I have often heard people speak of true love, but for me, it was more of a sense of what was right, like the right amount of cinnamon, or the right amount of wine. And as far as other things I have heard, to say that I was his is not at all a phrase I find accurate, though I might say I was devoted to him, And I did not know if I would be with [him] when we were 12 and 15, or 54 and 57, but I knew that I should be.
— from A Still Small Voice, by John Reed
Yesterday was David’s 3oth birthday. I wanted to post something yesterday, but with all of the birthday activity, and being sick, I didn’t get a chance to. Today, I’m home sick from work, so I thought I’d take advantage of the free time and tell you a little something about him.
A year ago, David and I sat on a bench at the Navy Memorial, trying to talk our way through the very complicated beginning of our relationship. It was a Friday after work, the day before his birthday; I had taken him to lunch earlier since I wasn’t expecting to be able to see him again until Monday. I had written him a letter telling him 10 things he didn’t know about me and baked him cookies, which I left on his desk before he got in to work. He loved both the letter and the cookies.
We were talking about how the beginning works, when everything’s so complicated. He was afraid of making a big change; I was afraid of never getting to be with him. We knew that this was a chance we had to take, or risk wondering about it for the rest of our lives, but the first step was very scary. Around and around we went, each of us fighting the other, trying to make our way to common ground.
Eventually, the talking stopped and we just looked at each other, searching each other’s eyes, wondering if we were thinking the same thing. I decided to risk it, and leaned in. He stopped me.
“Wait,” he said. “I want to tell you before I kiss you.”
“What?” I asked, hoping I was right about what was next.
“I love you,” he said.
I smiled with tears in my eyes. “I love you, too.” I said.
And that was that. We’ve been together ever since.
It hasn’t always been a walk in the park, obviously, but even when it was so hard a couple of months ago, there wasn’t anywhere else I wanted to be. David is my other half in so many ways; even after a year, he’s still the first person I want to tell things to, the first person I want to do anything with, the only person I can imagine waking up to every day and coming home to every night, the person who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself, the one who supports me and encourages me and helps me up when I stumble, the one who seems to understand me the way no one else can. His are the arms I want around me when the world feels like too much; his are the arms I burrow into each night as I fall asleep, knowing there isn’t a single place on earth I’d rather be.
I love the way, if I’m walking behind him, he absentmindedly reaches his hand back for me to take, because he wants me next to him. I love the way he comes up and kisses me out of the blue for no reason. I love that we casually say, “When we get married . . .” or “When we have kids . . .” like it’s a foregone conclusion, with no doubt that it will ever come to pass. I love that he takes such good care of the tomatoes, even though he won’t eat them. I love that he acts as my ears without either of us even realizing it. I love the way he brushes me off every morning when I tell him how handsome he looks (“You say that every day”) because I know he’s secretly pleased to hear it. I love the tilt of his head when he’s about to say something sweet to me, and the way he secretly touches my leg under the table when we’re out to dinner. I love that every time we drive somewhere more than an hour away, we have to be sure we find a Sheetz so that he can get a vanilla cappucino.
He’s so smart, and he makes me laugh every day. He makes me a better person in so many ways, and I know that I’m lucky to have found him. I hope I get to write one of these every year.