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Dedicated to Jason B Leonard
Submitted by Stephanie
Most people would say that a sixteen-year-old girl should not date a twenty six-year-old man. I was not among one of these people. From the moment I saw Jason, I knew we had a future together. I could picture myself spending my life with him. I could see what our children would look like. I was hypnotized by his deeply set blue eyes and his nice full lips. He had a unique look that would make any person glance twice when you saw him.
It was 1993 and we were at a karate tournament in Fairmont, West Virginia where we were both competing. I had been introduced to him by and I congratulated him on his win. We never saw each other again for two weeks. I had thought about him often but never knew how I would ever see him again. It was then that I was doing some job searching and walked into a local pizzeria for an employment application. I couldn't believe it when I asked for the manager and it was he. We recognized each other instantly. He was eager to hire me and it was not long before we began dating.
Jason and I have a lot in common. The weirdest thing that we have in common is that we shared the same last name. All my friends and family joked that if I ever married him, I would never have to change my last name. To me, this was a sign that we were meant to be together. Today, I am Mrs. Stephanie Leonard instead of Miss Stephanie Leonard.
Another ironic thing is I have always loved dolphins. My mother used to take me to the beach every summer and we would always go to the dolphin shows. I have collected figurines and pictures of them for years. The message could not be clearer when I first saw Jason's tattoo of a dolphin on his leg. Of all the tattoos a man his age could have, his was of a dolphin. When I asked him what made him choose a dolphin, he said it was because he had always been a swimmer. This information was even more interesting to me. I grew up at a lake. I practically was a fish. It turns out that we were both on varsity swim teams in high school. Some people would say that these are just coincidences. I say that these are symbols of the fate that brought us together.
Since I was a child, I had always dreamed of traveling out west. I had a fascination to go to California. I never knew exactly how or why I would go there but I felt that I would one day experience the golden state. My desire came true when Jason took me there to meet his family. Could this be real? Not only did I meet the man of my dreams but also he was also from California. This was fairytale to me considering that I am from a small town in the hills of West Virginia. These two people from opposite ends of the country seemed to be meant for each other.
Jason has always been fond of the song " Into the Night " by Benny Mardonas. Its lyrics talk about a man who falls in love with a sixteen-year-old girl and everyone tells him to leave her alone. When Jason met me, he said that the song actually applied to his life now. He would sing it to me in the car and when we would take walks.
On a more in depth note, when I used to wonder when he was going to finally propose to me, I would write his name over and over and I discovered that if you add up all the letters in our full names, they both equal nineteen. That is the age that I had our first child. To the average person, this means nothing but I look at everything as a symbolic meaning.
Everything that I have always wanted to learn, my husband has taught me. He shares all the same interests that I do and since he has been around longer, he has accomplished most of them. I could not have found a more perfect mate. After five years of marriage, I am still impressed by my husband. It is like I designed him myself to fit my needs and wants. He is a great cook, a wonderful dad and full of new adventures. I have been truly blessed and I am grateful.
I believe that Jason and I were pre destine to be eternal companions. It is as if I was created from his rib. Most of the time, I know what Jason is going to say and do before he does it. He predicts me as well. How could two people from two different worlds be so in tune with each other? If there is such a thing as destiny, I have a firm testimony of it.