12 Years

He was one of those guys I was instantly drawn to. His size was something you couldn’t miss but his smile was even bigger and more noticeable. I knew who he was. I was aware that he lived in the same apartment building as I did and I knew the group of guys he hung out with. He was a football player and that posse of guys were infamous around campus.

Although we had seen each other plenty of times and even had breakfast together with our mutual group of friends, we hadn’t really talked.

Until that one night, with the most unforgettable conversation that quickly turned into the most memorable evening that completely changed my life.

He was like so many other guys I knew, the perfect friend. I have so many guy friends who I love to pieces. I thought he fit into this category of boys in my life just perfectly. He was sweet, funny and caring and so. much. fun. He was the best to hang out with. It didn’t matter if it was late nights out at the bars or just hanging out watching movies, sober or wasted, he was always fun.

From that one memorable (and drunken) night on, we were friends. Great friends. We spent most days and nights together. Doing nothing and everything. We laughed, teased and fought. If arguing was a sport we were the champions. No one could get me as angry as he could. We were either loving each other or hating each other. It was all or nothing with us.

I remember not long after he graduated he told me he would be moving home. The day I had dreaded came and I had to say goodbye to him. I was incredibly sad and kept asking myself why I cared so much that he was leaving. Yes, he was a great friend and yes, we had so much fun together but that didn’t seem to be enough of an answer for why my stomach was turning and my heart was pounding. I made the goodbye fast – a big hug and a “let’s talk soon” was all I could manage before running out the door in tears.

It wasn’t long before he called and then before I knew it he was back. He was going to be around for the summer while he played Arena Football. We vowed to have the best summer ever. We kept our promise.

That summer went so fast and once again it was time for him to head back home. I remember thinking I let him go once and was lucky enough to get him back. How could I let him go again? I came clean that I didn’t want to see him go. I just wanted him to stay, forever. He promised we would talk and that he would be back.

It took us a while to get to the point where we even discussed dating. Our friendship was great, the best, what if we dated and it didn’t work out. Then what? I was in no way prepared to lose my friend. I also knew in my heart that this boy who I called just a friend meant so much more to me but I was too scared to even consider us as a “we.”

I remember the phone conversation lasting so late into the evening and we went back and forth discussing whether or not we would work. There was a list of pro’s and con’s and at the end of the list I don’t think either one of us was convinced one way or another. I still remember him telling me we should just do it. Give it a try, hope for the best. I agreed.

I hung up the phone in the early morning hours feeling excited, nervous and like I might throw up. I would see him soon and we would see. I fell asleep that night praying we would work and that he wouldn’t be a bad kisser because everyone knows bad kissing ruins everything.

The following week, on Sweetest Day as I sat in the bar with friends, he walked in. He came over to me offering a hug and a pair of Dave Matthews Band tickets for us. I took him home with me that night and he has never left since.

We have been together twelve years this week and married for six of them. I thank God everyday that we were brave enough to give us a chance and that I was lucky enough to marry my friend.

Happy Sweetest Day, love.


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