The year was 1992, and I was a junior in high school. One warm spring evening, my friend Libby came over unannounced. She felt like hanging out, and she had some friends in the car outside. I was easily convinced.
We drove to the local forest preserves and spent the evening hanging out under the stars… myself, Libby, and two guys from our high school. I thought I felt a connection, an attraction to guy #2. I flirted with him, he flirted back, and a month later we were “dating”. My senior year of high school will always be remembered as the year I dated him.
We went off to separate colleges. We dated and broke up. A lot. We visited each other throughout our college years often, and we would kiss, fight, argue, kiss, and fight. We were… passionate about each other, that’s for sure. But we could never make it ‘click’. I knew, though, that he would always be one of the great loves of my life. I knew I loved him, and I knew he wasn’t meant to be mine.
After college graduation, we became friends. Real friends. No more fighting, and no more kissing. We emailed and talked often. My mom had a breast cancer scare, and I cried on his shoulder. His dad tragically died, and I held his hand during the funeral.
As I sit here now, the details are lost. I can’t remember what brought us together that one final time. Perhaps we met again at a party? A bar? Perhaps one of us phoned the other to say hi? I don’t remember quite how, but somehow, we reconnected. Our families rolled their collective eyes….’there they go again,’ I’m sure they thought. But this time was different. We had grown up. We had lived and experienced and discovered ourselves and we knew.
The year was 2007. I was just finishing my Master’s Degree and came home from a long day of work and classes. I complained. He said he knew what would cheer me up. And he gave me an IPass for my car. Seriously, he did. And then he reached down and gave me the most beautiful ring I’d ever seen and asked me to be with him forever.
The year is now 2013. Our love story was twenty years in the making. I sit in our kitchen now, surrounded by unfinished dinner and toys and the squeals of our young children and our messy, complicated life, and I know that our love story needed time to write itself. Not everything is written on first draft.