Two days ago on Monday, both of us realized at the same time that we had forgotten about our 7th Anniversary. For a few seconds we looked at each other, dumbfounded.
Luckily, it was tea time.
I fetched the eggs, you fetched the flour, and we hurriedly prepared two small chocolate cakes and cups of hot cocoa.
You took the red rose you had brought back from the marketplace on Sunday and gave it to me again. You said:
Here we are today, after 7 years of love and 543 days into our marriage. I expected a lot of things, good and bad, to come out of a long relationship and marriage. But come to think of it, there are 2 things I definitely hadn’t expected.
We made a list of all the things we wanted (the countries; the adventures; the habits; the daily details).
(These are your feet in the bus leading us to our first summer adventure, 6 years ago. Travelling the world was part of the list.)
I expected us to become blasé over the years and to eventually make a joke of that list. But we didn’t. In fact, that list has been like a thread. It connects us to whom we once were, to what we once felt. In times when things get difficult and we can’t clearly see each other, I can feel the vibration that your hand is making on that thread. That way, we know we’re there. We know it all still matters.
There’s one line in that list that I am particularly fond of: “Pretending I’m asleep so that you hold me tight”. Yep, I still do that. I know that you don’t like coming to bed and finding me fast asleep. But I still do it from time to time. Because when you think I’m sleeping, you hold me tighter. You want me back.
I expected the fights. Those over serious things, and those over stupid things like dirty dishes and lost tweezers. I expected the two obvious scenarios. One where we’d eventually break up, worn out by the stupid fights; and one where we’d stay together, because our love would triumph. But I certainly hadn’t expected the imp.
We named him (for it’s a him) Calvin. One day we had a stupid fight over a lost pair of scissors. We both regretted the words we had thrown at each other. Since that day, we have an imp in our house. Calvin is responsible for every single thing that gets lost or displaced.
There is that brand new pair of gloves that you bought, that I am pretty sure I had left on a chair, and that we never found again. There is that scarf you borrowed from me, and that disappeared from the drawer it had been carefully put back into.
Last summer in our tent, we realized that Calvin was even following us in our travels. He’s a real pest. But since the day we discovered his existence, we have much less fights over stupid things.
(This is a close-up of you getting made up on our wedding day.)
If someday Calvin leaves or retires, there will still be your eyes. With them, you know that you can lose a thousand of my scarves. And I just love that after 7 years, when I say “you have beautiful eyes”, you still say “it’s because I’m looking at you”.
Right now you’re taking a nap. I’m sitting in our home.
7 years. Jeez. Sometimes people are scared to get into a long relationship. Some say they’d be scared to disappear into it. To lose themselves in it. To be wiped out of the whiteboard and replaced by a gigantic “us”.
But I tell them that sometimes it turns out alright. We still each have a name and a story. You gave me your name and I gave you mine. You became my story, and I became yours.
(This is us when we’ll be old ladies. We’ve both got to make it to that age. It’s on the list.)
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