this isn't a history lesson post because it's not the history of me, per se. it's really a bit of history on the man. (good thing he doesn't read this. he'd get all embarrassed at me telling stories on him like this.) now, my man is quite handsome, brilliant, scathingly hilarious, and in his way a classically-trained southern gentleman under all the profanity. but he's also the master of self-deprecation, so when you compliment him, he gets all squirmy and scoffs it off with an eh, no i'm not.
but while that's all true now, not that i'm biased or anything, it was also kinda true when we were kids together. even as early as eleventh grade, he was a bit of a rock star among my gaggle of girlfriends. i can't think of a single girl we knew back then who didn't at least have a passing crush on him at some point over the years. i can recall one night when we were all at officers' training for our mock legislature program (nerd club! nerd club! the man's roommate would say here). the man was running for youth governor of the whole state, and for the speech he gave at that event, i gave his introduction. the night before the speech, the girls i roomed with and i stayed up late giggling over boys. topic A-number-one? the man. i can't believe you get to introduce him! jealous. seriously. it was like that.
i had the biggest unrequited crush on the planet on him back then. even as i set him up with a friend of mine, telling her how great he was and how much she'd be into him, i secretly wished he'd rebuff her and take up with me instead. but of course, he didn't. we wound our separate roads romantically, taking huge stumbles along the way, and all the while, i would think sometimes, i wonder what would've happened if he'd picked me instead of her? i knew the whole time that there would never be a girl on this earth who would care for him the way i did.
'course, he didn't know any of this at the time, he says. teenage boys are oblivious! you have to make things clear or they just miss them. i think about our younger years these days sometimes, usually when he's sleeping and i'm not quite there yet. part of me is still that teenage girl, wondering how he passed me up back then. i mean, even though he (unbeknownst to him, apparently) had his choice of us, and he chose a few of us, there was always me, standing there beside him no matter what. i mean, i know what would've happened if we'd gotten together at seventeen. we'd have broken up and probably never spoken again. the way things went is so, so much better.
sometimes at night, i look at him there, arms wrapped around me, and i think about how i'm the luckiest girl in school to have landed the big man on campus. i know it's silly, and it's a spectacularly juvenile way to feel, but it's also such a thrill. all i ever wanted when i was fifteen was to be on his arm. lo and behold, here we are. wish fulfillment never felt so good.
Letter 70: Be Louder
5 days ago