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The Longest 12 Days

After our dramatic goodbye, the next few weeks went quickly. As always, the summer went by faster than I wanted, but at least this time there was a positive side: when I went back to school, I would be 3 and a half hours closer to Jacob than when I was in Clovis. But first, we would have to endure almost two weeks of no contact.

The previous semester I had applied for a position at APU as an “Alpha Leader”. Alpha Leaders led a group of Freshmen through their first semester at APU. We met with our group weekly to talk about different issues that they might face as they began a new stage of their life at college. But, before I could officially be a leader, I had to be trained. So, we were required to move to APU two weeks before school actually started so that we could go through a training program called “Bridges” (which I eventually re-named ‘Fat Camp’ due to the lack of good food and the insane amount of walking we did each day). All we knew about the training was that we would be going to San Francisco, that we were not allowed to bring makeup, and that cell phones (and other technology) were strictly prohibited. The last two aspects of the trip seemed like they might cause the world to end.

The thought of not being able to communicate with Jacob for 12 days was scary since our relationship was so new. I knew I was going to miss him, and I worried that he wouldn’t miss me.

The day before I had to be back at APU for the training, I packed (and by packed I mean I shoved my belongings into every crevice) my little, red Honda Civic to the brim and made the drive from Clovis to Azusa. Jacob met me at my new apartment to help me move the heap of stuff that was crammed into my baby car into my new place. It was so good to be close to him. We had talked every day we were apart, but I missed his hugs. That day we did very little unpacking because we knew we only had a few hours together before we would have no contact for 12 days. Twelve. Days.

Before he left to go back to San Diego that night, he not so slyly shoved a wad of something into the front pocket of my suitcase. Before I could ask him what he was doing, he said, “Just don’t look in there until tomorrow.” I grudgingly agreed and we said goodbye… again.

The next morning I boarded a 15-passenger van and made the trek to San Francisco. When we finally arrived and unloaded our suitcases, my number one priority was to grab the mystery wad and take it to a private place. There were people everywhere and definitely no such thing as a “private” place. So, with people all around me, I reached into my bag and pulled out a stack of cards tied neatly with a lime green ribbon. The first card said, “Day One”. I opened it. “The subject of each day’s letter will be one of the 12 reasons why I wanted you to be my girlfriend.”

My eyes welled up with tears and just as they were about to spill over, I felt people looking over my shoulder.

“What’s that?” Kim asked.

To be continued…

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