You remember these stories as well as I do, maybe better, but let’s revisit them in front of a bigger audience. :) Audience, imagine us as teenagers, which is something we once were. The setting is a boarding high school. Try to remember…
The first time I met you, it was after school in the evening or maybe in the day on a weekend, no it couldn’t have been a weekend. I don’t recall exactly, but there weren’t many people around. You were sitting alone in a “pit”– those mini-coliseums leftover from when our school building was an open school. You were depressed. I asked what was wrong. You told me you’d asked a girl to a dance and she’d said no. (Many years later she would come out as lesbian, which is the only possible reason I can think of that anyone would not be attracted to you, but then, I’m biased.) I said generic that’s too bad you’ll find someone some day kinds of things and moved on with my life. You moved on with yours.
Several months later, I want to say three because that’s a good number, I met you a second time. Your roommate, for some reason I can’t remember, probably because I’m getting old, threw me a birthday party. I think because my birthday is really close to your suitemate’s and that struck him as cause for celebration. I was in a lot of classes with him and he was a fun guy in the way that precocious tweens are funny to real teenagers. As his roommate, you were invited. We talked some, though I don’t remember about what.
Every night between study hours and the time when they locked the dorms, a group of us, mostly from my science class, including your roommate, would roam around the campus in order to stave off cabin fever. Sometime after my birthday you figured you had classes well enough under control and could start socializing more. So you joined your roommate on these walks. By the time your birthday rolled around, I knew you well enough to get you a present (though I don’t remember what it was… maybe Twizzlers? Probably the only present I’ve gotten you that didn’t suck.)
Oddly, people started dropping out of the walking group and it ended up being just the two of us a few nights here and there. You were so funny, talking about D&D and GURPs games as if they were real. Almost a stereotype, except for not looking the part, with your tall, dark, handsomeness. (Not that I dwelled on that back then.)
One weekend I decided to stay at school instead of going home. It was the most fun I’d had that year. We hung out, you and your roommate and some of your hall mates and I. We ranged all along the off-campus area we were allowed to visit, and maybe a few places out of range. We enjoyed the spring and being young enough to still roll down hills. I broke up with my first boyfriend (from home) that weekend. I still liked him as a friend, but I didn’t love him.
One night you kissed my hand saying good-bye on a walk. One of those silly gallant things someone who loves living in fantasy worlds might do, meaning nothing by it. And suddenly I realized I loved you. I’d had no idea. No idea.
I thought maybe you liked me too. I was pretty sure. I mean, who kisses someone’s hand without meaning something by it? Turns out you do. But I didn’t know that until ages later, when we were established enough that it was only minorly embarrassing to me.
Time passed, and we had more walks just the two of us. And we had one of those conversations where I thought I was saying one thing, and you thought I was saying something else, and your response made sense in my context and in your context as well (another thing we discovered ages later)… and somehow we were dating.
I remember you seeing me off the first time when my mom picked me up, and she asked if we were dating and I said yes.
These memories used to be stronger, and they’re fading with time. I feel like that song in Gigi, ah yes, I remember it well. There’s so much life that’s happened since then. We’ve spent well over half our lives together, and those baby and toddler years take a toll.
My love for you has not diminished. I’m still that giddy 16 year old whenever we touch (especially when our progeny keep us physically apart for too long, or when I get to spend the week working from home while the kids are in school). I still spend huge amounts of my day thinking about you. But there’s so much more now, that there wasn’t then. You’re still the most fascinating and attractive person I know, but you’re also a comfort and a support and a partner and a father to our children. (And an accomplished cook!) I can’t imagine life without you.
I love you so much.