Some day we’ll sit our kids down and tell them our love story. But until then, I’m going to write it down here because it’s a beautiful story and I’m dying to tell anyone.
We met in high school. Or at least, we knew of each other. Dozens of my friends were friends with you, and we even had a class together your senior year. You were one of the most popular kids in school, a fact you still don’t quite understand to this day. Everyone knew you. I on the other hand, spent countless hours browsing the library stacks alone. According to you, you thought I was cute even back then. I think you’re lying.
We started talking a few months after you graduated. I don’t remember if it began on Twitter on Facebook, but over your freshman winter break, we went on a date. That boba place is still in our hometown. They’ve redecorated so many times, but every time I stopped by I‘d look over at the corner where we sat and smile.
And then you ghosted me. You went on to date my calculus classmate, a girl in the year below me and prettier (or so I thought at 17). I don’t know how long y’all dated. I remember coming on this very site all those years ago and pouring my heart out because I was heartbroken. You had completely stopped replying to my texts. You’d picked someone else, and I was desolate.
At some point I deleted you off Facebook. That summer, I lost the majority of my friends after I broke up with a classmate. The things that were said about me and to me still haunt me in my darkest dreams. I disappeared from our hometown, from our social circle, from everything. I dated strangers who’d never even heard of our town, who wouldn’t possibly know any of the people I’d once called friends. For 5 years, I carried on in the shadows.
And then I got tired of it. I got tired of everything. I’d successfully left an abusive relationship on my own, I was living by myself and working an adult job. I was tired of hiding from some high school bullies. So I started using social media more, and more.
I still kept dating, and getting my heart broken. Then the pandemic hit, and as a frontline healthcare worker I was forced into a solitary existence. For months, Twitter was my only outlet. I’d sit and browse endlessly on my days off, occasionally chiming in about the situation at my hospital. Eventually I just started screaming into the void. I would tweet any and every thing that came to mind. Ironically, I would tweet a lot about my love life.
I hadn’t noticed we still followed each other on Twitter. The first time I interacted with you again after all those years, I had a mini heart attack. “He probably doesn’t remember everything that happened, right?” I got over it after ten minutes. After that, it just kept happening. A like here and there, maybe a reply, nothing to write home about. I was busy with work and dating and the thought of rekindling a high school crush was the last thing on my mind.
And then in January, we started interacting even more than before. Until one night, you literally slid into my DM’s. (I can’t wait for you to wake up so I can make fun of you for this). We spent hours that weekend trading messages back and forth. I was still awkward because I had no idea what was going on. It was like I was 17 all over again. But rekindling a teenage crush was still the last thing on my mind. You were just fun to talk to.
After a couple of weeks, we started texting. It was in the middle of that horrible winter storm that hit Texas right before I moved out of state. In the middle of a drastic life change, you were there. And despite me still dating someone, I leaned on you.
My first few weeks in my new home were awful to say the least. I was homesick, I hated the snow, and I was more lonesome than ever. And I started leaning on you even more. I’d text you in the middle of the night, because that was what friends did. I’d bug you on Twitter while sending you a string of messages, and you went with it. It was mid March before I realized that you were being a lot more than friendly, you were flat out flirting with me. In retrospect, it’s obvious.
We got to the point where we were texting from the time we woke up to the time we went to bed. Despite being in different time zones and working opposite hours, we always replied to each other as soon as possible. We would share memes, shower each other with attention and affection, or just talk about our days. At one point you were badgering me to add you back on Facebook.
And still, I didn’t see it.
I thought we were just friends. Until the person I was dating when I left Texas essentially cheated, and I was forced to actually pay attention to our friendship. I had been living in denial, reading your cute messages over and over, seeing how you would drop everything for me, and still thinking that we were just friends. On Twitter, you got to the point where you would interact with everything I posted. I’d jokingly call you a simp and you wouldn’t even deny it.
I on the other hand, was so dense I didn’t even notice my own feelings for you. I was always so excited to talk to you, but I chalked it up to friendship. I thought of you every moment, but kept telling myself that we were just friends. I think I was trying to protect my heart.
And then came the photo.
When you’ve hidden away from the public eye for 7 years, your appearance changes. In my case...it changed drastically. Gone was the meek, quiet girl with short hair and glasses and an overbite. In her place was a confident outspoken woman with waist length curly hair, a stunning smile (thanks, braces) and best of all, contacts. I’d even changed my name. I’d transformed in 7 years, and I hadn’t let anyone see. I figured it was time to change that. So I snapped a photo and posted it.
I badgered you to comment on it. I wanted to annoy you, and even once you commented I kept at it. We ended up teasing each other in the comments section of my very public photo. I jokingly said I was the love of your life. Everyone saw it.
An hour later, we were laughing over text at your comments. And somehow, it came out. That you liked me, that you had been flirting with me for months now, and how could I have not noticed?
I flew into a fury. After what you’d done 7 years ago, you thought you could just waltz back into my life?
And then I realized I wasnt mad because you liked me. I was mad because I liked you too.
Except, at this point, we had already begun saying I love you to each other. Somewhere in the beginning of March I started forcing you to say it to me each night before you went to bed, all with the intent to annoy you.
So it wasn’t rekindling a teenage crush. It was full blown love. I’d fallen in love with someone who I thought was just a friend. Ironically, you knew well before I did. I just didn’t want it to be true.
And then everything made sense. Your pet names for me, the way you always asked about my day and my interests, genuinely trying to get to know me. The comments you would make, “I haven’t stopped thinking about you since I woke up”, the way you would gently roast me. Your double, triple, quadruple texts, the way it seemed I always had your attention.
You would joke about marrying me, about being in a relationship with me, and like an absolute idiot i was completely blind to all of it. Only now, instead of joking about it, we genuinely talk about how many kids we want. You tell me how I’d make a great mom. You ask me what I want for the future.
Which is why, in 45 days, I’ll be moving 1000 miles across the country to Indiana.
A love story that started in a little Texas town spread across 7 years, three states, and countless miles.
But it’s all worth it to spend the rest of my life with you.
I love you.