I have to gush about my boyfriend for just a minute. He has been beyond amazing lately. With my Dad being sick, life is a bit more complicated than it’s ever been, I need help with lots of stuff, and Darren has been so patient and helpful, and is overall just the best human being ever. He shovels my driveway, chops wood for our wood stove, brings over whatever my Dad thinks he can muster up enough courage to eat, and comforts me on my not so good days, which I have a-lot of lately. Anyway, our relationship is the strongest it’s ever been. I’ve never felt more confident in the love we share, and the family we’ll have someday, and I’ve been thinking a-lot lately about how it all started…
I remember the first time I ever saw Darren. I was walking into work on a summer day, and I saw him standing there; I stopped. He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen. I remember asking a coworker who he was and feeling like a teenage girl; I felt awkward and strangely nervous as I asked him “do you know who that new cashier is?” A coworker agreed that he was totally beautiful, and we talked endlessly about his blue eyes and his thick eyelashes, guessing his age and trying to figure out if he was single. I remember working up the courage to introduce myself. I walked over and said, “Hi, I’m Stephanie and I work in the mobile department.” He hardly let me finish, “everything you just said about yourself is on your name tag.” What a jerk. I forgot his name after that. I remember seeing him in the break room a few months later and I couldn’t remember if his name was Darren or Derrick, but something had changed. I asked him randomly if he had a girlfriend, he told me he did “until yesterday.” I don’t know if I hid my excitement well enough. It was our first time actually talking, that’s the only part I remember though.
Months passed, and we would say hi and bye here and there, but no real progression, but then one day I found a piece of paper crumpled up on the floor. I unfolded it and someone had drawn a little picture of an iPhone, the message application was opened and at the top, where the name normally goes, it had his phone number. There was a grey bubble that said “I just had to tell you that I think you are absolutely gorgeous,” and a blue bubble had a “…” I had no clue who it could be from. I asked everyone if they knew that phone number, until someone did. “That’s Darren’s phone number!” I was confused. He didn’t act like he liked me, but maybe he did. After that, I worked up the courage to start a few conversations, and then one day he asked me about myself, about past relationships, about what I liked, and in that moment, I knew that we would end up together, but I decided to fight against what I knew. He was so interested in how other guys had treated me and what I didn’t like about them. He asked me questions about what I went to school for, and soon enough he started asking me to go to dinner with him too.
We worked together, and I didn’t think it was a good idea to go to dinner with a coworker. As much as I wanted to say yes, I said no, over and over and over again. We seemed to go through moments where one person was more interested than the other; he even ended up dating someone else for a bit, and I almost did too. I remember on Christmas Eve he hugged me and wished me a Merry Christmas; he was so strong. He picked me up off my feet, and spun me around in a half circle. I couldn’t forget that hug – crazy to think we didn’t actually start dating until that August.
We became best friends. I would tell him everything, and we would Snapchat constantly, always me complaining about school work, and always him commenting on my big blue eyes. He would still ask me to dinner once in a while, or ask me to meet him at the Walkway to go for a walk with him and his new dog Bella, but I was always busy with school. I remember we didn’t have each other’s phone numbers, well I had his, because I saved his little crumpled note, but he didn’t have mine, and one day he Snapped me saying he needed my number because there was something important we had to talk about it, I wrote it down on a scrap piece of paper, took a picture and sent it to him. From then on, we talked all the time.
In June, he went to a music festival, and told me he missed me while he was there, but still, I wasn’t ready. While he was gone, I accidentally called him my boyfriend. My subconscious was going to get the best of me. In July, I went on vacation, and I missed him so much. I sent him pictures, and told him funny stories, even embellishing a few to get a laugh out of him, then one night he texted me, and told me how he felt. The message started by saying that he had too much to drink, but that he liked me so much, and needed to know if I felt the same. I was conflicted. I did, but I didn’t want to compromise our friendship.
I texted him back and told him I didn’t feel the same. He didn’t respond; I texted him again asking if he was okay, still no answer. The second he stopped answering I knew I did the wrong thing, I had to tell him how I really felt. I texted him again a few days later and told him that the girl he liked, well if he asked her to dinner again, I knew she would say yes. He told me she was too late, that he couldn’t handle the rejection. He took me out that Friday night. We went to dinner and he kissed me during the previews of a movie.
We hadn’t stopped kissing since.