"We need to talk," they said.
Uh-oh, I thought.
I would came to hate hearing that phrase over the next couple of years.
Vacation was over and my parents had decided to get down to business. We settled nervously in their room, I preparing for the worst.
"We've decided that you and Sky are spending too much time together. It's not good for either of you. He's obviously attracted to you and we feel we need to guard your heart so you don't end up giving it away to the wrong person at the wrong time. I know you're good friends and we'd like to keep it that way so we feel like you shouldn't spend so much time together."
Dad was about to go on when I blurted out "It's too late!"
They just looked at me while I gathered all the courage I had and declared, "I'm in love with him."
They looked at each other and my mom sighed dramatically. "This is exactly what we were trying to avoid. It's OK," my mom patted my lap. "We're in this together and we'll help you get through this."
"I don't want to get through this" I said quietly. They looked at me in silent shock. "I have some things to say so I need you guys to just listen before I lose my nerve, OK?" I laughed shakily.
Then I told them all. Everything. I bared my heart to my parents in a way I had never done before. They reacted better than I thought they would. But I knew they didn't understand. "Don't you think," my dad said, "that if this were God's will for you, that He would tell me?"
"Maybe, maybe not", I replied. "Maybe He wants you to hear it from me. Maybe part of growing up is learning to listen to God on my own."
"You know," Mom tried, "sometimes we can want something so badly that we think God is telling us something that He's not. This could all be coming from your own heart. Our hearts are deceitful, after all."
"Mom," I said, "do you believe that I have a strong relationship with the Lord?"
"Well, yes," she replied.
"So why is it so hard to believe that He would speak to me and show me the direction He wants me to go in my life?" I asked earnestly.
The answer was pretty much what I thought it would be: because the direction God was supposedly showing me was not the direction they had planned. I came away from that talk with the impression that they thought this was just a phase that would run it's course. Once again they proved how little they knew me and how little they really wanted to.
Sky came the next day and had a talk with my dad. He told dad he loved me, believed that it was God's will for us to marry, and asked for permission to court me. Dad put him off by saying that we were too young (we were 18 and 20) and that "maybe, in the future, we can discuss this again". But what was unspoken was very evident in his tone and manner: Sky didn't have a chance in hell.
Life was easier for a while after that. At least my parents weren't trying so hard to keep us from falling in love. They watched us like hawks, though. We were enjoying the fact that we didn't have to pretend we weren't in love anymore. I could smile at him without Mom getting anxious (though her disapproval was clear) and we could talk to each other in an easy manner instead of halting and fearful of showing what was in our hearts. We were able to be friends, while resting in the knowledge that we were so much more.
It was the calm before the storm. The biggest assalt on my heart was about to begin.