I’ve calmed down from my pissy mood yesterday.  I talked with T after work, and he was really bummed out because we didn’t get to go to a birthday lunch.  He said his boss announced to the office that they were all going to lunch for T’s birthday, and he didn’t get any say in whether he wanted to go or not.  He said the lunch was lame.  They split into two groups and went at different times, and he had to buy his own lunch, which wasn’t even good.  He was really appreciative of everything I did to make his birthday special though, and I really appreciated that. 

Yesterday was T’s 25th birthday.  He is a quarter of a century old, and we have been together a third of our lives.  Think about that.  8 years.  That’s a long time.  Most of the memories from my adult life contain T.  We are so intertwined and connected, it probably weirds people out. 

We started dating when I was newly 17.  He was 16, four months shy of 17.  I was the new girl in town.  He was the cute guy that all the girls lusted after.  He was in my AP history and English classes and had been to Woodstock that summer.  I was jealous; I had watched Gavin Rossdale’s performance on a blurred-out pay-per-view channel, wishing I was there.  He lived down the street and rode my bus.  My friend Julie had a huge crush on him, so I kept my mouth shut.

I quickly got acclimated to my new school, made new friends, and kept my eye on T.  Eventually I was able to drive to school and would give T rides home.  After one trip, I remembered where his house was.  Our little group included three guys and four girls, and I’m pretty sure all the girls had crushes on him. 

We all hung out quite frequently.  I remember the first time I went to his house and met both of his parents.  I was in my friend Andrea’s car, hanging out of her sunroof (classy, I know) as we pulled into the driveway.  Apparently his dad had seen me, and opened the door before we could even knock.  I was wearing a shirt with Care Bears on it (don’t pretend like you didn’t shop at Hot Topic when you were 16-17) and Big T looks at me and says, “You look like a crazy girl.  Do you always hang out of people’s sunroofs?  By the way, T used to love the Care Bears when he was little.”  I felt a little awkward but laughed, what else could I do?   

Later that week, after Thanksgiving, we all gathered at T’s to hang out.  We swiped liquor from our parents and snuck into the woods to party.  We all got drunk, T confessed he liked me, we kissed and that was that.  When we kissed, my world spun like it does in the movies (faraway camera angle and spinning in slow circles).  No it wasn’t from being drunk.  T was the first guy that I had a huge crush on that liked me back just as much.

Eight years later, we are still together.  We have been through happy times and sad, ups and downs, life’s milestones, and a separation.  And even though we butt head sometimes, I can’t imagine not having him in my life.   

He was there for my high school graduation, college graduation, first real job, first apartment, first house purchase, adopting the kitties, moving back to Georgia. 

He let me cry on his shoulder when my grandfather died, and I hugged him after his grandfather had a stroke.  He would comfort me after huge fights with my parents and wipe away my tears when I was homesick for old friends.  He promised we would stay together if college took us to different places and followed me to Georgia when I chose to go to school here.

When we separated, I was heartbroken but understood his need to have some space (I was 21, he was 20 – four months shy of 21).  He moved out but still talked quite often.  I would get secret e-mails and phone calls from his parents.  When he started dating someone else, I was sad but also enjoyed my new-found freedom.  It didn’t last.  After a few months they broke up, and he told me how much he missed me.  I told him I missed him too, but didn’t want to get back together until I came back from my summer in France.  He was practically moved back in, but I didn’t called him my boyfriend.  

In France I had fun, flirted with cute European boys, made out with a few, and really began to miss T.  Towards the end of my trip, we would talk on the phone for hours on end, causing the phone bills to sky-rocket.  I came home, we got back together, and he moved back in right before the start of senior year.

That May, I graduated and moved to Atlanta for work.  He was in grad school.  We would commute back and forth from Athens and Atlanta for the next year until he finished school.  I bought the condo, and we moved in, in early August, right before he started working.         

Now we’ve lived there for nearly two years.  We have made it our home.  We have our little family and one day we will have children to add to that family.  We will eventually have to move to our first house and go through many other firsts, happy and sad times together. 

Sometimes it blows my mind how we met when we were so young, and that we survived the drama that comes along with immaturity. 

And sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to meet T when I was older, maybe in my 20s.  Or if I would have met him if my dad hadn’t gotten that new job, causing us to move.  

Maybe it was destiny that we met.  Or maybe we just happened to be in the right place at the right time…         

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