You're My Favorite, Always
It is our anniversary today. Our third. I don't know what we will be doing; I know only that we will be in Indy, and that, at approximately 5:30 p.m., we will be entering one of downtown's finer restaurants.
I am actually writing this ahead of time; writing this in a hurried manner, because it is 2:53 in the morning and I must wake in two hours. Wake and shower and pack and ready myself for a three-hour car ride, two two-hour flights.
Then, after much sitting and waiting, will I see my Hans again.
It is painful, living apart. Our three-year relationship has been mostly long-distance, with summers, vacations and holidays spent apart. He studied abroad; I studied in Iowa. We have bounced between the two states, driven to each other's homes and slept in each other's sheets. It is tantalizing, agonizing. It is hard.
I do not wish long distance on anyone, though I do know it is a necessity at times. Love does go beyond state lines; it goes beyond earthly boundaries as well. Indeed, I dream of Hans each night, dream of his touch, his smile, our future. Then, when I finally see him in person--be it after a few months, a few weeks, even a few days--I must relearn the shape of his arms, the length of his hair. I happily trace his cheeks, his biceps. I have missed him; missed his presence, his being, his scent. I crave it.
Those times of rekindling our closeness, of learning to love each other's presence, is one gift that long distance gives us.
There will be a time where we no longer live apart. This I know. I know that he is mine; I know that I am his. I know that he is the one person, the one being for which I have wanted to change. I am hot-blooded and fiery-tempered, but he is the one person to whom I can apologize. The one person I can call and sincerely confess my wrongdoings, my thoughts, my feelings.
He teaches me. He teaches me how to be a better individual; one without doubts and fears and anxieties. One with talents and hopes and goals and cheery dimples. He gives me the opportunity to grow; he gives me faith. He gives me his trust, his patience.
I love him enough to know that I want to offer him my best. I love him enough to tell him "I'm sorry." I love him enough to give him a second chance. A third chance. A fourth chance. I love him enough to let him leave his dirty clothes in front of my closet for four days before I say anything. I love him enough to let him ramble about IPAs, chest freezers, bikes. He loves me enough to listen to my manipulations, my whining, my irritations. He loves me enough to give me a second chance. A third chance. A fourth chance. He loves me enough that he will drive nine hours and across two states to surprise me just as I leave work. He loves me enough to drive across Circle City to retrieve me from a place of arrivals and departures.
We love each other enough to know that we will, somehow, one way or another, make it work. Because it's more than the long distance relationship, the temporary loneliness, the inconsistent arguments. It's about planning a future, discussing dreams, smiling about spontaneities. It's about the ability to look at each other in the car and smile, wordless. It's about the arm that reaches around you in the dark and pulls you closer when you suffer from nightmares. It's about cooking the other person's favorite food for them, even though you dislike it yourself. It's about laughing. About making memories. About being responsible. About compromising. About living. About loving. It's about coming across a nonchalant photo, a sideways and otherwise-indiscreet shot of your loved one, and seeing and knowing and feeling that this, this one right here, right in this picture, is who you want to be with for the rest of your life.
So here is to my "semi" significant-other, the one with whom I have now spent one, two, three anniversaries. Here's to further years of road-tripping, fort-building, octopus-eating, sleep-talking, museum-going, antiquing, camping and exploring.
I love you.
With all that I am, with all that I can give you, I love you.
Thank you for being you. Thank you for letting me grow; for showing me how. Thank you for loving me back, for loving me first, and for always, ever and always, being my friend.