*Caution: The following post is a love story. Please advise.
For Cait, who asked
This is the story of Scott and Lori.
It's not going to rhyme the whole time.
Ok. So, it all started (sort of) two and half years ago in the rainy island of Great Britain...
I was one of four leaders taking 31 kids to Scotland on a TMI mission trip. TMI (Teen Missions Int'l) has a strict rule of no pairing off. That means no boy/girl exclusive relationships as well as girl/girl or boy/boy best friend type relationships. Scott was just a wee Scottish lad who was an avid disregarder of that particular rule. To make a long story short, he and I didn't have much reason to develop a friendship. He was the troublemaker; I was the leader.
However, his younger brother, Pete (who was also a disregarder of this rule but perhaps not as much as Scott) and I were a little better friends and kept in contact a little bit over the next few years. Sometimes I'd talk to Scott, too, over Instant Messenger, but let's be honest. After two years, and having barely known either of them, I really didn't know which one I was talking to when.
Well, I decided this past summer to go Wales to work with one of the Teen Challenge groups there and decided to visit Scotland again while I was there. Scott, Pete, and I started talking a lot more, and they both agreed to be my friends while I was visiting. I started to differentiate the two just a bit in my head.
They picked me up at the airport, and the rest of my two weeks in Scotland was spent alternating between hanging out with them and their friends, and with the other Scottish friends I'd made before. One night, while lying in bed, I found myself thinking about Scott in a rather fond way. I was shocked. "What am I thinking about Scott for?" I wondered. Still, every time I closed my eyes, I saw Scott with his long hair covering his face. For the next few days I became embarrassed to do anything with him. I was afraid to call him to go hang out, or see him, or sit with him at church, etc. We went to a museum together (and I had a huge zit and was self-conscious about it the entire time). I wondered if he liked me, too. I was pretty sure he did. I just didn't know if I really liked him. I somewhat expected him to try to hold my hand, but alas he never did.
Anyway, I went to Wales after that and thought about him a lot. We emailed each other back and forth every day. Any time one of us checked our email and did not see an email from the other, we were devestated. We signed our emails according to how the other had signed his or her email. "Love, Lori" resulted in a "Scott xx".
I returned to Scotland after my trip to Wales and stayed with the McFarlanes, Scott's family. He picked me up at the airport (alone this time) and we spent the day together with a couple of friends. The following Monday, Scott and I went out for a walk through the hills at Cornalees. Again, I waited for him to take my hand. I refused to make any moves myself. "If he's a man, he will do it" was my reasoning. We flirted a lot and sat close to each other when we took walking breaks. We hesitated by a brook covered by trees to play with stones. We played Pooh Sticks at a rickety bridge. We climbed to the top of the hill overlooking Greenock in the midst of lush green grasses and sheep. Nothing. We began our decline when somehow our fingers interlocked. Neither of us know how that happened. All I knew was suddenly whatever I was saying didn't matter and I didn't even know what I was talking about anyway. We held hands and didn't mention it the rest of the day. We went back to his house and sat close on the couch while hanging out with his family. We were flirty.
But this didn't feel good to me. I didn't like not knowing his intentions. Did he really like me? Or was this to him some sort of summer fun? I realized that if this was going to happen, we both had to be really serious about our intentions because it would result in a painful long distance relationship. One night, Scott and some friends of his and I rented a movie. Feeling moody, I left in the middle to retire to my room. I laid down on my bed in the dark feeling unhappy. Moments later, Scott knocked on my door. He came in, laid down next to me, and we talked. He told me he was serious. I told him I was, too. We talked about committment and what all this would mean and what it would be like. We both wanted to try it.
So that resulted in a subsequent painful five months. For five months we didn't see each other. We nearly broke up several times. I didn't know what it was gonna be like to see him again. All I knew was that he was incredibly sweet, and I doubted I deserved (or wanted) so much.
Two weeks before he came out to visit me in America in December, I had a realization. I realized I loved him. This realization came to me as a shock and a joy. Suddenly I felt released to love him fully, as I'd been afraid to do before. Scott experienced the same sort of thing at about the same time. I decided I wanted him to tell me he loved me while he was here.
But it wasn't enough. Being with Scott again was fantastic. I was thrilled by his company. I enjoyed him so much. When he told me he loved me, I was beside myself. But the next day I wasn't happy at all. "What's that supposed to mean?" I wondered. Did he just love me? Or did he really truly love me? And if he really truly loved me, that meant he ought to love me forever. Love never fails, Paul said. It doesn't end. So suddenly, just being loved wasn't enough.
Well, we went to my parents' house over the weekend, and we watched "Father of the Bride". During the movie we made little jokes like "Are you gonna make me do that?" and "Would you want a big dress or a plain dress", etc. It made me sad. What did this mean? We took a walk, and I was moody. Scott kept asking what was wrong, but I wouldn't say. I wanted him to figure it out himself! Well, by the time the walk was nearly over I realized he wasn't going to figure it out on his own so I told him what I'd been thinking about love. He stopped and looked me in the eyes. "When I said I love you, I meant I love you properly." He explained that that meant he was devoted to me and loved me the way the Bible says we should love. I asked if that meant he wanted to love me forever. "Yes. I want to marry you." With that, I broke down and started crying. Scott was unbelievably confused. He thought he'd said something wrong. But the truth is, I couldn't believe he loved me so much. I'd never really been loved like that. Scott was so sure of his feelings, so confident in his love for me. I cried during the rest of the walk. That weekend we decided to get married for sure and called ourselves "secretly fianced." The secret remained because Scott wanted to first ask my dad for my hand. So we kept it relatively secret for about a month. We ended up telling my dad early because we felt guilty leaving him out of everything, when both of Scott's parents knew and my mom knew (because of my big mouth.)
So here we are. Engaged. I'll be back in Scotland for Spring Break and hopefully after that everything will be completely officialized (i.e., ring).
I probably left out some juicy details but that's the long gist of it. I love Scott McFarlane very much. He loves me that much, too.