We journey back in time and find ourselves in the year 2006. Richie and I had been dating for almost a year and going strong.
It was our junior year of high school and we were able to attend his winter formal, two JROTC dances, and our junior prom. In those days, I wasn't much for wearing dresses, but I really loved the Chinese style gowns that I got, and I'm sure my parents appreciated how inexpensive they were. Richie and I weren't really the dancing types (still aren't, really), but we had fun. I still laugh about how awkward our prom pictures turned out. Not sure if I still have them, so you'll have to take my word for it.
Things were good...except for the ever present tick-tock of the looming clock. Our time together was limited.
My dad has been in the Air Force my entire life, so packing up and moving on was normal, although it got harder to do as I got older. This was the hardest move for me. I don't remember exactly when I was told that we'd be leaving--I think it was about 9 months after Richie and I had started dating--but I remember being crushed. I had friends, a church that I liked, a boyfriend that I loved...I didn't want to leave, but at 16, I didn't really have an option, despite what people tried to tell me.
We were moving from Arizona to West Virginia. I wasn't thrilled. Richie was even less thrilled. I didn't know what this move would mean for us, all I could see was limited time. We decided not to break up and see where things led. If time and distance proved too difficult, we would make that decision later. Instead, we decided to spend what time we could together.
It's funny to think that what I thought was possibly the end was truly just the beginning.