{Had to add some more to the story on Valentine’s Day}

I was wearing a peach skirt and a white scalloped top the first time I heard Grant’s voice over the phone.

He had asked for my number the night before on Gmail chat. Since he was stationed in Japan with the Marine Corps, there was a huge time difference and when he had asked for my phone number he was on his way out the door for work.
“I’d like to call you when I get back tonight. It would be about your mid-morning,” Grant wrote. “How does that sound?”

“Sounds great.” I typed back.
I was nervous all morning. What would it be like to finally talk with Grant? We had been writing one another for three weeks and I already knew that I liked him. A lot.
I got dressed and ready for the day and I waited. It was Saturday and I was going to be eating lunch with some friends.
I was dying. When would he get back from work and call? What would I say? How could I make myself not sound nervous?

Would I say, “hey,” or “hello,” or “hi,” or “hey there”?
And seriously, why was I nervous? I couldn’t remember the last time I had gotten nervous talking to a guy. Why did he make me feel this way?

I heard my phone ring. I sat completely still – frozen. It was a number I didn’t recognize. It had to be Grant. I couldn’t believe I was finally about to talk to him.
Oh my goodness. Suddenly I was afraid to pick up. Oh, but I have to pick it up.
“Hello?” My voice was definitely nervous, no disguising it.

“Hey, GraceAnna, this is Grant! I’m sorry it took me so long to call you, I just got in from a long day at work.”

“Oh, it’s no problem, I’ve been busy all morning.” Busy worrying that is.

I stood there in my peach skirt and scalloped top and I felt my heart melting.
I didn’t know what his voice was going to sound like. I had heard it on the news video that I had watched online, but talking to him on the phone was completely different.
His voice was seriously the most amazing voice I had ever heard in my life. It was warm, gentle, enthusiastic and yet masculine all at the same time.
So, how are you today?” he asked. I can still hear now exactly the way he said it that day.
I melted again. “Oh, I’m fine. I’ve just had a very leisurely and relaxing morning.” This was a complete contradiction from what I’d just said a moment before about how busy I had been all morning. Busy and leisurely? That made perfect sense.
Yeah? Well, that’s great, GraceAnna, it’s so good to finally hear your voice. You have a southern accent.
I had forgotten that this was also the first time he had heard my voice. Oh no! I suddenly realized in my nervousness I was talking in a southern accent.
I don’t really think I have a southern accent, but if I get worked up or nervous, I sort of have one.
I tried to sound more relaxed. “Oh, really, well, it’s not that southern. I mean, if you heard some other people talk from S.C. you’d know what I mean.”

“I like it.”

“Oh, I’m glad.” I was now a complete puddle on the floor. It would take hours to get me up off of it.

We talked on the phone for a very long time. I never once sat down. I stared out the window at the dumpsters of trash behind the Kroger that was across the street during our entire conversation. Very romantic.
We talked so long that when I said good-bye I realized it was past lunch time and that I had to go to the bathroom really bad. But I hadn’t even noticed. I felt neither hunger nor thirst. Nor anything else apparently.
I don’t remember very much of what we talked about in that first conversation, but I do remember one thing –
by the time I hung up that phone, I was head over heels for Grant Robert Castleberry.
“I can’t even describe it…” I wrote in my journal in September of 2008 as I sat in the cafe in the Perkins Library at Duke waiting for a student to arrive. “It’s like I’ve known Grant forever and I am so comfortable talking with him. We discuss everything. I can tell he really cares about me and I’m not sure why. What made him write me? I have enjoyed his friendship immensely and I find myself hoping and praying that he’s here to stay.
Grant and I had added daily phone calls to our already daily emails. We had only been talking and writing for a little over a month, but things were moving along fairly quickly. We were growing closer with each passing day.
I wasn’t sure where our friendship was going, but I knew it was headed somewhere fast.
I was still waiting for the student I was meeting with to arrive when my cell phone rang. It was my dad. I knew I didn’t have much time to talk, but I picked it up.
Hey, Dad, I’ve only got a minute. I’m about to meet with a student but wanted to pick up.
Oh, okay. Well, I just thought you might be interested to know who I just got off the phone with.”
“What? Who?”

“Grant Castleberry”
What?” I exclaimed way too loudly as I got a few stares from diligent studying Duke students. I lowered my voice and looked around, my appointment still hadn’t arrived. “Are you serious? What did he say?”

My heart was beating fast. Grant calling my dad was a big deal; I knew that.
Well, he wanted to ask me a few questions.”

“Dad, just tell me!”

“He really likes you, GraceAnna. He wants my permission to pursue you.”

“Well, what did you tell him?” I could barely contain myself. Right then my appointment walked up. I motioned to her that I’d just be a minute.
I told him that I’d talk to you about it. I know you’ve got to go, we can talk about it later.”

“Okay,” I knew he was right. The student I was meeting with was patiently waiting. “I’ll talk to you later.”
I turned my attention across the table and thought, how in the world am I going to focus now?

to be continued…

6 thoughts on “Texas Heart – Part 7

  1. these are great GraceAnna! 🙂 I have been wanting to put our story down for sometime too. so many crazy stories in any long distance relationship! maybe I will start on our blog sometime soon. So excited for yall! 🙂

  2. !!you are such a great writer, and you have such a great story to tell, GraceAnna! I can totally SEE you in these posts, and I can see what an amazing man you have there (-confirming what I already strongly suspected)! I can't wait to hear more. love, sarah ps- praying for you three especially during these remaining days of your pregnancy!

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