Part 9-Christmas Day 2000
It was Christmas Day. Already Christmas Break itself had been amazing. I was staying with my parents but, on numerous occasions Steve and I had gotten to see each other and every time we had to say "good-bye," it got harder and harder. Since I was away from the distractions of school and had a lot of time to think, I really began to think I had fallen in love with Steve and that soon I'd be ready to tell him. I was pretty sure I had but, like previous conversations we had on the subject, I found that I had a lot to learn. What I did know was that I didn't ever want to be without him-ever.
I spent Christmas Day with my family and then drove to Santa Cruz to see Steve and his family. That evening he told me that he wanted to take me somewhere. We had been dating six months exactly (June 25th was when we were official) and I figured he wanted to do something special. He insisted that we take his Dad's truck and I figured, okay!
I didn't know where we were headed at all but when the truck started to climb Highway 17 toward San Jose, I was definitely intrigued. At the summit, he pulled off onto a little road and we wound our way up to the very tippy-top of the mountain. Being that it was Christmas Day, there was hardly a soul up there. It was just us and the bursting stars. We climbed out and hopped into the back of the truck. Steve brought out some blankets and we got warm while snuggling, talking about life and watching the stars. After awhile, he said he wanted to tell me something but that I needed to get out of the truck.
I was already used to him acting strange that evening so, I didn't think much of it. Once we were on our feet in front of the truck, he held both of my hands and started his little speech. "Nikki, I've been thinking about this for a long time. I've talked with God about it on many occasions and I've sought counsel from others as well." As he was talking, for a split second, I thought he was proposing. I held my breath unsure of what to do next. He finished, "Tonight, on Christmas night, six months since we started dating, I want to tell you with confidence that I love you and that I will love you. I've chosen you."
With the stars swirling above and the city lights twinkling below, I took his words in, his HUGE, amazing words and immediately responded, "I think...NO!! I know, I love you too." At my proclamation, he swept me off my feet, spinning me around and around until we were laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. And then he kissed me.
I had no idea what the future held, when we would marry or how everything would play out. But this I did know, he loved me. I loved him. We were committed for the long haul, come what may.