Our Love Story: Part 13

1-Master Bedroom

Here’s the thing about this love story of ours. It’s long. And drawn out. And mushy gushy. And even a bit cheesy. But it’s true. And I’ve decided to take my time writing it, capturing all the special details of those moments I never want to forget. So if mushy-gushy, cheesy love stories aren’t your thing, I totally get that.  Just know that I’m writing this as a gift—to my family, and my children, and their children—and also, for Ben and me—so that on those days when the kids are screaming, the laundry is overflowing and the bills are rolling in…on those days when it all just seems so hard, we’ll have this to remind us of those first moments when we fell in love. And if sappy, detail ridden love stories are your thing, well then you’ve come to the right place. All previous chapters can be found here.

***

It was 1:29 pm, and I had been pacing through my apartment for the past half hour in anxious anticipation of his 1:30 call. Rachel would be home from class any minute to give me a ride to the airport for our final goodbye.  She knew not to be late. This was too important.

I watched as the numbers on the clock changed to 1:30.
On cue, Rachel walked through the front door from class.
But my phone didn’t ring.

She looked at me with eye brows raised.
Her face was asking me if he had called yet.

Me: Not yet.
She shrugged.
Rachel: He will.

I started pacing again.
Each minute that passed felt like an eternity.
1:42

Rachel: Is your phone on silent?
Me: Nope. I already checked a thousand times.
Rachel: Hmm. Well, maybe his flight was delayed?
Me: Nope. I checked that too. He is scheduled to board the plane in 30 minutes.
Rachel: Well that doesn’t give you much time.
Me: I know…
Rachel: And why aren’t we already on our way to the airport???
Me: Because I’m supposed to wait for his call.  He is waiting for his family to leave first…so it isn’t…awkward.
Rachel grumbled something under her breath.
I kept pacing.
The silence was deafening.

2:04
Rachel: Well we can’t just stand around here doing nothing. Come on.
Then she picked up her keys and headed for the door.
Me: What are you doing? Where are you going?
My voice was unusually high, a little frantic.
Rachel: I’m taking you to the airport.
Me: But…what about…
She cut me off.
Rachel: We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Now come’on. 

***

Rachel and I were silent on the 2 mile drive to the airport.
The Santa Barbara airport was exceptionally small and I knew there was a good chance I would be able to see his plane on the runnway as we pulled into the parking lot.

I was glued to the window.
Nervous.
Anxious.
And sad.

We pulled into the parking lot at 2:15 and I could see a single plane on the runway in the distance.
The stairs leading into the plane were still down and the hatch was open, but I couldn’t see anyone boarding.

Maybe he hasn’t gotten on the plane yet.
Maybe there’s still a chance.
Oh wait, maybe his brothers still here.
And why hasn’t he called me yet?

I was already talking myself out of going inside to find him when Rachel snapped me out of my daze.
Rachel: You’re doing this. No excuses.
Me: But what if…
Rachel: No what ifs! It doesn’t matter. Now go.
She pulled up to a spot next to the entrance and motioned for me to get out.
Me: Aren’t you coming?
Rachel: I’ll be right behind you. Get a head start while I park. Go–

I opened the door with some reluctance and slowly stepped out of the car.  As I began to look towards the entrance I couldn’t help but catch the license plate frame of the car we had pulled up next to.

It read: Serendipity.

And just like that,
I had the courage I needed to walk into that airport.
It was a sign.
It was serendipity.

I sprinted up to the entrance and reached for the double doors…
Locked.
Wait. No. This couldn’t be possible.
It wasn’t even 3:00 yet.
I pressed my face against the glass and read a sign placed just inside the doorway:
Terminal Closed, Please Use Other Entrance

Uggh.
I was looking around frantically for another entrance when Rachel ran up.
Rachel: What’s going on?
I pointed to the sign.
Rachel: Are you kidding me? Well, there’s got to be another door around here somewhere.

We started sprinting down the outdoor corridor,
eyes peeled for a secondary entrance.
I picked up my pace when I spotted another set of doubles doors just ahead.
I reached the doors with Rachel at my heels.
I grabbed both handles and yanked them as yard as I could.

They didn’t budge.

Rachel pointed to the bulging chain and padlock wrapped around the bottom of each handle from inside.
My eyes began to fill with tears as I began pulling at the door handles again with all my strength.
Rachel: Ash, it’s ok.  Ash, they’re locked. You can stop now.
But I didn’t stop.
I kept pulling. And pulling. And pulling.
Willing the doors to open and give me a different outcome to this heartbreaking day.

Just as the tears were about to fall to my cheeks, I looked up to see a slightly disgruntled security guard rushing towards the door.
I knew that in that moment I was probably making the “watch out for this crazy girl” national security watch list,
but I didn’t care.

I was still jolting the handles when he pulled a large key ring from his belt loop,
selected a key and began to open the padlock and unwrap the large chains.
It was taking an eternity for him to get the door open,
and just over his shoulder
through the back window
I could spot that lone plane still sitting on the runway.
Stairs still down, hatch still open.

I was practically jumping up and down when he pulled the last part of chain from the handles and pushed the door open.

Guard: So what can I help you eager ladies with today?
He was annoyed, clearly.
Me: We need to see someone who should be boarding the flight to Denver at any moment. It’s important.
Guard: It’s alllllways important.
Me: But this really is.
Guard: Well, I’m sorry but the flight has already boarded.
And he started to close the door.
Me: WAIT!
He stopped in his tracks. Startled. Surprised.
Guard: Excuse me?
Me: I mean, wait please?
And with that, the expression on his face softened. I could see he was becoming intrigued.
Guard: Ok young lady, what could be so important that you would be willing to make yourself a security threat.

Oh boy, how was I going to explain this to him?
There wasn’t enough time to tell him about our last week of romance.
About our perfect first date and that unforgettable first kiss.
About the feelings I had never felt before in my life.
About how a part of me knew this love was different.
This love could be forever.
And I was so scared this forever love may be getting on that plane and flying out of my life forever.
No, there wasn’t time to explain all that to him.
But he needed to understand why this mattered.

Me: Okay…here’s the thing.  If you let me get a message to someone special on that plane you may be forever changing the course of history as we know it. This guy could be the ONE.  And if I let him go without saying goodbye, then I may never know.

Yep, I really said those exact words–as is evidenced by the journal entry I wrote only an hour later.
And it worked.

I watched as his heart softened.
Because we all love a cheesy chic flick–especially when they become real life.

Guard: Alright, alright.  I’ll see what I can do. The chances are slim though. Give me your note.

My heart leaped into my throat.

Me: Really?!!
Guard: Hurry, before I change my mind.

And that’s when I realized that I didn’t have a note.
I hadn’t prepared for this scenario.
Hadn’t imagined it would go quite like this.
I didn’t even have my purse.

Me: Uh…Uh….Just a minute…
Rachel was digging in her purse and I was searching my pockets even though I knew they were empty.
Rachel: HERE!
She handed me a tiny scrap of paper…it was an old receipt…and a chewed up pencil.
It would have to do.

I quickly scribbled my note onto the back of the receipt and handed it to the patient security guard.
Me: PLEASE. Whatever it takes.
Guard: I can’t make any promises.

He shoved the note into his pocked, shut the door, spent way too long re-wrapping the chain around the handles, and walked off through a door inside the building…not in the direction of the plane.

I looked at Rachel and shrugged.
Me: There’s no way he’s getting that note on the plane is there?
Rachel: I’m guessing not. It looks more like he’s taking a coffee break.
I just stared. Off in the distance. At the plan sitting on the runway. At the empty stairs and the open hatch.

I couldn’t be here any longer.
I couldn’t watch that plane fly away.
Fly out of my life forever.
So I turned and headed toward the car.
Rachel: You tried Ash–you tried.
Me: But it wasn’t enough. 

And just like that, my Summer love had come to an end.

***

Read this chapter from Ben’s point of view here.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Comments

  1. Haleigh Barrett says:

    I cannot believe this story. It’s real, and it has the happiest ending! You are so blessed Ashley. Honestly, I just want to say congratulations on the best love story ever!

    <3 Haleigh

  2. OMGosh! I haven’t even read it yet but thank you for posting today! I spent the night in the ER with the sister missionaries in my ward because one is sick and the other can’t speak much english yet they needed someone to go with them. I needed something good today since I’m running on like no sleep and nannying twins who are two. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for being a bright spot today!

  3. jessica says:

    love love love love love. i check everyday to see if the next part of the story is posted….don’t keep us waiting so long! :)

  4. I adore your love story!! And I can’t wait to hear the next part!!!

  5. Ashely, you’re killing me! This is the cutest love story ever, but you have taken almost two years to describe one week of it! But who am I kidding, I’ll be back for every episode. :)

  6. You should post a picture of the note! Love reliving this story. xoxo Mom

  7. YES!!! I totally spent an hour last night reading all the other parts so I was so happy to see you added the next part today!! I’m IN LOVE with your story. a little too obsessed with it ;) can’t wait to read the next!

  8. This so exciting (has anyone ever told you that you should try and get this made into a movie?!) By the way, did you guys ever find out who that car with the SERENDIPITY license plate?

  9. I love mushy gushy stories – have a few of my own! Gonna have to read the rest of your story now!!

  10. Cheyenne says:

    I am totally glued to my computer with each new “love story” you write… and like the sappy romantic I am, I am “hoping” that the girl gets the guy (even though I already know she does!!!!) I love that you will have this story forever to share with your boys!!!!

  11. This is the greatest love story of all time! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  12. I love, love, love your story! It is so honest and beautiful! I’m so jealous that I don’t have a story like this to tell. :)

  13. Jessica says:

    Finally!!!!!!! Give us more!

  14. AH! I commented on your last two chapters & I can’t tell you how much I love falling in love with your love story with Ben! I read your blog every time you have a post up, and today, I have to say this made my awesome day even better! Every time I read each of these chapters I’m balling my eyes out & saying, “Oh my goodness stop it this is just too cute!” :) When really, I don’t want you to stop sharing this with us and allow us to cry tears of joy with you as you recount these memories! It warms my heart to know there’s definitely true love! I’m ALL for mushy gushy! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Love this! Always am so excited for the next part of the story, dreaming/hoping/praying that my love story will have just an oz of excitement and love as yours does! Seriously though, you live in Cali….you have to know someone in the Movie Biz!! This would make the sweetest movie! Also wondering though if you have since attempted to find the security guard or flight attendant and let them know that they were an integral part of your destiny!?

  16. Brooke BB says:

    Oh man! Don’t leave us hanging again! You are expert story teller.

  17. Shirley says:

    I just love reading your love story. Thank you for sharing and God Bless.

  18. Kathryn says:

    What? I’ve been following your blog forever, but haven’t read your love story till today. I started with the most recent post and then was on to part one. I feel like I just got to watch a whole season of my favorite show in one sitting, but now I have to wdit for the next season. I was smiling, giggling and tearing up through each part. The what is for “what? I have to wait for the next part??? This story just warmed my heart. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait for more!

  19. AHHHH, I cannot believe you BOTH saw the Serendipity license plate! I mean, that is something else :) I love reading this and thank you for taking the time to share with us!!!

  20. I can’t remember how exactly I came across your blog. It might have been via craft.. I love your writing and how honest you are in your writing. I love your love story. It’s so cinematic and sweet. You are so lucky to have that kind of story, your own not from a book or a movie. Thank you for sharing your stories and your heart. I admire you for that. Pray that your days are filled with laughter, kisses and hugs, always.

  21. That is just so sad :(. I can’t even imagine how you had to feel in that moment. I’m so happy I at least know the ending and its a great one :)
    Can’t wait to read more!!

  22. Your story is so beautiful, I literally cried like 3 times while reading it….at work….

  23. I used to read romance novel’s like it was my job and this is by far the most riveting, heartwarming, sweetest, most beautiful love story I have ever read! Thank you so much for sharing! The idea that it is completely real makes it all the more meaningful and lovely. I see so many similarities between your story and my own story with my current boyfriend (and I am convinced to-be-my-future-husband) and reading this has been so encouraging! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Please do not keep us waiting long for the next part!

  24. I just read your story up u til now and am hoping that you will write more shortly. You have encouraged me to write my husband’s and my love story. Thank you for inspiring that.

    Ps. Serendipity is my favorite movie too :)

  25. Sooo….what next?!

  26. This is the cutest thing I have ever read and I hope there is more!! I can’t wait to read it!!

  27. I just read ALL the parts of your love story and I am dying for the next installment! PLEASE write more!! This is like a real life movie and I am addicted…to a strangers life. Haha whatever. This is so precious, keep writing!

  28. Please write the next part? It has been over 2 months… This should be a movie!!!!

    • Seriously! I just ran across this blog today and have read the whole story! I need the ending (even though I know how it ends!)

  29. I just read all the chapters that are posted… you made me cry! That good, awesome cry you get when you see something so perfect you just don’t know what to do about it, so tears start streaming down your face? Yeah. That kind of cry. It is absolutely beautiful – it makes me want to write out my love story! You write it so beautifully – its like we are all there, in the moment with you! Thank you for sharing your story – it is a treasure for sure!

  30. I’ve read all the chapters at least five times! I might actually die if the next chapter doesn’t come out soon. I check every day to see if you’ve posted it. I hope I have a love story like this to share one day. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Ashley,

    this is beautiful and has inspired me to write the love story of my husband and I and put it in a scrapbook!!
    thank you for sharing. Can’t wait for the next chapters:)

  32. Please post a new chapter soon! :)

  33. Please post the next chapter!! I’m SO excited to read the rest of the story!

  34. Rebecca London says:

    A beautiful love story, a beautiful young lady, and a beautiful family. God Bless

  35. I loved your story so much – I read all the chapters in one sitting and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next chapter!!

  36. I love your blog and love seeing your little family grow. I cannot wait to read the next chapter of your love story. You are a special couple!

  37. Your story is absolutely adorable, and your writing is amazing. You could actually make a novel out of it, I know I would buy it!
    I hope you will be posting another chapter! I am seriously dying to know the rest of the story. I love the detail you put into it, and you two have the relationship all 19 year old girls like myself hope to have one day.

  38. Who doesn’t LOVE a good love story!? We need the rest!

  39. Is there more? If so I want to read it! You’re an amazingly talented writer! Thank you for sharing!

  40. You my dear are a fantastic writer. I adored every second of reading this intimate part of your life. I am dying to read more. Your writing is so real and inspired. The Serendipity reference was awe-inspiring. I crave for more details of your love story turned into reality. I’m definitely staying tuned.

  41. So found you from lunch pails and lipstick and just spent all morning reading your amazing love story!!! I need more! Did he call you after the flight? Who moved where? You are an amazing writer! Thanks for sharing!

  42. Oh my goodness I need to know the rest!!!!!

  43. This is a true fairy tale love story even though we know the outcome my heart races with every new obstacle. This could be an awesome movie. Looking forward to the rest!
    Ps. Thank you Lunch Pails and Lipstick for leading me to your blog!

  44. You are officially on my bookmark tab..cannot wait for more! You’re a great writer.

  45. Please give us more!!!!

  46. More!! Please!! Just beautiful xx

  47. Christine Zamudio says:

    I keep checking everyday, just waiting for the next chapter!!! I’m dying here, it has been too long!

  48. More?! Please?!?

  49. When will the next chapter be out?!?! I’m constantly checking all the time because it’s just so beautiful and need to know what happens next! :)

  50. Please ma’am, I want some more! I seriously check every other week, hoping for more. This is my favorite.

  51. So need more of this! It’s literally the best. :)

    xo, rn

  52. Jennifer says:

    You really know how to leave a girl on the edge of her seat! What happened next?!

  53. Marianne says:

    8 months is too long to leave us hanging!

  54. Im sitting in class trying to make time pass by and this love story was more than just a preoccupation. This is one of the sweetest most unique love stories I’ve ever read. I felt like I was reading a Jane Austen novel and couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter every time it ended. Thank you so much for sharing such a big piece of your life with strangers. Your truly gifted in the way you write and I feel like I know you now :)
    Once again thank you for being awesome!!!!

  55. Chelseyadele says:

    OMG I have been anxiously waiting for the next chapter for the last year! Dieing to know how you reconnected and met back up. :) Please don’t keep me waiting much longer!

  56. Please continue this story!!! I love it and have been checking back for MONTHS!!! :) xoxo

  57. I love your love story. Please share soon! We miss this!

  58. More please!! :) this is the cutest!

  59. More please!! Its been almost a year!!

  60. whens the next chapter??? I wanna know what happened next

  61. PLEASEEEEE give us more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. I’m in love with your love story and can’t wait for the next chapter! I’ve been following and reading your blog for a few years now and I just think you are amazing and have such a gift and talent with words and how you express yourself.

  63. Courtney says:

    I will secretly admit that I frequently check to see if you have updated your story! I can’t wait to read the rest of it! :)

  64. Gabriela says:

    Ok seriously, I can’t wait to read more!!!! Your boys are going to love reading it, what a treasure! :)

  65. I check this once every 2 weeks hoping you’ve updated… More please? This is more frustrating than waiting for the next Harry Potter was. Haha

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