This I Believe

Audra - Newtown, Connecticut
Entered on June 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love

Love Has To Happen Sometime.

This is hard for me to write about.

This is something that I struggle with often late at night, before I fall asleep. I fight with my thoughts and try to drag them out of my body through my pen in the slanted ink formation of words, but I am never satisfied. Sometimes, when I finally think I have done it, I close my journal, set it on my night stand, and fall asleep, only to re-read my writing the following night and frown, wondering where my brilliant explanation had leapt off the page to. Of course, there hadn’t been one from the start; I just figured that after so many entries, a complete journal of attempts might do justice to what I just cannot seem to achieve.

I have yet to believe any high schooler who ever told me that she (or on a rare occasion, he) was in love. In fact, I don’t like repeating this very claim to anyone I don’t trust enough to forgive me if I look like a fool. But, if I look like a fool, I’m sure anyone reading this has been in a similar position at some point in his or her life, so I think I’ll be forgiven.

I have been dating Rob for two years. When we first started going out, I didn’t like him much. I can’t say I found him very attractive, and early on I discovered him to be a terrible kisser. Needless to say, I didn’t take him very seriously. I remember my first impression clearly: he was skinny and sallow-cheeked. His nose seemed to have been broken and cartilage that separated his nostrils was crooked. His hands had bad circulation and his knuckles were always red. These are things I remember observing, but if he were standing in front of me now, I couldn’t point out the flaws I just wrote about. I don’t really remember much of the how or why that led to now. It doesn’t seem important.

When I look at him now, I see bright blue eyes flecked with gold that remind me of giant, round cathedral windows. I see chestnut hair that curls up from behind his ears. I see strong, wiry arms mapped with veins that run down the insides of elbows and wrists, and short, wide, rounded fingernails that couldn’t be more than a quarter of an inch long.

After two years, which I know to many older than myself is not a long time; I don’t feel like I’m in a high school relationship any more. We gave up talking until four in the morning on weekends in favor of getting extra sleep. We stopped leaving love notes in each other’s lockers so we could get to class on time. We stopped practicing public displays of affection larger than a peck on the cheek because we realized how unattractive it was. We stopped clinging to each other at parties in favor of creating memories with our friends. We stopped saying, “I love you” every phone call and every good bye because we wanted the words to mean something and didn’t need to be constantly reminded of something we already knew.

Instead, we are content to watch the Yankees for six innings and a movie for two. I am not afraid to change the station on the radio when he listens to Sheena Easton, and he is not afraid to change the track on his CD player when I start singing to a song I like. We go to family parties together at Christmas and shop for presents for his mom’s birthday. We are happy going home on prom night and falling asleep on the couch while watching “Forest Gump” instead of going to crazy parties or pawing all over each other in the dark. We have become companions and friends as wells as a romantic couple, and to me, that is the most important and prevailing aspect of our relationship.

If someone asked me about my dating history, I would probably tell him or her that I wish I had not dated until high school. To a degree, this is true. I don’t think I would really change anything though, because without the negative experiences I have had in the past, I would not be able to appreciate the relationship I am in now.

So, it’s okay, and I’m not embarrassed if people think I’m too young to be in love. I am not afraid to be thought of as a fool, because I believe that love has to happen sometime.