I started keeping files on my boyfriends when I was in grade school. It seemed logical. I had boyfriends who gave me sweet things, and I had a file drawer in my desk. And somewhere in the back of my head I thought that if I ever married one of them, I might enjoy looking through their “file” with our children.
Turns out, I was so much smarter than I realized. I just didn’t know who my husband was going to be. But luckily, I didn’t have to. Because he did.
In fact, if you ask Guy when he first knew he would marry me, he will (STILL) confidently answer that he knew before he met me. He would say that when he was at friend’s house one summer, my name came up and as he listened to his friends talk about me, he fell in love.
And to a certain degree, from that day forward, he set his eye on the prize of winning my affection and never really looked back until he got me. And thank God he was persistent and patient enough to wait.
Now it wasn’t so instant for me. I met him in sixth grade but I already had a boyfriend. And at the time, I thought he was nice, but I just wasn’t sure about this Guy Kelley boy. But my heart changed when my friend said she liked Guy. I remember thinking, “Well, me too!” So I let the word spread through the grapevine that I was interested and lo’ and behold I was asked out shortly after.
Now this is where something truly magical happened. As odd as it sounds, somewhere in our passing notes, shared glances and long phone conversations about what ink we should use on our homework, the two of us actually became friends. And in some unexplainable way connected on a level much deeper than what two sixth graders should. Not on a romantic level per se (because we were babies), but on a “…whatever souls are made of, yours and mine are the same” kind of way.
On the last day of sixth grade, Guy asked me to marry him in our yearbook. He cleverly made me turn the pages and said, “Will you (turn to page 37) marry me (turn to page 9) in ten (turn to page 1) years? And I simply wrote, “Yes.” I then stuck the yearbook in his file. His file was called, “LoverBoy.”
Then at the start of 7th grade, I broke up with him because he was so nice and apparently I wanted boys who were aloof. I remember he wrote me a note during this time and I gave it to my mom to read. And her response after reading it was, “I cannot believe a sixth grader wrote that. That is one of the sweetest things I have ever read in my life.” That stood out to me, but I was still too stupid to go back to him. But I was smart enough to put the note in his file.
And this is where our 8-year journey of me breaking his heart began. And boy was I brutal. Essentially, I had an ongoing breakup/get back together relationship of my own that started after this, and essentially Guy was always bold and confident during those years and would tell me I should be with him. He would say things like, “I am going to marry you” and come up and talk with me at dances to annoy my boyfriend, and I would always think, “How are you so cocky?” Because every time he said he would marry me, he would say it with unwavering and assured confidence.
And because I did always love him as my friend, I would always call him during our breakups and hang out with him and I’d always think I was going to get with him and then I would chicken out in the end and break his heart.
But he was always SO good to me and an amazing friend and we always connected no matter what. I remember looking across the room at each other in Mrs. Brenn’s high school English class one day and smiling about something and thinking, “Man, he can read my thoughts.” But I liked it.
And there were times when it was hard not to like him because he was smart and good at everything. I remember one cheerleading game where I was cheering JV and Guy was on the freshman team and he was scoring all the points in the game so we had to keep doing one cheer after another for him and it was annoying because it was like I had to cheer for Guy. But that was the thing, he was never cocky about anything else he was good at. He was always super humble (and still is).
He was only arrogant when it came to his love for me.
Then my family moved to Kansas City and I remember hoping my boyfriend at the time would call me. But the first phone call of the house was Guy. We weren’t dating. He just called to say hi and see how the move went. He was always like that. Through all the years, he would always call me on Christmas or holidays just to say hi.
When I got off the phone that day, I remember my Dad saying, “You know, Quin. Of all of the guys you’ve ever brought around, I’ve never met any boy who seems as loyal and committed to you as Guy. I just want you to think about that.” So I thought about it and mentally stowed it in the LoverBoy file.
Then senior year came, and Guy called me out of the blue. I had just decided I was going to K-State and he had just made his decision for KSU too. And we had always kidded that we would marry each other in college. So it was weird when we found out we were both going.
I remember having a conversation with him that day along the lines of, “Listen, bucko. There are some things you need to know about me. You don’t know me as well as you think you do. Like…I really love God. I pray all the time. And I hate drinking. When I get married, I don’t want alcohol at my wedding.” I think I was trying to scare him off because he was a little wild at the time, but he didn’t seem to care. He was just like, “Cool. Maybe I’ll see you around next year.”
When the time for college came, I was still dating my longtime boyfriend and was focused on him. But for some reason during the first week of school, my sister and I stopped by Guy’s dorm room to say hi. He made some comment about me seeking him out. And I was like, “No I am just showing common courtesy.” We saw each other a few more times with our friends from home until I decided that it didn’t seem good to be around each other since I had a boyfriend. So I cut our friendship off AGAIN. (Guy would say this is the one time where he was like, “Alright, I may not marry her. She’s not even willing to be my friend and we are finally in college.”)
Then months later, my boyfriend and I broke up and I remember in one of our final conversations he told me that he knew Guy was better for me than him. And Guy had nothing to do with our conversation or breakup or my life at the time. So it stood out to me that my boyfriend of all people would bring him up. But in response I said, “I promise you this. I do not love Guy. And you will not ever hear a thing about Guy and I being friends.” And I meant it.
So that night, I went to my friends in the door room, huddled them up close and made them take a vow, “Promise me this, if there ever comes a time when Guy wants to hang out or I want to go there, don’t let me do it. I’ve hurt him enough and I want to be clear to everyone that Guy and I are not an item.” And they agreed to the vow.
A few weeks later, I was on a walk praying and I said a prayer like this, “God, I don’t want to spend my 20’s frivolously dating people in meaningless relationships. I want you to lead me to the right guy and let it happen young, so I can focus my life on what you care about for me.” And NO JOKE…no sooner had I said Amen, and I heard a car honk. I looked over and Guy was driving by with a friend. They stopped and said hi. And as they drove off, I was like, “Wow, God. That was weird.” And like so many times before, I took mental note and stowed it away in my LoverBoy file. Then I told my roommate about the incident when I got back to make sure I had record that it happened.
About six weeks later, Guy called me. And called me. And called me. And called me. And I ignored him. And ignored him. And ignored him. And ignored him. Then he finally said in a message, I want to talk with you about God. I had something happen. So I called him back. And essentially, he was truly calling to talk with me about his faith. And I felt terrible. He wasn’t pursuing me. He wanted answers and knew I was strong in my faith. So we talked and that was it.
Then he asked me to watch the Superbowl with him a few weeks later. And I wanted to go, but I knew I shouldn’t hang out with him. So I was sneakily making my way down to his car when one of my dear friends stopped me in the hallway and said, “You remember how you made us promise to let you not hang out with Guy? Well, where are you going right now? And I was like…uhhhhh…So I called and cancelled with Guy. And he was like, “Oh, Quin! Come on!” And I really wanted to, but I felt like I had to keep my word.
But a few weeks later, he called me again on my dorm room phone. And I was prepared to give him some excuse as to why I couldn’t talk, but he outsmarted me. He said, “I’m in the lobby of your dorm. Come down and let me in.” So I did. And I snuck him by my friends and then they all coyly entered the room and were like, “Hi, Guy.” But they all loved him. And they didn’t fight me this time.
So I walked back to his frat with him. And that night, Guy charmed the living daylights out of me. We talked and talked and talked and he dropped me off five hours later. But this time he did something differently than ever before. He will credit it as his smartest move to date (single gentleman, take note). When I was getting out of the car he looked at me and said, “I had a great time tonight. And we could do this again or we couldn’t. What do you want? And I looked at him and said, “I think we should do it again.” And then he drove away.
But then I didn’t hear from him. I kept waiting for the phone to ring. And it didn’t. And I kept waiting. And it didn’t. And waited some more. And finally, 8 days later, I called him.
He said, “Hello?”
And I said, “You never called me.”
And he just started laughing.
Then he said, “Let’s hang out. I’ll come get you.”
And I had never felt so excited to see him as I did that day. That afternoon, we drove out to Tuttle Creek in Manhattan and were talking. And Guy did something that only he would do and was as bold as could be. He looked at me and said,
“Quin. You need to know. I’m not interested in dating you. I’ve loved you since the 6th grade. And I want to marry you. And I want you to be the mother of my children.”
And then he just smiled at me with that confidence he has always had. And then something weird happened.
Instead of feeling scared or freaked out like I had for all the previous years, I looked over at Guy Kelley and heard the holy spirit whisper as loud as could be. “It’s him.” And I have never felt so peaceful in my life or sure that God had a voice. In my head I was thinking, “Are you serious, God? It really WAS GUY ALL ALONG. How could I be so stupid?”
And then I looked over at him and said, “Okay. That sounds good to me.”
And when he dropped me off that day, I knew that was it. Guy Kelley was going to be my husband. Now there were several other things that happened after this like me having to convince my sister and friends that I was serious and that it was God and that I would never break his heart again…but eventually they knew. Just like I did. That my heart was never going back.
And two and half years later, we married each other…about 10 years after he proposed to me in the yearbook.
Every once in awhile, Guy will kid me about the hell I put him through all those years, and I always respond by saying, “Well it seemed to work out all right for you in the end. I married you. AND I carried your children.” The same ones I plan to show his file to one day.
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