It took me ten weeks to realize that I loved you. We met on October 3rd and began dating on the 16th of November. I told you I loved you less than a month after, but we’ll get to that later.
I hated you when we met. I tell everyone that we didn’t get along. That I never thought I would date you. That I imagined you dating my friends. That I imagined us just being friends in the same circles.I imagined you in my life for a long time, but I was never sure in what way. I once told my mom that I would date you at some point, but not in sophomore year of college. Maybe, if I had followed that plan, we would be dating now. Maybe we would be in our first year. Maybe I wouldn’t have said I love you. Who knows.
Whatever the reason, I’m really happy we kissed on October 29th, 2016. I remember the date because it was two days after you came running into my dorm room holding a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream and a box of Annie’s Mac’n’Cheese on my birthday. You told me later that you ran to every convenience store on campus looking for those. We kissed two days after you kissed me on the forehead and played it off as normal as everyone in the room just stood there like are they dating or…?
We kissed on The Bluff at five in the morning. I had waited so long to kiss you that I fell asleep at the halloween party we’d been at. I was freezing in my button down — your button down that I’d so flirtatiously stolen — spandex, and black bra. It was a last-ditch effort to break out of the friend zone that I later learned I was never actually a part of. I was ten minutes from walking away when you pulled me in and gave me your jacket. That’s how we are — me testing you, and you keeping me on my toes. I mean this both literally and figuratively — kissing you means a little stretching thanks to our one foot height difference.
I said I loved you ten minutes after throwing up out of your car window.
I meant it two months later, in San Francisco, my arm still burning from the tattoo. I told you I was going to marry you, and you kissed me so tenderly that I cried.
I meant it at Schmo’s wedding on the drive back to your house.
I meant in your kitchen two nights later after our song had finished and we were both were crying.
I meant it somewhere over Denver en route to New York on a redeye flight in February. I meant it when my dad came home and told me the news. I meant it when I called from the funeral home, that we would name our son after the man in the coffin. Oliver Anton.
I don’t know where I’d be if you weren’t standing behind me in a three piece suit, date-less. We would have circled around each other in perfect orbit, never touching. Maybe you would have stayed the person in the Lair. Maybe you would always confuse me with a girl who looks nothing like me. I don’t think about it much. It bums me out to think that my life could exist without someone to remind me that I don’t need to drink to have fun.
You are such an asshole.
To my mother’s second son, thank you. You fit in my life with an ease I’d thought impossible. You actually find my dad’s jokes funny. You go on dates with my sister. You hugged my mother when she cried. You are incredible.
To sum the past fifteen months is impossible. How can I compile the memories into a playlist? All the late-night drives. The endless supply of pizza. The constant n’n’out drive through. It is impossible to make any of these things irrelevant enough to add to a list of times spent together.
So, for now, Always.