I was 15 and you haven’t stopped running through my mind since.
I remember seeing you for the first time through the cashier window at our job in high school; you were talking to a co-worker, and I didn’t know if you had worked there long and we just never worked the same shift or if you were just starting, but I immediately felt differently than I had ever felt before. It wasn’t even that I instantly liked you, I just had this weird feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that I never felt before and didn’t know how to explain.
I remember becoming friends and teasing and laughing at work, me at a different high school with our only means of communication being working the same shift as we didn’t have each other’s phone numbers. Months went by, living our own lives at our own respective schools, and then something changed and we started talking more. I conned you into getting your phone number, although you think that you conned me for mine. I can’t remember who is right, or who was the first to ask.
I remember texting how differently we felt, without coming out and saying we liked each other right off, but texting as if we had known each other forever. What I don’t remember is when the texting became more like explaining our feelings, about how intense everything was, about what we could become if we ended up together.
I remember staying home sick from school one day, and you drove all the way to my parents’ house a couple towns over and put a Get Well Soon card in my mailbox with little notes all over it, handwritten by you. You snuck it in when I was napping on the couch, didn’t ask me to come in and hang out as anyone else would have, just happily drove away with the satisfaction of knowing I would be reading your little love notes. I swear I instantly felt better.
I remember going to your mom’s house and spending the night, just cuddled up watching movies, and the next morning you asked me to be your girlfriend. I was over the moon. I still am to this day, thinking back on that memory. It’s been so long that the memory is starting to fade, but the feeling I felt is nowhere near gone. We went to breakfast immediately after, and we still go to that same place and try to sit near that same table where we first sat, and we always comment on that first date we had. Breakfast is still our favorite meal to go out together.
I remember going to your parents’ houses often throughout the week after school, not doing much of anything but enjoying each other’s company, watching movies and sitting outside, passing time. Those were some of my favorite times because we learned a lot about each other in that first year; about each other’s personalities, our body language, our mannerisms, the phrases we most commonly used. Some we still use but most are long gone, lost with our teenage years and replaced with more adult… well, everything.
I remember you telling me you were going away to college. Even though it wasn’t far away in distance, I was still in high school and it wasn’t going to be the same. I remember crying, afraid that college would change you and that a year without you would change me. We argued a lot over the phone, you with a very busy schedule and me with lots of time to spare, but we would still meet up halfway between home and school in Middlebury and sit in our cars and talk, even if just for an hour. It was worth it.
I remember breaking up just before you came home from your freshman year. It was the only time we have ever broken up and it was awful. I went through a week of pure torture, and then I was fine. I was at an age and time in my life, graduating high school, where I was realizing that whatever was going to happen in my life would happen for a reason, so I accepted that we broke up and accepted that if it was meant to be, we would come back together later on, even if that meant that later on was much later on. It was a long month, but it passed and you came back from school, right back to where we first met at our place of work, and the moment you walked in I could tell you were searching for me. Our eyes locked and my breath caught; we hadn’t seen each other for months at this point, but the sting of the break up was still there. You texted me that night. Even though I don’t remember what the conversation was that got us back together, I do remember that it was inevitable as we were about to go to the same school and given the way we felt about each other.
I remember having a great time together in college, with our only arguments being that we wanted to spend more time together but couldn’t with our busy schedules. I remember you graduating college and me still having one more year. I came home every weekend to work and although we didn’t technically live together, we basically did. We shared a lot of great weekends talking about our future and what would happen when I finally graduated. I slowly started moving in with you before graduation so that right when I graduated, I would already basically be with you.
I remember the first year of living together was interesting. We knew so much about each other, basically everything, but we didn’t know how to coexist around the clock together. Bickering about chores, me being the neat freak and liking things done a certain way and you being more laid back and go-with-the-flow, but having nights in together all the time, laughing and dreaming about where we would live when we could afford to buya house – a dream we both shared.
I remember one night, you said we should go for it and buy a house. I was on board the minute you said it. We had never been rich and with student loans hovering behind our shoulders like the Grim Reaper, we didn’t see that happening anytime soon, but we agreed that buying a home and having our money go towards equity instead of being thrown away was the best decision. We scraped together every cent we had for three months to buy a townhouse that we loved, and we moved in with the little belongings we had to start our first home together.
I remember when we first started talking about having kids, and what our future could become with the love we have created. I picture having children with your smile, your sense of humor, your athleticism, your determination, your drive – and I’m content. The man I have fallen in love with more every year since I was 15 stands in front of me every day, falls asleep next to me every night and wakes up next to me every morning, and all I can do is picture what next year will bring, and the next year and the next year. The next day, even. I still look forward to you coming home from work and telling me about your day, even though I already know almost everything you’re going to say. I give you attitude and get moody because I’m upset that I’m not where I want to be with my career and with my bank account and with my debt, and you can get upset that I’ve had such a negative outlook lately but you still greet me every day with a kiss, tell me I’m beautiful and that you love me. I joke about getting married and about you “wifing me up”, and you assure me that we definitely will at some point but the truth is I already feel married to you in every sense of the word so it doesn’t even matter.
You support me, teach me things I didn’t know about myself, brighten my day with the sound of your hello, calm me with the touch of your hand to my back, and excite me with our plans for our future. Nothing has made me happier in my life or meant more to me than you, and that is never going to change.
Thanks for creating a happy, comfortable life with me, for being the love of my life, and my best friend.
Happy Valentines Day.