Today John and I turn two. Happy day to us! It feels like we’ve known each other forever and always. I’m not going to gush too much about him right now, but I have been piecing together memories for months now in a draft that is forever old. Below I’m going to post the preface of our story together as a couple. It’s too long, not edited, littered with run-on sentences and improper grammar. But it’s not meant to be an essay, it’s just meant to be a memory for me. You can read if you’d like. I’ll be posting more parts of the story as they come. I just want to remember our beginning.
The preface to our story starts in 2010. 2010 was a bad year… for both of us. We were both very sad people that year… heartbroken, confused, and lonely. It was the fall right after what I will always refer to as my Lost Summer, for many reasons, mostly because the parts I remember I want to forget. Although there was some light for me during that summer… But this isn’t a story about summer, this is a story of Halloween night. I was dressed up as Lindsay Lohan for Halloween. This was right around the time of her first big trial. My costume included leggings, a fake spray tan, the infamous “colorful” quote written on my middle fingernails, an ankle monitor, sunglasses that I wore even indoors, and a baggie of powdered sugar (made to look like cocaine). Glamourizing someone so tragically awful and sad… maybe not so great in retrospect, but it was a pretty good costume and I didn’t have to tell anyone what I was, they knew… so, success? A big group of friends, including my housewife, gathered at my apartment and we all finished getting ready there and then we all walked to the pub where we always went… only that night it was crazy busy.
My housewife (her name is actually Micah… in case I use that name elsewhere, don’t confuse the names as two different people) had recently gotten back in touch with John. They knew each other years ago back at West Virginia when John was getting his MFA. Unbeknownst to me, she had been talking about me to him, telling him that her friend would be a good match for him if only they didn’t live in different states. As a running joke, John would refer to me as his “girlfriend” when they talked about me, but please keep in mind, I had no clue this guy existed at the time as my housewife had not confided this to me. What a creep, John! (Just kidding ;) So it was really funny to me when, at the end of the very fun Halloween festivities, Micah showed me a text she had received from John telling her to “tell [his] girlfriend that [he] said hi.” We decided on our way back to the apartment to call him up… why not?! After introductions from the housewife, John and I talked briefly about who-knows-what. I had to end the conversation short because there were a bunch of people at my apartment and I could not concentrate, but I promised to call him when everything settled. And call him I did! That evening as I secluded myself in my bedroom for the night I called him back up because I could not sleep and thought it would be fun. We ended up talking for hours. He already knew a bunch of stuff about me but I didn’t know anything about him, so the conversation was mostly me asking him question after question and it turned out that through the last 8 or so years of our lives we just missed each other several times in the most random places. The things we had in common were crazy and we got along amazingly well. We were becoming fast friends.
It was really fun, talking to this new, amazing man. However, there were a few problems. The one big problem: I was NOT looking for any kind of romantic situation at all during that time. I had been by myself for a while and had intended to stay that way for a while more. There was also the issue of distance — I was in Kentucky, he was in North Carolina. But also the problem of: this guy is pretty dang great and I cannot get him out of my head. We talked a lot. It started with a few times a week, with texts thrown in here and there… which turned quickly into texts throughout the day and talking every single night before we went to sleep. I was falling for him, but oh was I ever hanging on, clawing at the cliff trying to slow this fall. I was so determined! I was not going to get into a relationship! Nevermind that all I wanted to do was talk to him, tell him about my day, hear every detail of his, “watch” tv & movies together over the phone, hear him read me to sleep (so spoiled!). We ended up finally setting a date (to meet! in person!) – he would come visit Micah and me in Kentucky right after Christmas. We set up this date right before Thanksgiving. The Monday (I believe it was Monday… if John ever tells his side of this story, he’ll get the dates perfectly right because his brain is way better at memorizing than mine) before Thanksgiving I had an idea — “instead of you coming on Saturday (in December… after Christmas), why don’t you come on Thursday instead.” Here is where my brain’s way of thinking messes things up: surely this deserves a post of its own, but I have a tendency to assume people are hearing my thoughts and then just say things out loud using pronouns without an antecedent or say a sentence that makes no sense in the context of the last spoken conversation. We’ll be talking about the weather which will lead me to think of something in my head and while John continues talking weather I am referencing a movie we saw — only he doesn’t understand my question about the movie because we were talking about the weather. So, there’s that. Hmm… off track, now — so I told John he should come visit on Thursday. In my head, I meant the Thursday in December after Christmas, instead of coming the Saturday after. John heard “I should come this Thursday.” He was slightly taken aback and then said something along the lines of “are you sure? you want me to come this Thursday? it’s Thanksgiving.” I am beyond confused now — he wasn’t going to come until the 20something of December and now he wants to visit on Thursday, a couple days away? We had an awkward exchange. And the phone call was ended shortly after. Upon hanging up I freaked out and told Micah that I thought I just agreed to have John come visit this Thursday.
John and I would meet in person on Thanksgiving. Before I thought I would have a month to prepare for his trip up, to meet this man that had quickly become a close confidant. I was a nervous wreck. What kind of guy just up and drives 7 hours on Thanksgiving day to visit a girl he’s never met? Of course… I was excited — so excited. Too excited for a girl that was determined not to fall for this guy. Let me add here, I did make this clear to John. I didn’t think I was ready to commit and engage in a serious relationship with anyone. We were friends though — if anything we would’ve gained a new great friend and that was enough for us to continue, so he did decide to visit. Thanksgiving Day I was with my family up in Ohio with my grandfather, aunt, uncles, and cousins. I squirmed around the whole day, barely being able to eat any of the delicious food because a boy was at that time driving all the way up to Kentucky to see me. My family lollygagged (fun word I never use!) up in Ohio and I was trying to be discreet about wanting to leave and get back to my apartment. We left later than I anticipated and called John as soon as I set foot inside my apartment. I said, “Where are you right now?” He said, “I’m just on the outside of Knoxville.” I said, “Oh good! That gives me some time to clean up a bit more before you come — we stayed later than I wanted and I just got back to my apartment.” He said, “I was just kidding. I’m at the bar. I got in early and this place was open.” I said, “Oh shit!” Because I was hoping to run the vacuum again, change clothes after being in a car for hours, make myself as pretty as possible and he was already in town! He started getting nervous thinking I didn’t want him to visit, but oh I did… I was just SO nervous about seeing him and SO soon. I told him to give me a few more minutes, hang tight, and then come over. I ended up making him wait close to an hour — poor guy! But eventually he left the bar and came over to my house where I was sitting on the porch waiting with a glass of wine. I saw him pull up and park, he was wearing jeans and a black jacket and he was so cute. SO CUTE. We had exchanged pictures but all of his were blurry and weird angle-y because his phone was ancient. This was the first time I got a good look at him and it was awkward. Very awkward. We’ve been talking on the phone for almost a month, do we hug? Shake hands? What do we do? We hugged. We smiled. John went back to his car to get some things he brought with him, namely board games and wine. He dropped the bottle of wine on the sidewalk. It broke and we laughed at how nervous we were and sat outside on the porch for a while making small talk. I could not get over how cute he was. I was a smitten kitten right away. All my honorable notions of NO RELATIONSHIP be damned. This boy was amazing. We went inside and watched My So-Called Life and played games and drank wine and called it good.