I was exhausted. I did my best to go to bed as soon as possible without being rude, but I still ended up listening to the book my grandpa was reading aloud and having ice cream, and talking to them before I succeeded in getting off to bed. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them that evening. Maybe I could do it in the morning. I went to make up my cot for the night.
I texted SM to say goodnight and to thank him for taking me to tour the gardens and for the dinner; and he said he was glad we could spend the time together.
Then my mom texted me, asking how my day was, and I told her all about it. I still had no idea whether I should tell her about this whole issue, but if I was, I wanted her to at least be prepared. And she was already expressing a bit of impatience with SM because we were not engaged. She kind of needed to at least know that. I would probably end up having to tell her. I just said that hopefully we could talk tomorrow and decided to pray about it. And then I went to brush my teeth and get ready for bed. And I prayed, and read a bunch of psalms, and bits of Paul’s epistles, and prayed more, and cried a lot. I began to think I’d end up not falling asleep at all, but just keeping vigil, and praying and thinking stuff over. But eventually I did fall asleep. I had an awful dream – that there was something else he had not told me about, and I found out in a very unsettling way. But when I woke up (far too early in the morning), I could comfort myself that I almost certainly knew the very worst about him, and I could really trust him completely. Not only could I trust him as much as I would anyone else, but maybe even more.
But I had to tell my grandma before SM came to pick me up in the late morning. It was very hard, but eventually I got it out, and my grandma gave me hugs and comforting words and questions, and there were some more tears I couldn’t squelch back. And she told my grandpa for me, and he was super nice about it too. And they said they’d be happy to talk to him, if he wanted to do that. Oh yes, I told them, he did. Yes, I would tell them when would be a good time for our talk.
Actually, I did have a pretty nice morning, considering all the emotion and drama. At least, between all of that stuff. I was able to separate the Drama and Sadness parts of the morning from the parts that made up an ordinary cozy winter morning at my grandparents. I had some of my grandpa’s excellent coffee, and sat in my grandma’s rocking chair with a snuggly blanket. SM came to pick me up at ten thirty, and he brought me a beautiful bouquet.
“I just realized I haven’t got you flowers in a while,” he said.
Which was all it took to make it clear that it was a “just because” gift, maybe a little out of sympathy, but with good intentions - no ulterior motives. I was very touched.
My mom texted me again on the way to his family’s house, and I told her I might have some unsavoury news later on. Because if I was going to end up telling her, I wanted her to have some advance notice. But it probably wasn’t a good idea, all in all. I told her I was on my way to SM’s, and I couldn’t discuss stuff ‘til the evening.
SM and I had a lovely day. We decorated his house for Christmas along with his sister and her fiancé, and we made gingerbread houses, and had hot chocolate.
That’s pretty much all. Before we went to talk to my grandparents, I told him that I always wanted to be on his side – whatever I could do to help with his dragon-fighting, I would. And I told him how much I admired him for his courage in facing the dragons, and for being open and honest with me.
And it’s so true, I was in awe of his bravery and straightforwardness then, and the more I research this issue, and the more I understand about the men and women that battle it, the more my respect and admiration grows. I am extremely blessed to have been told instead of finding out, and to have been told before we were engaged or even married. He’s one in a billion.