We were inseparable from the moment we met. Mutual friends secretly set up a “chance” meeting at a party one night Labor Day weekend while I was in town. She, a crush I had harbored for almost a year. I was the lucky guy that happened to catch her eye the night before. I knew I wanted to keep her in my life forever after the first kiss. We spent as much of the four-day weekend together as was physically possible. “Four days” became our little inside joke of sorts.
Wanting to make our first Christmas together something she would remember forever, I took the advice of a friend and bought her a bracelet that could be engraved. I figured that “4 days” would be the perfect thing to put. It would be something that only we would understand, and a constant reminder for her of the fairy tale beginning we had experienced that late summer. Because I took my time choosing the item, Tiffany & Co. was not able to get it engraved in time for Christmas. I chose instead to give her the bracelet blank, tell her what the plan was for it, and have it finished after she left to go back to school. You should have seen the look on her face, priceless.
She returned to college just after the new year, and I took the bracelet in for the engraving. The clerk informed me that the style I had chosen would take around four weeks to complete, and that they would call me upon finishing it. Simple enough. I finally got the call the first week of February, and picked it up. It looked perfect… better than I had planned. I knew that I held in my hands something she would cherish forever. I decided I would deliver it to her at school that weekend.
I was scheduled to work a large event for the radio station that Saturday, but figured I would head over the mountains as soon as the concert was completed. It was a long, stressful day beginning around 5 a.m. and ending about 12 hours later. I was exhausted and starving (because my only nourishment for the day was a single bagel around 6 AM), but nothing would keep me from delivering her gift. I pulled into Ellensburg around nine o’clock that evening, grabbed a half rack of Bud Light (hey, I earned it), and set out for her house.
As usual, she was elated to see me as I walked through the door, and greeted me with a big hug and a kiss upon entry. When I presented the bracelet, her eyes welled up with tears, and she could not speak. She could not stop rubbing her thumb over the spot that read “4 days.” Mission accomplished. I had finally found the gift that could make a girl truly understand how I felt about her. I’ll never forget that night, February 7, 2004. Four days before I became paralyzed…Within six months, she left me. It’s amazing how four days can change your life in either direction.