He asked me out on a cul-di-sac. We had just finished smoking a joint and I was out past curfew. He hit the joint, handed it to me and said "will you go out with me?" Didn't we just go out? I thought. "Of course I'll go out with you when?" "No no not like that Amelia, I want you to be my girlfriend," he said. "Oh ok. Yeah I guess that would work." I hit the joint. We kissed and I ran out of the car to my house.
What in the hell had just happened?
That conversation took place 17 years ago in the Chef's beatup 'ol Toyota Corolla. I remember the moment exactly. He was my best friend. And he liked me. And I liked him but I didn't really want a boyfriend. At the time, I knew saying yes was a mistake but it was the best mistake I ever made. Our high school romance only lasted a year and wasn't totally stable or normal, but he was my friend and I loved him. After a tough breakup (isn't every breakup tough when you're 18?) we fell out of contact only to reconnect a year later.
He had a girlfriend by then and was graduating high school. We accidentally made out on his lawn at his graduation party. I had a boyfriend. He had a girlfriend. I felt bad. He felt bad. Once again we fell out of contact again until Christmas of the next year.
And so it went, year after year we always found excuses to see each other. Keeping the friendship alive even if we only saw each other once a year. And then it changed. Someone broke my heart badly and I needed a friend. He held my hand and mended my heart. From that moment on we spoke on the phone nightly. He was in Manhattan by then and I was still in Cleveland. Our friendship grew and he quickly became my deepest confidant. I couldn't go a day without talking to him and I knew he couldn't either. I stayed up late to talk to him after service and he woke early to talk to me before work.
I didn't know it at the time but it's easy for me to see now that we were building a foundation. We were starting to build our life together.
Valentine's Day for me is just a reminder that our love just keeps on keeping on. No matter what life throws at us, the foundation that we built together so many years ago keeps us strong, happy, and madly in love.
On this celebrated day of love I dedicate this song to the one I love.