Wednesday, February 14, 2007

You and Me

I distinctly remember saying to myself when I was in high school that I would marry a guy from Missouri. I don’t know why, I just did. Maybe because…

They didn’t have you where I come from
Never knew the best was yet to come
Life began when I saw your face
And I hear your laugh like a serenade


I met you in Drawing I the second semester of my freshman year at college. You were taller than anyone I’d ever met and so incredibly skinny, even thinner than usual from the near-death bicycle accident you suffered a couple months before. It tore your face to shreds and left you unable to eat solids for a few weeks. You still have a hint of that angry oval shaped purple scar high on your right cheek bone. I distinctly remember your Ralph Lauren dungarees that were rolled tightly around your ankle, the white Chuck Taylor’s that you had lovingly repaired with Duck Tape and the long sleeved cotton shirt with tiny Cadillac emblems on it. All those crazy things and I haven’t mentioned your most defining characteristic; the auburn hair. It was clipped very close to your big head except for the long frizzy tuft of bangs that fell down to your cheek. .

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough?
Cause, I’m never, ever giving you up.


We sat in a circle straddling drawing benches that had built-in easels to rest our drawing boards against. The subject of our drawing was in the center of the circle. It could be a pedestal with a pile of nails, a group of geometric shapes or a naked person. The class was three hours long with two 15 minute breaks. There was plenty of time to get to know the person sitting next to you. The first week I sat next to a very nice boy named Brandon. We chatted through the class and afterwards walked to the Union Bookstore where he bought me a kneadable eraser for our class.

I slip in bed when you’re asleep
To hold you close and feel your breath on me
Tomorrow there’ll be so much to do
So tonight I’ll drift in a dream with you.

One day I found you sitting on one side of me and Brandon on the other. You’re presence didn’t register on me at first. Then you started talking and I realized you were actually pretty nice. I asked what you had done over the weekend and you said, “Well, I went to church and played some ping-pong.” That’s when I woke up and rubbed the dullness from my eyes to see who you were. I don't remember anything about Brandon from that point on.

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough
Cause, I’m never, ever giving you up.


We spent Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the next two weeks talking for three hours. We didn’t leave the room during the 15 minute breaks we just talked right through. The whole time I didn’t know your name. I was afraid you had told me and it slipped my mind. I glanced at your open art box hoping you had scribbled your name somewhere, but it only contained the same supplies as mine. I didn’t know at the time, but you were trying to solve the same mystery with me. Finally, you were brave enough to admit your ignorance. We both laughed at our stupidity. From the moment it left your lips, I loved your name. I didn’t know it at the time, but later my name wouldn’t sound the same without yours coupled with it.

As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you’re miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade

I didn’t realize what your intentions were, since I had a boyfriend back home, you weren’t anything more than a sweet friend to me. In fact, I had hopes that you might take to my sister, since she had a thing for auburn-haired-green-eyed boys. It was easy to be myself around you. I never felt the need to impress or persuade, so you obviously got the real me. Slowly, we just came to be us. There was no fancy dating or courtship, it was just you and me and nothing else mattered.

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough?
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough?
Cause, I’m never, ever giving you up.

One night as I was praying I thanked God for you and then said, “I sure do love that boy.” I paused and thought about what I had said and realized then that God had softly, but surely brought you to me. Never would a day pass from that point that you wouldn’t be in my life.

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough?
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough?
Cause, I’m never, never giving you up.

*
Lyrics from Lullaby by The Dixie Chicks*

6 comments:

jennifer said...

How very valentiney! Sweet post.

hope4grace said...

How utterly beautiful! Sniff, I feel bad now, didn't post a sweet hubby story on mine....tomorrow, I'll do that tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful "real" story April. You remembered things in such detail--as in clothes. What a special tribute to your husband and your love for him after all these years. I hope he reads it. Might get you a nice dinner out--lol. (Can't believe I typed in "lol".) Hope you are finished with the drama for the banquet. Joanie

Bernadette said...

Love is in the air! Watch out, April. It has been my experience that fond, warm memories of one's beloved can cause "complications."

I often make stuffy statements such as: "Make mine Mozart." Today I shall open my mind and seek out this lullaby. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I really liked this post, April. Made me remember how Jon and I met in college. Really sweet.
annie :)

Katherine@Raising Five said...

"later my name wouldn’t sound the same without yours coupled with it"

Oh, that is such a beautiful way to tell a love story.