After going so long without seeing Will, and a Paris engagement to Channing, I didn’t think much about the answer to prayer I received back when I dated Will the first time--when I asked God if he was the one. It seemed premature and forward thinking at the time, but I was dying to know.
As I knelt on my bed that Sunday afternoon, my heart raced as I spoke with my Heavenly Father because I feared I wouldn’t get the answer I wanted. My heart nearly stopped when I got an immediate answer. I wasn’t expecting that. But to my delight, I clearly felt like yes, Will and I would get married someday. I could have bet my life on it; I was that sure. Afraid of jinxing it, I didn’t tell a soul.
Yes, I managed to tuck that prayer away deep—how else can I explain why I didn’t jump back into Will’s arms when he made the “I love you” phone call all that time later?
But here I was back in Rexburg, ID, unengaged to Channing—once and for all, and talking on the phone everyday to Will who was at school down in Provo, UT. It wasn’t long before I caught a ride to UT with some roommates so that I could see him for a weekend.
When he walked in the door to the place we were staying at, my nerves paralyzed me. I’m sure we hugged, but then I sat on the couch adjacent to him and simply admired his brown summer skin against his blonde hair and striking smile. He looked amazing. Some of my roommates were there, too, chatting like crazy and not at all bashful.
Before long he left, and I spent a sleepless night thinking about how good it was to see him again, giving myself a mental pep talk about how I wasn’t going to be nervous when I saw him again the next day. I also tried to ignore the miserable sinus infection I had. I was really, really sick.
We spent the next morning horseback riding with my roommates. I got a kick out of Will’s cowboy getup. We saddled up on a horse named J.H. I loved holding on to Will from behind. And he didn’t act at all disgusted when I had to constantly blow my nose. After horseback riding, we got changed and went out for the afternoon and evening, just us. We crammed as much as we could into our day:
Italian food. Go carting. A movie. He showed me his place. We drove by his work. Window shopping. And a drive through a ritzy neighborhood to admire the fancy houses.
“You ready to pretend to be my wife and look inside these homes?” he asked.
“Yes, of course.” I said, loving every minute of his humor.
Next stop was Bridal Veil Falls. I’d never been to this signature destination of Provo. It was raining out, and so we carried a blanket over our heads and he put his arm around me. (Eeeek!) And then it was late and time to say goodbye again. Luckily, we didn’t have to say goodbye for long. He came to see me the following weekend.
The Rexburg weather was squelching hot when he arrived—perfect for flirty water fights.
One afternoon we went to a barbecue and then played ultimate Frisbee beneath a rainbow as Rexburg cooled off with a summer rain shower. He asked me if he could hold my hand while we watched Tuck Everlasting. It felt so good after all those years, even if our hands were a little shaky. Every evening, we’d walk up to the baseball field to lay in the grass and talk. Like children, we’d get into wrestling matches and see who could stuff the most grass down the others’ throat. Eventually we’d tire out and just lay there with our heads close. On his last evening there, we found ourselves up at the baseball field again. It was just us on that huge field under the stadium’s evening lights.
“I brought you up here to kiss you,” he said. “But now I’m too scared.”
But he must not have been that scared.
I was the first girl he’d ever kissed.
It was the best weekend and entirely too short. We said goodbye and then I flew home to Germany for another summer and he went home to Washington. It was a long summer as I counted the days until he would come to visit.
I loved how he came to Germany in the summer because I especially adore my hometown when it’s warm outside. We got to take evening walks along the Neckar River, hand in hand. As a girl, I’d always dreamed of doing that with my fiancé one day.
We walked the Hauptstrasse, and then hiked the 300-odd steps up to the castle ruins. We dressed up in German clothes and took pictures in the vineyards. He took me to his old stomping grounds from when he served a mission in Germany. We saw more castles. We went camping with my family in Garmisch. He listened to me play the piano.
I remember how my parents loved him. My mom especially loved the thank you letter he wrote to them at the end of his stay:
Dear Brother and Sister Allred,
I want to express my gratitude to you for allowing me to stay with your family the last three weeks. I am sure that it was not the easiest thing in the world to have an extra person staying at your house. The full extent of the sacrifice to have me stay with your family is not clear to me, but I am extremely grateful for all that you have done. Through the generosity and kindness of your family, I have enjoyed myself tremendously and felt very comfortable.
From being back in my mission, it has brought scriptures to mind, and one of those is that you shall know whether something is good by their fruit. With that said, I want you to know how impressed I am with your family. Through knowing Marie, I have developed my understanding of many godly virtues, and I knew that her family was a large reason for who she is today. I have found that to be more accurate than I expected because I love your family and the way that you both have raised them in righteousness.
I would like to finish my letter off by saying that I love Germany, the mission that I served here, your family, and especially Marie. Thank you for helping to make it possible to be with her again. I know that the last sentence can be interpreted in many ways, and I would like you to know that I mean every one of them. Thanks for this unforgettable and wonderful time.
P.S. Here is 20 Euros for another enjoyable family ice-cream trip or whatever. :)