I’m not the kind of person who scoffs at romantic movies and love songs. This is why:
I fell in love with Matthew at 10:57pm on Friday, September 10, 2004.
I know, because I wrote about it while it happened. And this is what I said:
Something is happening to me. Something I can’t even begin to describe…so I’ll try. I feel like the centre of my chest has opened, and energy is pouring out of it. I don’t understand it…is this because of the Reiki last night?
Suddenly everything is clear and calm…only not calm at all. There’s an emotion in me that I’ve been fighting, and it’s so strong that I feel it as a physical pain. Only not a pain. I don’t understand. I feel open. Open and connected to one person.
Everything else has melted away. I never want to go to sleep…I don’t want to lose this. Is this all in my head? It doesn’t feel like it. Will I feel this way tomorrow?
Suddenly I feel certain. All the doubts and fears that I had have faded into the background, existing only as white noise. The opinions of other people mean nothing. Oh, please don’t let this be my imagination. Where did this come from?
How could I have ever worried?
I lay on the floor and stretched my arms wide and felt the force flow out of me…and into me. Like a dam breaking. How long has this been storing up? It feels like forever.
How could I ever have worried about losing myself? I am still myself. For once I’m not lost. In fact, I feel like I’m coming home to myself.
I fell in love with Matthew at 10:57pm. I didn’t say it that night, but I knew.
The Back Story:
I met Matthew in 2001, when I started dating his friend Bud. Matthew was in a long-term relationship, and we were all couple-friends. True story.
I always got along really well with Matthew. We both knew the words to Pirates of Penzance (which you must admit is odd in this day and age). I thought he was hilarious. He (apparently) thought I was pretty and cool. But it’s not like I ever thought about him, you know, that way.
Not when we were couple friends, not when we each got engaged to our significant other, and not when, in June of 2004, we found ourselves unexpectedly single (OK, a little more expected for me, because I did the breaking up with my fiance).
No. Matthew was just a friend. A friend who I felt a lot of sympathy for. A friend I was suddenly spending a lot of solo time with commiserating over how much it sucks to be dumped (I had experience). A friend who I knew had a thing for me, but somehow it didn’t make me at all uncomfortable around him…
…a friend who, a few months later, I found myself talking about rather a lot. And hanging out with almost every day. And unexpectedly kissing on Labour Day weekend…
Matthew was amazing. During the 24 hours after we kissed, he showed me what it would be like to be with him, and I couldn’t believe it was possible. We kissed and talked and cuddled, and slow-danced in the kitchen to a song by Something Corporate. It was perfect.
He was so gentle and kind and patient with me. In the week after Labour Day, I went into full freak-out mode because It Was Too Soon To Date Again and What If It Ruined Our Friendship and What Would People Think? and I told him I wanted to be Just Friends. He didn’t push me. He didn’t try to kiss me the night we hung out “as friends.” He respected my boundaries.
Respect is HOT.
The one thing he did do was give me Reiki for the first time. On the night of September 9, 2004.
…exactly 24 hours before I wrote the passage above.
At 10:57pm on Friday, September 10, 2004, all of the barriers I’d built up fell away, taking my fears with them. And I Knew. That this was too important to put off because of random What If worries. That this was too big not to jump in right away. That I could stop agonizing over what to do, because there wasn’t even a choice involved. That this was It.
So I jumped. I called him, and he was there within an hour, wrapping his arms around me and listening as I told him what had happened.
On the fourth day I said “I love you,” and meant it so much I cried. He had been saying it all along.
Exactly a year later we got married. And our first dance was (in abbreviated form) the same song we danced to in the kitchen at the beginning of our love story. Inappropriate lyrics be damned, it needed to happen.
So no, I don’t scoff at love stories. Because I lived one. I’m still living it.