Four years ago, I was a sophomore in college, happily-single and enjoying my life and my freedom – school, work, contemplating careers, feeling free and not tied-down in the least. I was figuring out who I was and what I would, eventually, look for in a relationship.
It was a cold, Friday night in Williamsburg and I did not want to go out. But my roommate wasn’t having that, not so early on the semester, so we got ready, mixed some drinks and headed over to our friend’s quite cramped dorm room.
Squeezed between friends on a broken futon in a double-occupancy room, where three boys lived, it started out just like every other weekend night when you weren’t quite old enough to venture across the street to the delis (bars, for those who did not attend W&M).
And then, everything changed.
The door swung open and two more people managed to wiggle their way into the mosh pit-esqe room. I vividly remember seeing him for the first time: tan, athletic, blue eyes and big smile. He greeted my friends and I returned to a conversation with the girl sitting next to me.
A few moments later, I heard, “Excuse me,” and looked-up just in time to see this stranger making room for himself between my friend and me, forcing someone else off the end of the futon.
“Hi, I’m Mike,” he said with a warm smile.
It was refreshing. No bad pick-up lines, no meaningless compliment, no sloppy drunkenness.
“Hi, I’m Allie.”
Since then, our relationship has been tested plenty of times: two years of long-distance awfulness, the trials of moving in together and the stressors that come with growing from college students to adults.
But we’ve grown together, learned a lot and built a relationship that I can no longer imagine not having in my life.
He still makes me draw in a deep breath when I see him walk into a room. He has changed everything I thought I knew about love and relationships – they should be warm, easy and fulfilling, just like our weekend morning breakfasts.
Happy four years, Mike. I think I like like you too.