Skipping to the Good Parts…

(Because I can and because, predictably, I’ve gotten bored with the project. I’m skipping around with the transcription. The “I Love You” anniversary is coming up, which makes me want to talk about it and get to that part of the transcription.)

(So, a synopsis…partly for brevity’s sake and partly because I’ve discovered the chat transcripts end with July. ๐Ÿ™ Makes me sad. Jared may have them stashed away on one of his ancient computers, but for now, I don’t have them. Here’s the short version: )

(Jared and I talked through July and August 2003. Things were as serious as internet dating can be without actually having met someone in person. I was head over heels and hadn’t even met Jared yet. )

(Meanwhile, Jared was in the process of moving from Lincoln to Grinnell, as he’d gotten a new job. ย Here’s an excerpt of the email I wrote him the week he moved: )

From: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
To: <J’s Email>
Subject: > : D <
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 22:54:14 -0400

…I’d like to meet. As soon as possible. I want to know what your hand feels like, just as you described wishing for the other night. I want to feel your arms around me. I want to take that long walk, and I want to see the quaint little town you’ll be living in, and the adorable little house on Main Street that we both seem to be taken with. I want to see a few of the thousands of expressions your face takes on throughout a single day. I want to reassure you that not only are you “enough,” as you put it, but that you’re more than I’ve ever hoped to dream for. I hope that I am enough for you.

(I had season tickets to the Fox that year and had enjoyed taking a variety of friends to shows all summer. The end show of the season was Les Mis. I’d already invited another guy when I got the tickets months previously and I told Jared this, not really looking forward to my company for the evening, as it was sure to be awkward.)

(Other guy was a not-at-all-good-for-me guy that I’d been seeing for five years, on and off, at that point. A ridiculously older-than-me guy who’d lied to me about his age when we met in 1998 because he knew I’d never “date” him (hard to call it that in retrospect) if he’d been forthright to begin with and, at age 18, I’d been naive enough to not realize he couldn’t possibly be as young as he claimed to be. (He claimed to be 26 in 1998, and fudged it by a lot of years, if that tells you anything. Not a good guy and the age thing is the tip of the iceberg.) He came in from Tampa to see the show, which was Saturday, September 13, 2003. The show was amazing, the company predictable with one caveat: he was ready to talk about marriage. Out of the blue, that conversation came. I hadn’t seen him in months, we hadn’t been talking regularly, and if he’d brought that conversation topic to me oh, even four months prior, I would have been all about it despite the unhealthiness of the relationship. However, this time, I knew where my heart was and for once, I was no longer pining away over that man. I told him it wasn’t ever going to happen. He met and married someone younger than me eventually.)

(But as I said, the show was absolutely stunning. And, well, my screen name on that dating site was “Cosettecie,” after all, so Les Mis was pretty fundamental to the roots of my new relationship with Jared.)

(So, that’s the context of what was going on in September of 2003. Jared moved, I went on the awkward outing to the Fox with the not-good man, and then, I decided to see if there were tickets available for the next weekend, September 20, because it really was an awesome show. And, I wanted to see it with Jared. I think the arranging for that must have happened on the phone, because there’s no email record of it. Except: ย )

From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: Did I mention…
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 8:56:07

…that I’m excited about this weekend. *blushing*

> : D <

jared

To: <J’s Email>
Subject: Re: Did I mention…

As am I. > : D <

Caroline

From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: Time…
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 13:53:37

Caroline,

It looks like I’ll likely not get home until sometime around 8:30 to 9:00 (your time) tonight. ๐Ÿ™ I’ll see if you’re around, but if you’re not, I will understand. Talk to you soon.

jared

p.s. I’ll be airborne in 26 hours. ๐Ÿ˜€ ย > : D <

(He wouldn’t be home until late because he had to drive an hour and a half after work to an outlet mall to buy a garment bag for his suit. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย )

From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: ๐Ÿ˜€
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 10:25:43

See you soon! > : D <

jared

(The > : D < was the way you made an emoji on Yahoo! Messenger to make a hug. Except there were no spaces between the characters and I hate the emoji that has come of those symbols since those days. So we now put spaces between the characters. Jared showed up with a gift that first weekend he came to see me: a palm-sized rock with that symbol engraved. It still sits on my dresser.)

(Mushiness happened. I picked him at the airport after telling several friends and my parents where I was going and what route I was precisely taking to the airport. It was, indeed, confirmed love at first site.)

(I took the day off work and dragged him all around my favorite haunts in ATL. We went to the show. We held hands. We went to Panola Mountain before he left for the airport on Sunday, where he told me he loved me for the first time. He surprised me with that. I told him I loved him, too. That happened this precise spot, except picture it still green in September, instead of mid-November as the picture shows– I took the photo in November 2012:)


From: “Caroline Ellison” <C’s Email>
To: <J’s Email>
Subject: Thank you. > : D <
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2003 22:00:21

Jared,

Thank you so much for this weekend. I don’t know how else to say it, other than to say thank you. There are so many emotions that I’m experiencing right now that I simply can’t put into words. However, I can tell you that the feelings of serenity and stability have not vanished even though you’ve gone home.

The future is a much brighter place now that you’re in my world. I only hope I can return the favor. You’re an amazing man. To think of the seemingly random happenstance that brought us together is the frightening part now… though, to tell you the truth, I don’t think it was random at all. I think everything happens for a reason in due course. Though our time has to be separate for now, I know it is also for a reason. If something else is meant to be in the future, then we’ll find a way to overcome it.

I do miss you already, but I can still feel your arms around me, and your lips upon mine. I’ll savor those feelings for as long as I possibly can. I love you. Thank you for making the world a better place.

Love Always,

Caroline

From: Jared Price <J’s Email>
To: Caroline Ellison <C’s Email>
Subject: Always…
Date: Sun Sep 21 (printer screwed up the date printing. Don’t have the timestamp.)

Caroline,

The pleasure of the weekend was mine, indeed. >:D< I hope that you are sleeping as soundly as I suspect you are. I dropped you a quick IM, and called, though nobody answered. Zzzz… Happy Dreams. > : D <

Day by day, and over this past weekend, moment by moment, I am continually amazed to have such an amazing, wonderful, beautiful woman in my life. As I sat in my seat on the plane, I could feel your hand on mine. I can, even yet, feel the gentle touch of your lips. I can feel the strength and surety of your embrace.

I do love you. I don’t anticipate getting tired of saying that anytime in the future, either.

I’ll hope to catch you tomorrow, even if only briefly. Sleep well, deeply, and know that my thoughts are with you.

With all of my heart,
jared

> : D <

About Caroline

I’m Caroline… a creative-type human being, a wife, and a mama. I love people, music, warm sand between my toes, a blank journal and pen, and photography.