This is my entry for August's Pulsate Olympics.
The first time I laid eyes on my husband after he packed up and left his family home like a thief in the night was on a hot summer afternoon. I had spent the morning baking blueberry muffins (the blueberries picked from the patch at my then-boss's house) to quell my nerves. We had met two months before in Chicago, on neutral ground - this would be our first meeting on my home turf, as it were. I paced between the kitchen and living room, looking out to the driveway at the slightest noise of cars going by. Finally, finally he pulled into the driveway and clambered out of the tiny car.
He had been driving for thirteen hours straight in a Chevy Metro. He was sweaty and tired, dressed in jean shorts and a tee shirt with a lizard on it, and he was the most beautiful and welcome sight I'd ever seen. I remember flinging open the door and wrapping myself around him before he could even say a word - claiming him, in my own way, as my own - this man who would leave his family and friends to travel across three states in hopes of building a relationship with me.
We had spent three years getting to know each other online and by letters and infrequent phone calls, first as friends. We had helped each other through breakups and betrayals with others. When I'd had my heart broken by a boy who I thought would be "the one", he had commented on his sincere regret that he was in a relationship at the time. A year later, that relationship was over and we were building a tentative courtship. Being courted online was a singular experience - it was easier for me, a shy bookworm, to express my feelings through the written word - and by the time he arrived on my doorstep we knew each other very well indeed.
"You're here, you're really here," I whispered as I wrapped my arms around him, wanting to commit him to memory. And he was. And he stayed.
We're celebrating our fourth anniversary this September. I won't say it's been all sweetness and light - but whenever I think of him standing there on the doorstep on that July afternoon, I remember what he gave up to come to me, I remember both of us shedding our vulnerability in hopes of finding something more.