a sensitive bad boy

by ann

Yesterday marked seven years with my sweet, darling Matthew. We’ve both forgotten how we decided April 5, 2006 would define the start our relationship. Our first kiss? The first time we said “I love you”? We should remember these things, we chided one another. But who can pinpoint when two high schoolers determined they were in a relationship?

What I do know is that Mat and I were completely unaware of the other throughout high school. Then he stood in the center of our English class junior year and read his personal statement. Our assignment was to pen an essay for college applications; he spoke of Aaron, his little brother. It was self-deprecating and sarcastic, mildly outlandish yet funny, and brimming with a tender affection for his brother. Intriguing. I stared after him as he went back to his seat, vanishing behind a cluster of people. How was it I never knew who he was?

I quickly sought out my best friend for details on this mystery boy. And what did I hear?

“Oh. He smokes a lot of weed.”

I was thrilled. A sensitive bad boy. My friend didn’t know anything else so I sketched out the rest in my mind: rebellious, most likely a big partier and looking for someone to patiently chip away his armor so that he could reveal his inner romantic. That would be me!

He would have a horrid temper and be madly jealous of any male that talked to me. He would get into fights defending my honor. Meanwhile, I would fret over these things but dutifully stick by his side because only I could placate him and, of course, because we were madly in love.

And here we are, seven years and one day later. I will say that he was did not live up to my expectations for how our story would go. I would learn that he harbors an enormous amount of trivial knowledge, usually pertaining to geography and history, my most hated subjects. He also excelled in school and did not need me to inspire him to achieve more (except in the hour before calculus homework was due). Although I was disappointed to learn that I would not be the lead character in The O.C., I also could not have been happier.