A Scandalous Story of Love: Intentions

I had reached that point in the relationship when I was ready to get married and have his babies.

But mercy!  You can’t just come out and say that to a 20 year-old college boy!

Talk about the top ten things you don’t say to your boyfriend!

Seriously though, I couldn’t live without him.

He was perfect for me.

He was everything I was not.

He was spontaneous, bold, and logical.

He was an ambitious dreamer.

He was confident…and unafraid to take the road less traveled.

But we were still in college.

Surely too young to make any kind of serious commitment.

Besides…what was really going on inside that head of his?

Perhaps his feelings didn’t run as deeply as mine.

Perhaps I had misread him.

I mean he said he cared.  And his actions certainly demonstrated affection.

But he hadn’t really shouted it from the rooftops…or talked about the future.

And I…the mushy, sentimental, romantic…had been holding back a bit.

Trying not to pressure him too much with 14-line sonnets.

But I did in fact love him.

And there it was.  There was no denying it.

I longed only to know how fully my love for him would be reciprocated.

So I made the 2 1/2 hour drive to Wanaque, New Jersey, with happy songs blasting from mediocre speakers.

I would bring in the New Year of 1994 with Duff and his family.  There would be champagne and kielbasa, according to tradition.

I arrived at Duff’s childhood home.  He greeted me at the door, the chill of late December ushering me inside that warm, cozy house.

My memories grow a bit fuzzy here.

I recall his sister Colleen beaming at me, with a knowing smile, from the kitchen.

He led me downstairs to the bedroom, which offered privacy, closing the door behind me.  He suggested I sit on the one twin-size bed at the end of the room, while he began pacing.  He looked nervous.  But why?

He began to explain his struggle to find me the perfect Christmas gift.

And how “everything else” seemed stupid- earrings, necklaces, bracelets, flowers.

He told me…

“I’m done looking.”

“You’re it.  You’re the one.”

“I’m not messing around.”

“I’m in this for the long haul.”


He was ready to make a commitment.

I opened the festively wrapped package that he placed in my hands.

Lifting the hinged cover of a jewelry box, I discovered a small diamond solitaire ring.

He explained how he didn’t have enough money for a “real ring”, but wanted me to know his intentions.

He searched my face for feedback, still flushed with excitement.

I proudly slipped the ring onto my finger.

It was real.  Real!

His words mirrored everything I had felt but was afraid to share.

He gathered me into his strong arms and held me, emphasizing the importance of this moment, before we once again faced the outside world.

And they speculated that we were secretly engaged.

They looked suspiciously at, what was now being referred to as, “the promise ring”.

They commented that it looked an awful lot like a “poor man’s engagement ring”.

I clarified…it was a ring to show Duff’s intentions.

Intentions for what?

Intentions to build a future together.

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