Ten years is a long time to have been in love with someone. It seems much longer when four of those have been spent alone, with just the memory of that love.
Did you know that the traditional gift for 10-year anniversaries is tin?
This year, I would have given you a ridiculously large and ugly tin bell, because being on time was never your strong suit and it would remind you of all the alarm calls you made me make. It would be big and gnarly and I know you would have hung it on your room door proudly.
Maybe I would have cooked you the first meal I ever made you. Only this time the chicken dinner would not be with the pre-packed spice mix or cooked atop a rudimentary stove. You would’ve spilt a little on your shirt as usual, I would’ve smiled and shaken my head as usual.
We would have planned a trip somewhere this year. We could’ve gone to a beach town, and soaked the sun in the mornings, and slept through the lazy afternoons and risen again to revel in the moon kissed nights by the waves. Or knowing us, we would’ve stayed inside and ordered room service while watching re-runs of How I Met Your Mother.
Either way, your hand would find my fingers, and my head would find your chest.
Maybe we could have finally gotten a dog together. We could’ve gotten a cocker-spaniel, or a dachshund, or a beagle — because they’re the most adorable little puppers. Or we could’ve gotten an alsatian- because you hate me and knew how terrified I am of that breed. We would give it a ridiculous name which our friends would shake their disapproving heads at.
Maybe we would’ve relived our first date. We could’ve headed to our college town, roamed the same streets, with a wistful fondness in our eyes, pointing out nooks and little shops where we stopped that day, retracing our steps all across the town. We would’ve ended the date with a kiss.
And I would’ve thanked a God that I don’t believe in anymore, for how I was blessed to have you in my life.
I could have gifted you a book about us. I could’ve drawn and written about our early years, through the whimsical bike trips to hills, random afternoon bunks for ice-cream cravings, evenings spent in silence at the edge of “our” lake, belly-aching laughter at your silly jokes which were only funny to me, breathless sobbing at the airport when you were leaving the country, and innumerable movie nights, big fights, tickles, nudges, smiles, winks and hugs. I could’ve given you all that.
I would’ve made a big romantic gesture. The Gesture. I probably would have hinted at it a few times, and having run out of patience, and to show you how it’s done, I would’ve gone down on one knee and told you how much you mean to me.
You would’ve cried. I would’ve cried. You would have said yes.
You could have said yes.
You could have stayed.
It could have been a beautiful life.
But, it’s been four years since you decided that tin bells, and beach trips and second first dates and over the top proposals were not going to be our thing.
For four years, our thing has been you moving on graciously, and me making mistake after mistake.
Mistakes, my friends call life lessons.
Mistakes, I call missing you.
You’ve got someone new to celebrate New Years and Valentines and birthdays and anniversaries with.
But this day, sweetheart, this day still belongs to me and part of you which lives in my memories. So here I am, throwing this wish out to the universe, which will get whispered to you…
Happy 10th Anniversary!