In a high school is where it all began. I was quite the wallflower and hardly the social butterfly. Quiet, obedient, and certainly a little goody-two shoes. The only things that brought me out of my shell were my dance and English classes--and that might even be stretching it a bit. I had a small group of girl friends, okay 2 or 3, and I wasn't allowed to date until 16. Even when 16 hit, there were no queue's lining up outside my door. (A good thing, too. I would have just stared blankly, like that fish that I posted a couple days ago.)
One day, a new kid came to algebra class. We were all juniors and I remember him sitting 2 or 3 seats ahead of me in the same row. He smiled a lot, and didn't seem to care one bit that he was the new kid. He was goofy in a good way and made people laugh, including me. Eventually as the weeks went by, the teacher rearranged our seats again. It could have been a total fluke. It could have been that the teacher thought this funny, obnoxious new boy would do better sitting behind a goody two-shoes quiet girl in the corner of the room, with no one else to talk to. Who knows. But that's what happened. I found myself sitting in the last row in the corner of the classroom, with this new kid sitting right behind me. He was French, he was energetic, and he teased me constantly. He charmed me like he did everyone else, and we became fast friends. And thus began the biggest crush I had ever had.
Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one with a crush on this French boy. He was the kind of boy that made friends with everybody. He didn't have one circle of friends, he was in all the circles. He ran for student government, performed in front of the school, played sports, he was smart, and well, as I said, he charmed us all. But I think what I loved most about him was that he brought me out of my shell with such ease. It was so easy to talk to him, like talking to a long-time best friend. In a time where my life was beginning to get really complicated and heavy, F. was a joy in my days at school. But our friendship remained just that, a friendship, and at graduation we parted ways.
As years and other relationships passed, I would hear about him through mutual friends. I would always smile fondly, wondering how he was doing. At one time I had heard he was gay!?#! I was devastated with the prospect of that news, but I couldn't believe it either. All questions were answered 8 1/2 years after graduation when I ran into him at the local gym. I remember thinking to myself that I couldn't have looked any worse. I had baggy-hanging clothes on me, no makeup, frizzy hair in a pony tail--I was working out, what can I say? And he looked different too. He was buff. All muscular with long hippy-like hair. He looked good. We exchanged numbers, but he didn't call me for 3 weeks. I sank and prepared myself for disappointment. I told myself that we would just be friends and that's it, and don't get my hopes up. And besides, he might be gay!
Turns out, he had chicken pox. He likes to tell me he was near death, but survived at the thought of calling me. Yeah, right :). But, despite having pox mark all over his face, despite having dropped nearly 20 pounds from his sickness, he did call and we had dinner. He talked about his ex-girlfriend for quite some time at that dinner. The good news, he wasn't gay, and an old friendship picked up where it left off nearly 9 year ago. But this time, we fell in love.
Tomorrow will be 11 married years with F.. We've had our rough parts, especially in the beginning. We had to learn how to communicate, and we've helped each other overcome difficult things. Most importantly, we've helped each other grow up. It's been an amazing trip, our time together so far. He has kept me laughing and smiling through it all.
|He is intensely private, so this is all I'm allowed to show :).|
Happy Anniversary F.,
with all my love,
|Bird ICAD #14, more here|
|Houses ICAD #15|