Not long after Roby and I started writing to each other and in the midst of all my secret hopes and thoughts and dreams of spending time together in person, he asked me one day if I ever had the chance to go to the Swiss temple. Of course I told him about our anticipated trip in April and how I was excited to finally be going again. His next message, though, came as quite a surprise. It turned out that he had been planning to go to the temple the same week as me.
Of course, things always have to be a little complicated. It turned out that I wouldn't be at the temple until Saturday whereas Roby's friends were leaving early Saturday morning. My initial excitement crashed down into disappointment when I realized we might not be able to see each other. But Roby just kept saying "we will see." The day before Roby left, he told me that somehow, there wasn't a place for him to stay near the temple on Friday night, and he was trying to figure out what to do. A crazy idea came to my mind. My friends and I would stay Friday night in Geneva--two hours away from the temple. What if I invited him to stay? Of course, it would mean taking a train down to Geneva and taking one back to Bern as our car was already full. It didn't seem logical at all. But the idea persisted in my mind, and I finally asked him.
It turns out he had been praying that I would invite him to Geneva.
Although I thought my idea was crazy and improbable, he also said he'd been hoping I would then take the train back with him to the temple. Puzzle piece number two. Furthermore, he had found someone who could give him a ride to Geneva that day--piece number three. And once again, if you'd still like me to be counting pieces, it turned out he would be able to stay all day on Saturday as there was yet another person who could give him a ride back to Italy even though his friends were leaving much earlier. It all seemed so perfect.
Friday, April 12--finally, the day arrived! I was so anxious and excited and nervous that I could hardly teach at all. Roby and I had just Skyped for the first time a few days before, and I had realized that he was even cuter than I thought from his pictures or my fuzzy MTC memories. But what if he didn't like me in person? What if things felt awkward? What if there wasn't any chemistry? What if we didn't fit well together after all? He had known me as his teacher--what if I was just imagining that he was really interested? What if I had to deal with a horrible disappointment yet again? I imagined dozens of scenarios for our first meeting--everything from a cold greeting and a miserable train ride to swelling orchestral music and a love-at-first-sight kiss. Soon enough, we were on the road and I was headed closer to my uncertain fate.
And, of course, things got complicated again. I had arranged for a friend to meet him and take him to where he would be staying, but the intention was always for me to meet up with him that night as well. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I spent the whole day anticipating our first meeting that night, but coordinating our locations became too complicated, and we ended up staying 20 minutes away from each other. I was keenly disappointed. It seemed too ridiculous--so close and yet impossibly far away. Fortunately, we still planned to meet early the next morning at the Geneva train station.
I think I slept about two hours that night.