A difficult conversation followed my meeting with the bishop. (Read that first sentence alone, out of context, haha!) I told Alex that I had chosen to go on a mission. We talked extensively, and kept in touch a little as the summer progressed.
Late in the summer, I brilliantly decided that Alex and I should never speak to one another again. I felt bad that I could never love him back that way, and I wanted him to move on. So we had a conversation in which I basically told him goodbye and that we had to stop communicating. I tactfully explained that it was not because I did not want to be friends, but because I did not want to keep hurting him. Here is a secret. There is not a tactful way to tell someone you think you should stop speaking to them.
So, the dearest, sweetest man in the world obeyed my wishes, as he always does, and stopped communicating with me. I left for the MTC in September, and I arrived in Hawaii in October. Soon thereafter I began to learn about real love. I learned that there is a type of love that is so deep that it lasts beyond this life, and that it is easily cultivated in personal relationships when we serve others. As this important truth began to sink in, I realized that there was a person in my life with whom I would like to cultivate such a love.
There was a person who always got my jokes, and whose jokes I always understood. There was a person who was a clear and obvious answer to all of those prayers I had been saying since I was nine years old. In those prayers I begged that I could find someone to marry who would never leave me. I asked God to send an angel to club me over the head when it was right. Irritatingly, in the middle of missionary personal study one morning, I realized something as clearly as if an angel had told me. I realized that the person was Alex, and I realized that I must marry that magnificent specimen of manliness shortly after I returned home.
Meanwhile, Alex, sick to death of mourning a big Ninny, was fasting one Sunday in November that he could please at least meet the person whom he was to marry. He was home at the time, and when he returned to his apartment at school, what should he find on the counter but a pride-swallowing letter from me beginning thus, "Dear Alex, I know you are probably wondering..."
We wrote for the rest of my mission.
We were married within 90 days of my return from Hawaii.
Since that time, we have been very, very busy, and very, very happy.
And I love him today more than I ever have.