Yearly Co. Bride - Monet
There's no doubt that God has a sense of humor.
You must have crossed my path in life a hundred times, and I never knew it. Attending the same school, hanging out with the same friends, pouring over books for hours in the same hole-in-the-wall bookshop. And yet, it took being practically bullied into a blind date to find you.
On our first date, you made me laugh so hard that my abs hurt for three days. Remember how we were almost kicked out of the restaurant for being too loud? We had inside jokes within a few hours, and I went home that evening and told my parents, "I'm going to marry him." There was no wiping the stupid grin off my face after that.
The next week, we stole away to the beaches you'd loved as a boy, both of us anxious and giddy and a bit awkward. I was so aware of your hand near mine on the drive that I hardly felt time pass. You were beautiful, with salt water in your curls and the sun highlighting the muscles in your back as you ran into the surf. You shook your head when I declined using your sunscreen, but were kind enough to not say "I told you so" when, later that evening, I waddled painfully into Walgreens in search of aloe. You were kind to the kids who flew their kite into our picnic, and you paid the toll for the car behind us, and it was endearing. I remember thinking it was odd how I knew so little about you, yet I felt as though you'd been in my life forever.
September, 2016. I was up with the sun, getting my hair done and preparing for the best day of my life. You'd stayed in the room adjacent, but you still brought me a cup of tea, just as you did every single morning. You said I was beautiful even though I was still in curlers and a robe. My hairdresser commented that I didn't seem nervous or jittery, and I smiled. I had known since the beginning that you were my future; the prospect of finally beginning the rest of our lives didn't unnerve me.
Five years later, and we've crammed an awful lot into that time. Three children, three houses, two inter-state moves, major job changes, tragic losses. But mostly, just a lot of love and laughter. You're still my best friend, and I still get that goofy grin when you text me; my heart still jumps when I hear the garage open at the end of the day.
I can't wait to grow old with you and have all my deep laugh lines so everyone can see how happy you've made me.