The first time I saw you, we were in a room full of people. But I remember, I liked your smile.
Soon, we were running into each other around campus, and I remember thinking you were a great guy. Little pangs of jealousy when I’d see you talking to other girls.
Then I got a boyfriend.
The following year, I’d see you around all the time. Soon, we’d plan our days around our classes, laughing, studying, or just hanging out until I could get a ride back to my apartment.
Still I had that boyfriend.
But I loved hanging with you. I told myself we were only friends. You told your mom you would marry me one day.
And then the boyfriend wasn’t working out. And I ended things with him.
We got our chance to act on the feelings that had built up over months. And the kiss that I will never forget. The fraternity and sorority parties. And the formal dances. And the intensity of our relationship. And so much.
The all nighters at Denny’s studying for midterms. The late nights in the library study room. Holding hands. Always reaching out to touch each other. Trying to concentrate when we were really caught up in a storm of emotion and had no clue what the books in front of us said. Constantly reminding ourselves to get back to work.
The ride home from Palm Springs when I gave you the silent treatment the whole way because I was mad over tabasco sauce on a french fry. But still, I held your hand.
And the intensity was so confusing for me. Because the boyfriend was trying to get me back. And our friends all having an opinion. And it was all a lot.
We had that last dinner date and movie. Finals arrived. And then my birthday. And I stupidly let you go.
Senior year. And you weren’t there anymore. Would we have gotten together again? I have no doubt about it. But it didn’t work out that way.
Two years later, you were married.
Another break up with the boyfriend. And then another reconciliation. And then another final breakup. And then “stupid people” in and out of my life. Getting married and having the girls.
But all through those years, little did I know that we were probably at the same place at the same time again and again. And we didn’t know it.
We both thought of each other now and then. I thought you hated me.
Finally, I’m divorced. And so are you. And I get a facebook friend request and there you are.
And you never hated me. I see your posts. Comments. And we chat here and there. And then make plans for “lunch.” Which turned into a Dodger game. And the moment I saw you, I felt like running toward you. A hug. Did you hear angels singing? I’m sure they were.
Flirting. Messaging. Starbucks. LMU. Santa Monica Pier.
“I love you, Marco.”
“I’ve loved you my whole life.”
And now here we are. Where we always should have been. A family with all four of our girls. Making new memories.
And still, we reach out for each other’s hands. We read each other’s thoughts and often say the same thing at the same time. How is it possible that we ever had a moment living separate lives?
You. Still that guy. With the great smile. Who could always make me laugh. With that great kiss. That guy that I just can’t get enough of. You.
Happy birthday, Marco. I love you.