For Robin, on our fourth anniversary;
I never believed in love at first sight. When I was growing up, fairy tales and myths were just that – they were stories I couldn’t relate to, images that seemed pretty on paper but never really made sense when I applied them to my life. It seemed too important, a grand, all-encompassing love like that. Like Icarus, I thought that daring to believe in something that big would only end in disappointment. The love I saw demonstrated was quieter, less dramatic. You dated around, you found someone that tolerated you, you settled.
I was kind of a weird kid. Beyond the fact that I was gay in a conservative household, I read instead of having friends, I imagined Middle Earth and spaceships. And I always assumed that if I wound up with someone, I’d have to shutter off those parts of myself. The world around me said that love meant putting only the best parts of you forward. It meant arguments and misunderstandings, it meant making yourself smaller so that you’d fit.
Four years ago, I got on a plane to go to Australia. I wanted to do something big, something daring. There was a friend I had from an online writing site that promised to meet me at the airport, to make sure I got to my hostel in one piece. We made tentative plans to have lunch, maybe, to spend a day in sightseeing. I assumed that this was my solo adventure, and that if we hit it off, maybe that online friendship would deepen. The most I expected out of the trip was a new perspective, was to have a few new stories to tell. To jump-start my writing.
After twenty hours of travel, I stepped out of the airport into the Melbourne autumn and I saw Robin.
And I fell in love.
Love, I’ve discovered, doesn’t come with a rush and a bang. Not always. It can be quiet, it can creep up behind you and spin you around and change everything. Four years ago, I was resigned to being alone. Four years ago, I assumed that sharing my life with someone meant that I would become smaller. That I would be less.
Four years ago, I met the love of my life. My only love. And from the moment I saw Robin, I knew. With that quiet, steady certainty that refused to let me go, that overcame the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that lay in our way, I knew.
Robin doesn’t make me small. I don’t collapse myself to fit. In everything, in the good parts of me I hold out with hopeful awe, in the bad parts of me I strive to clean up, Robin makes me better. I am more because I got off that plane, because I looked up and saw love.
I am going to get married, someday. I am going to stand there with my best friend, with my heart, with my every breath, and I am going to say words that mean forever and family and home. And four years will become forty, will become the rest of my life, and all the pieces of me I never believed would fit have finally found their match.
I never used to believe in love at first sight. Until I put on wings, until I soared next to the sun, until I felt the warmth at my back and I discovered that it doesn’t always burn. Sometimes it makes us bigger. It makes us more.
My life is a love story, because of Robin. And all I want is one more chapter, one more sentence, one more word.
My darling, I love you. Forever, for always, I love you.
My heart. My Robin. My beautiful friend.
I love you.