CTR Stories

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"...Choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices...Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable."
For The Strength of Youth

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Submitted by spazmom on 8 March 2007 - 11:45am. |

The color of her hair was like wheat fields rippling in the summer sun. Her eyes had a glow that reminded him of being under water with the suns rays coming through. What had really grabbed his attention though, was her smile. She had an amazing smile that drew his gaze, no matter where he was in relation to her.

Tom first saw Gayle when he was crossing the commons area of the school campus. She was sitting in front of the fountain, laughing up at something a tall young man had just said. She had several people around her as usual - a couple of them were girls, but none of them had held his attention. He stared at her as if he’d never seen a woman before, and found himself walking toward her group as if drawn by a magnet.

He came to a stop in front of her and she had looked up at him in surprise. “Can we help you find something?” Obviously she thought he was a lost first-time student, and she was willing to help. He almost laughed out loud.

“Actually, I was wondering if I could get your name and phone number.” He’d never been one for subtleties.

Her friends had all laughed uproariously at his audacity, but she had given him a raised eyebrow and a faint smile in reply, handing him a piece of paper that he didn’t even bother looking at.

“Just don’t try calling me after 10 pm,” she cautioned with a flip of her hair. “We don’t answer the phone after that.”

He had nodded wordlessly; clutching the prized piece of paper like it was a map to the Holy Grail. Not one to waste time when he was obsessed, he’d called her the next afternoon. At first she had no clue who he was and threatened to hang up, then he reminded her of the fountain.

“Oh - you.” her tone had changed subtly, and he realized she was as fascinated by him as he was by her. It was a positive jolt and he acted on it.

“Would you go out for some pizza with me?”

They had been inseparable after that first date. It had taken almost a year for her love to overcome his hesitations on commitment to the point he was willing to get married. It had been a touchy subject because since he’d come back from his mission, his family had hounded him to find a nice girl and settle down and get married.

He’d rebelled-so much so that he went to a non-LDS based school in the hopes of drowning their cries and pleas for grandchildren. Ironically, that was where he’d met Gayle...such is the workings of God.

He was going to school for computer engineering and technical stuff. She was going to school for writing and art. She wasn’t sure even what her major was going to end up as, but when he met her it was journalism. She hated the word. The situation always made him laugh.

“Why did you pick it as a major if you hate it?” he asked her one afternoon while they tried to study in the college library--an immense tinted glass walled building that always made him worry about earthquakes.

She sighed and made a face. “I came to learn more
about writing and get some more art training. My father wasn’t happy with the whole thing, but what could he say - at least I was going to school!” She grinned at him and he couldn’t help but grin back at her. Her smiles always did that to him. “When I talked to the counselor, he insisted that I wanted to be in journalism, and made me take all these classes that center around newspapers and magazines. I hate it!” She closed the book she’d been looking at with a bang, making several other patrons look up in surprise. “I want to write to enlarge the mind, to enrapture the senses! Not follow some jerk around who wants to run for office and write his opinions!”

Unable to stop himself, Tom had laughed - immediately regretting it when the patrons looked more disapproving this time, and Gayle was less than thrilled.

He had jumped up and followed her out of the library, his heart racing, the sight of her flushed and angry face imprinted in his mind. He had never dreamed it would upset her like that. “Wait! Gayle, I’m sorry! Don’t go!”

He finally caught up with her several feet from the entrance to the library, her face wet with tears, and showing spots of red on her cheeks-anger or embarrassment, he couldn’t tell. But her eyes had still been stormy and the set of her mouth made him realize that she’d been serious.

“Hey, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to upset you.”

She just glared at him. “You never mean to upset me! You don’t care if what you say has meaning or not, just as long as you don’t upset me! Why? Don’t you want to know what I’m passionate about? Don’t you care about what I think or feel? Or do you think your whole world will crash around your feet if we disagree about something?”

They had only known each other for two months at this point, and that was generally when he made a fool of himself over a girl and they left him. Tom looked at Gayle’s flushed face with dismay, realizing she’d read him clear through. His heart started pounding with dread.

“Look, um,” he started, feeling defensive and hating it. “I don’t have a real good track record, okay? The other girls I’ve dated got to this point where they started seeing what I was really like and took off in the other direction. None of them even wanted to stay friends with me.” He had stuffed his hands in his pockets, feeling a heaviness in his chest that had nothing to do with physical pain. He had to communicate this with her.

“I-“ he looked away and then back at her, not seeing the softening of her features and the light dawning in her eyes. “I really didn’t mean to upset you! I do want to know you. I want to know everything about you.” He’d felt even more foolish when he moved closer, but he didn’t want the whole campus to hear him. “I’ve never met anyone like you before, Gayle. I don’t want to mess it up.”

He had finally realized she was looking up at him - with a smile that seemed to melt his insides down to his toes. He wasn’t sure what she was feeling, but he didn’t want to stop the smile either - he shut up.

“I’m sorry I’m so touchy, Tom,” she’d said finally, stepping forward and brushing a wayward strand of hair out of his face. “I think we’ve had enough studying for one day, don’t you?”

That had been the moment of change in their relationship. Before it had been simply dating - getting to know one another. Now it changed into a closer bond. He knew she was probably thinking about marriage, but the idea still scared him. He had a hard time with marriage. His own family was strong and secure in that - it should have made him want to get married the minute he’d found a girl who was willing to date him.

Unfortunately, his teenage years had given him many examples of unhappiness in his friend’s home life. His best friend’s parents had gotten divorced when they were seniors, and it had totally blown the rest of the year for his friend. He’d ended up joining the military right out of high school and going to Germany. Tom hadn’t seen or heard from him since he’d left on his mission. He worried about him almost every day.

But, beside that, to him marriage was a permanent thing. It wasn’t something like the world, with hey - if we get married and it doesn’t work out, we’ll get divorced. No - the Peterson family got sealed in the temple and there was no questions asked. He wasn’t sure he was ready for that kind of finality. He hadn’t found anyone he thought that way about. Until Gayle.

She had been patient. She knew he loved her, and simply loved him back. When he had finally asked her to marry him, she’d burst into tears and it had taken him a half hour to get her calmed down enough to make sure she’d said ‘yes’!

Their families had been ecstatic. They had loved Tom and Gayle respectively from the moment they’d met them. It had been a surprise to Tom, he didn’t think he’d find another couple like his parents, but he had. Gayle’s parents were just about as close as you could get to his own parents, and he felt right at home.

The reception was a gala affair that he’d simply stepped out of and let the women have free reign. His father and Gayle’s father had both recommended that course, and it seemed they were right. Gayle had been blissfully happy. He’d been pretty happy himself, it had been the greatest day of his life.

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