One!
So a lot happens from that day to this next point in our story, but none really relevant to the story of US. We dated a couple other people, were both going to school, but as always keeping in touch and forever convincing our boyfriends and girlfriends that we were JUST FRIENDS. I guess you can say we were both in the friend zone. I had just broken up with my boyfriend at the time, I was working full time at a restaurant, living on my own, and I just wasn't happy. Something had to change. I had never left home, and I just wanted to be a normal college student and leave home. SPOILER ALERT. I was and never have been a normal college student. So I moved to Jacksonville, and I LOVED it. I chose Jax over Orlando because I just felt like I couldn't be in the center of the state, away from the beach, There is just something therapeutic about living close to the beach. I made a ton of friends, had some more insignificant flings of course, and NATURALLY as I'm just getting settled in Jacksonville, what does Matt decide to do? Move home. WOW, GREAT TIMING HONEY, THANKS! A lot happens at this point in our lives. On June 1st 2014 one of my best friends died in a car accident. I will never forget the way the world just stopped spinning for a second. Everything stopped. I was in the middle of a shift at work, and my friend Dana I'm pretty sure carried me to the bathroom while I tried to catch my breath in the middle of a breakdown. My whole entire world changed from this point on.
Stephanie is a very relevant part of our story, because the end of her life was the beginning of something special for Matt and I. I hope you understand what I'm saying. Sometimes I hate that fact, other times I know she is in heaven watching this all go down, and just smiling.
Matt was my saving grace.
I struggled for so long with aspects of life, and death, and everything in between and he really pushed me through that. One of the things I admire most about Matt is his knowledge. If you know him, you know he is extremely smart (don't let ya head get too big, babe!) and one of the subjects I admire him being SO knowledgable on is Faith. He is the reason I got through the darkest time of my life thus far.
I used to go to Steph's house and sit on her bed and tell her that "Matt was in love with me, I'm pretty sure, but I don't think we will ever act on it" She lived in the same neighborhood as him at the time. Although Stephanie never got the chance to really meet or hangout with Matt, she plays a huge role in our relationship, still to this day. When I say I thought the world was ending that day in June, there is no exaggeration in my voice (keyboard? idk) You get the point. May 31st 2014, Matt randomly texted me at about 11 pm. (the rest of these details are so clear - there is something about losing somebody that you remember every single event in that 24 hours - because it felt like an eternity.) He sent me this picture :
and he said - "I miss this girl" Remember - this is all before I knew anything had happened with Stephanie. But for some reason, something in my life just didn't feel right. I felt all of a sudden EXTREMELY emotional and I just called Matt right then and there and I just cried. About everything. What was I doing in life? What was my purpose? (Spoiler alert - I still ask him these questions, LOL!) Why did I even move to Jacksonville? Why aren't these programs at the college ever accepting me? Just everything you could think of. He, as always, calmed me down and made me feel so much better. We talked that night until about 3 AM. I found out later, that Stephanie died somewhere between 2 AM - 6 AM (I know, pretty large radius there). I am totally a believer in the Good Lord above, and know that He works in the craziest of ways and I honestly think this was apart of his plan. Not Stephanie leaving us so soon, but re-placing Matt into my life at this exact moment. Literally. The moments she took her last breathe, Matt was re-entering my life. We promised to keep in touch more often, and I went to work the next morning, It was a Sunday, and in the restaurant business that's an insane day. He texted me "Hope you're feeling better today :)" (Before emojis were a thing) and I texted back : "Matt, my best friend just died." Later that day I bought one of Steph and I's close friends a plane ticket from Jersey so she could be here. I had to pick her up at the Orlando airport that night. I needed Matt. I picked him up for dinner and we ate and sat and I asked him to talk to me about absolutely anything else because I just wasn't even ready to admit what was happening, actually was happening yet. So he told me all about how him and his girlfriend broke up, and how he's moving home after paramedic school to go to fire school at our local college. It was like a breathe of fresh air, being with him. It was like our stars were aligning, and I know this is all sounding so cheesy right now but I'm serious, he entered my life again at the exact moment I needed him. I went to drop him back off at his friends house so I could head to the airport, and y'all like a true Nicholas Sparks type novel, it started pouring down rain. He drove my car to and from the restaurant because I'm TERRIBLE with direction (that's still the same) and also terrible in Orlando traffic at 5 PM (FUN!!) So we had to switch seats. We stopped, in front of the headlights of my car, in the pouring rain, and he just hugged me so tight. It was like he was putting figurative pieces of my heart back together with that hug. I can't help but cry writing this point of the story, because wow. I literally feel like this is the exact definition of a rainbow after every storm. And I was getting mine... LITERALLY. A couple weeks later, Matt and I were talking every single day all day at this point, and I woke up to this on my ceiling :
I had to take a picture instantly without moving too swiftly and scaring it away. I knew nobody would believe me if I didn't! You guys, if this isn't God's work then I REALLY don't know what is. The TINIEST hint of light from a broken blind on my window was hitting a cd on my nightstand just perfectly, and created this. Somewhere around this point Matt and I FINALLY confessed our love to each other, because was there really any other reason not to? Yes, I was in Jax and he was back home, but that didn't even matter at this point. I had my rainbow.
The storm was finally ending.
Join me next #tbt for the final segment of The Story Of Us!