Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Your Stories: Caitlin and Carter


Whitney,

I would first like to start off by thanking you for the amazing, amazing story that you have decided to share.

I began reading it about a week ago and I have been hooked from that moment on. You are truly talented with your writing and I can't wait for you to publish a book-- I can't imagine how addicted I will become to an actual novel by you!

In light of your fairytale story, I wanted to share mine with you. And I (although only 23 years old) fell completely head over heels in love with my boyfriend all over again once I read your story. And I owe that to you- thank you for making me realize my prince charming was right in front of me the entire time.

I have never really been the girly girl-however I was a cheerleader in high school; ironic, I know. I started dating an older "basketball star" from my high school when I was just 15 years old, and, of course, in my mind that was it. I had found the man of my dreams, and we were going to get married someday because he "loved me and would never hurt me."

Yes, I now realize how extremely dumb I was. We continued dating for five years and eventually broke up after I realized that I had wasted five years of my life dating an ass who said he loved me, but actually loved sleeping with my "best friend." I was in college in an amazing college town and I was single and ready to go. I had my span of hook ups here and there.. My girlfriends and I were just like a bunch of college boys- when we went out- we searched for one thing! Although I can truthfully say that I've never had a one night stand and that type of thing wasn't really for me- but I sure did love watching my friends get what they wanted and loved even more having to hear about it the next morning!

In my group- there were 4 of us. All from completely different backgrounds, but we became the absolute best friends anyone had ever seen-and this is where my story begins.

In May of 2007 one of my best friends found out the dreaded news that her high school boyfriend (and love of her life- although she wouldn't admit it) was going to be deployed to Iraq in October. After much thought and tons of pushes from us, she finally caved.

In February of 2008, she sent her soldier a care package and expressed to him what the three of us had already known; she was in love with him and did not want to lose him.

Do you know how long it takes to get mail to a solider?! Let me just tell you- FOREVER. It takes about three weeks to get a package to them and just about that long to recieve something back. Long time to wait when you are wanting to hear from someone you love.

In June of 2008 her solider finally contacted her on facebook and explained that he wanted to see her and that she needed to get a Yahoo! messenger account as soon as humanly possible so they could talk and see each other via webcam.

June 18th, 2008- which is now known to me as "the day my heart dropped..". The four of us had finally figured the whole Yahoo! system and were stoked about getting to see her solider in Iraq- but much to my suprise, it was going to be an experience I would never forget.

One day while we were all pushing for "camera time"- I won the fight and was sitting in front of the web cam chatting with her boyfriend, a real life soldier fighting for my freedom in Iraq. We were typing messages back and forth (we were on camera, but the connection was weak so we had to type to talk). Then it happened: A blonde solider walked into the room and just into view. I went on with chatting it up with my friend's boyfriend and making retarded comments; trying to do whatever I could to keep his mind off of being so far away from where he wanted to be. Home.

"Do you know Carter Gill?" was the next IM her boyfriend sent. Carter Gill...Carter Gill... hmmm... Yeah, I know that kid, I thought to myself. "Of course I know Carter. How do YOU know him?" I asked, curious about the random question.

"How do you know him?!?!?!?" shot back at me before I even had time to think.

"We went to school together until we were freshman in high school, but he moved off and I haven't seen him in probably 7 or 8 years..WHY?! How do you know him?" I shot back, getting a little creeped out.

"Caitlin Cole!!!" the next message said. I looked up and there he was, the most beautiful blonde hair blue eyed boy I had ever seen.

"Carter Gill-- What are you doing?! How weird is this that you are in Iraq right now with my best friend's boyfriend?!!"

After what seemed to be a millisecond of catching up, I hear my friends complaining it is their turn to talk.

"I'll message you on Facebook. Nice talking to you, Caitlin."

And I was hooked.

After a week or two of messaging on Facebook back and forth as much as we could, I could not get enough of him. Was I really falling for a guy that I hadn't seen in 8 years? A soldier in Iraq? Who wouldn't be back until October?

Yes I was.

Carter finally talked me into getting Yahoo! messenger for myself so we could talk whenever we wanted to and didn't have to worry about sharing time with anyone else. The time difference from Iraq to Oklahoma was a major bitch, but I wasn't going to let that get in my way. Every morning I would set my alarm for 3am just so I could talk to him as he was getting ready for bed. The same thing would take place everyday at 3pm when he would be waking up to get ready for work. It was like clockwork- same time, same place, everyday. Eventually it became as natural as breathing to me-it was just something I did; without the slightest bit of question. This continued on until September 18th.

September 18th, 2008- which is now known to me as "the day my heart stopped beating..".

"Caitlin, you need to come home." I was sitting in class when I got the text from my best friend.

"Why? What's going on?"

"Just come home"

I raced home to find out what the big deal was- figuring it was going to be a conversation about some guy who had pissed off one of my friends, but much to my demise, it was worse than I had ever imagined.

Three Oklahoma National Guardsmen have died in a Shattuck crash outside of Konar, the news headline said. My heart sank. I hadn't talked to Carter.

3pm came and went.

4pm.

5pm.

So on and so forth. Nothing. Nada. Silch. Not even a "hey just letting you know that I am OK."

Later that evening, the names of the three soldiers who had lost their lives was released. God rest their souls and bless their families. Oh, and thank you for not taking my Carter away from me.

An entire week went by and I had not heard from Carter. My routine was still the same, 3am came and went seven times. Three pm came and went seven times. My heart broke a little more as each one passed. I was devastated. I figured he'd given up on me. Maybe decided he didn't want anything to do with me. I couldn't wrap my head around what I had done or what had happened, but all I know was, he was gone and there was nothing I could do.

My friends, being the amazing bunch they were, decided to take me out that weekend and try to get my mind off things. After about an hour or two of doing nothing but ruining my lungs with cigarettes and drinking glass after glass of water as my friends got toasted and were having a blast; I decided to call it a night and just head on home. (I was drinking water because I hoped deep down Carter would come back, and if I got drunk, I was afraid I might do something stupid.)

I tossed and turned all night finally making myself fall asleep hoping that my dreams would be better then my reality because I wasn't for sure I really wanted to be in either.

I remember when I met you...Big city boy...Small Town Blues... My phone ringer sang in my ear. I shook myself out of my sleep and reached for my phone. Carter =). My heart sank. How was he calling me? Last time he called me from Iraq it ended up costing him around $200 for a 2 minute conversation.

"Hello?"

"Caitlin, hey, I'm sorry."

It's OK, I love you. I'm so happy you called. I thought, but instead I said, "It's OK. Where are you?"

When the Shattuck went down and killed three Oklahoma National Guardsmen, Carter lost his best friend. He immediately was sent from airport to airport trying to get back home to the States, and spent almost a week in transit. Carter had decided to wait until the morning after the funeral to call me. He said he wanted to gather his thoughts and did not want to cloud our first meeting after so long with things that could not be undone. I agreed that he needed to take his time and that I would be waiting for him.

"How's tomorrow? I can't wait to see you. I will be in Edmond tomorrow with my brother. Want to meet on campus?"

In my 21 years- nothing had ever sounded so great.

Two of my best friends and I piled in the car. It was the longest trip of my life. I couldn't get there fast enough.

"Edmond 15 miles"

"Edmond 6 miles"

"Edmond Next Exit"

It seemed like I couldn't slow it down. It was all happening so fast. Did I dress cute enough? Was he going to like me as much as he did when half a world was between us? My throat began to close and I started to break out in hives. "This can NOT be happening" was all I could get out- over and over again.

"Pull over," I said to my friend, and we pulled into a cafe parking lot. I pulled out my phone and called Carter.

"Carter, Its Caitlin. We are about five minutes from you, but I have to stop and get something on my stomach. I guess I'm a little more nervous than I thought and I refuse to let you see me like this. I will call you in a little bit."

As I have come to realize how much I truly love hearing him say these 3 little words.."I'll be here," came across the other line.

In a panic, I asked my friends for advice.

"How in the hell am I supposed to act when I see him?"

"Give him a big kiss.."

"Run and jump on him when you see him..."

Great. Not exactly the response I wanted but thanks, guys.

September 29th, 2008- which is now known to me as "the day my life began..". There he was, his blond hair just a adorable as it was on the webcam. His blue eyes complimented by the blue shirt he wore. We had both wore a blue shirt that day. Good thing I changed five times.

"Hey, sweetheart," he said, with a huge hug attached.

That was it. I was gone; hook, line, and sinker.

We sat there in the booth for what seemed to be only an instant, hanging on each other's words. I couldn't believe it. Carter was actually in front of me, he wasn't on the webcam, he wasn't a half a world a way. He was within arm's reach and I know this because his hand never left my leg. He was here and that was all I ever needed.

We spent the rest of the night hanging out with friends and catching up, although we had talked about every last aspect of our lives over the past three months, it all seemed so new and exciting. I caught myself wondering if it was really him, so I would occasionally reach up for a hug and steal a kiss to make sure I was actually alive. And I can truly say, from that day on, I began living.

Like every relationship we have had our rocky moments, but here we are; a little over 2 years from the day it all began. He never went back to Iraq. We live together now in our hometown. I wouldn't trade one tear or one happy moment for the world. I had met the love of my life.

June 24th, 2010- which is now known to me as "the day I realized my prince Charming was right in front of me..". I began reading your blog with strict advice from my best friend, "You're going to get addicted.."

And I did.

But I will take that and be greatful for it. Sometimes life gets in the way of what matters most in this world, and your story has made me realize I have everything I have ever wanted right in front of me.

So thank you. From the bottom of my heart; I can honestly say I have found my happily ever after..."


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No, thank YOU, Caitlin! Your story gave me goosebumps, made me gasp (almost cried when I thought he FREAKIN DIED... don't do that to me!), and gave me a wonderful story to add to my Fairytale Beginning. We all deserve a happily ever after.

8 comments:

  1. That was so touching. I had never heard of your blog until now. I'm now following you and hoping to catch up on all that I have missed! :)

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  2. You have a LOT of catching up to do! But don't worry, they're quick reads! I've heard people have read the WHOLE thing in a couple hours. I hope you like it!

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  3. I'm sure I will. I love everything so far! ;)

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  4. Whitney. STOP with the making me cry already...sheesh! but at least they're always happy tears with you.. :)

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  5. If you don't start getting MORE media exposure out of this, I'll be so angry!! You have a gem of a blog here, girl, and I'm so glad it's going well.

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  6. I actually just finished! LOVE read! I am posting the link on my FB, Tumblr, and twitter!

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  7. Thanks so much for spreading the word, everyone! If my blog can have this kind of an effect on someone's relationship, then I hope it can help others!

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  8. WOW! I need to talk to this girl!! The things we have in common.. it's insane!!! Great post Whitney, it's so cool what you're doing for people just by simply telling a story :)

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