The Day We Met and All the Ones After

Clayton Hensley/Special

We first met on a rainy Wednesday morning in our local corner bakery. The memory of this day is clear as the liquid in glass vials currently sitting by your hospital bed. I stepped into Marionette’s Bakery with my shoulder keeping my phone in place against my ear, arguing with my mother over something I can’t remember. I didn’t notice you at first, too distracted by the rough, crackly retorts from the other end of the line and the coin that had fallen from my open wallet. But I suppose it is only suitable to your name that you would catch my attention like you did. As I was pocketing the coin back into my wallet and attempting to reason with my mother, I heard a sudden loud laugh in the air to my left that was then followed by a gasp when a hard object smacked sharply against my ankle, leaving an ache ringing through my bones. I watched as a book slid past my foot, shock wearing off once it had stopped a couple feet away from me. You know this story better than I do, and it was obvious I was not happy.

Pain fueled with barely manageable irritation and stress, I chucked my phone into my bag and whirled around to hopefully slap whoever had chucked the book at me with my backpack. But then…I stopped. I saw you. You were looking at me with wide eyes and unruly hair, and, in that moment, as muffled yelling from my mother could still be heard from my bag and the soreness in my ankle deemed me ready to fight someone, only one thought passed through my mind: you were the most beautiful person I had ever seen. You might have been trying to talk to me, or maybe the cashier was attempting to get my attention, but all I remembering focusing on was, well, you.

If memory serves me well, you were drowning under a worn, brown coat that seemed more dead than alive and had a torn, leather, messenger bag slung loosely over one shoulder. Your white sneaker heads were splattered with dried mud, and your thin glasses grasped desperately at the bridge of your nose. Someone might have taken a second’s glance at you and moved on without a peak of interest, but, to me, you were gorgeous, horrible taste in style and gangly limbs and all.

I’ve known you for five years now. We were friends for two of those years and lovers for the the rest. We kissed in New York and married in Paris. The fantasy wore off eventually once I found out you weren’t the angel you appeared to be when I first saw you, but that never stopped me from loving you.

Our wedding anniversary is approaching soon, my love. I already have a present hidden in a shoe box, but it appears that I have an another unexpected one to gift you as well. The proof is in the photographs sitting on our dining room table of our cozy apartment, where you proposed to me three years ago. You’re gone right now, probably terribly confused over why I need pickles and peanut butter at this given time, while I sit at home, tapping my fingernail along to the ticking of the clock. Your curiosity will soon peak (as your nature dictates) and you’ll eventually resort to bugging me in order to know the reasons behind the changes in my mood. I won’t say anything just yet because it’s a surprise—a gift for all the years we’ve loved each other—that I’ll only reveal on the anniversary of the day we made our vows together. However, once you find out, I hope you’ll be ready to soon welcome a new addition to our family.