Three months. 90 days. ¼ of a year. At age 25, this equates to 1/100 of my life. 1%.
It seems negligible, that tiny number. One penny’s worth of my days, but it has been worth so much more. I met you three months ago, today. It’s hard to believe it was so short a time ago, because you have already integrated yourself into my life in so many ways. We’re at the “official” stage, but we’ve only just begun. We’ve bustled, all grins, through the index. Now we’re on page one. A fresh new story. I find myself reading every line of you, inhaling your words and your unspoken movements, excited for the volumes to come.
Three months ago, I searched your face, examined your features as you told me about yourself over candlelight – you were a novel I knew nothing about.
I watched your hands underline and emphasize your point, your eyebrows punctuating your stories with excitement and surprise. Our plotlines began to weave together: characters met, adventures were had, conflicts were conquered.
I know that this part—the exposition—bringing with it newness and excitement. The anticipation of what’s to come. We’re still careful, feeling one another out and cautious of “messing up” this budding relationship. It carries a shyness with its fragility: a sneaking-into-the-bathroom-to-brush-your-teeth-at-dawn mindset. Our understanding of one another’s character is still developing.
As humans, it is inevitable that past chapters influence our perception of this new thing; they affect the boldness of our font and the transparency of our dialogue. Our wounds and sensitivities are earmarked, worn with constant reference. But with this new introduction, if you’re lucky enough, also comes a new tone: a hopeful, bright-eyed one. The crisp pages overrun with words that are full of meaning and actions that are bursting with expression.
Three months into it, I now know what it’s like to hold your hand, how you squeeze mine in your sleep. I’ve memorized the two dots in your right eye that glimmer when you crack an inside joke with me. I feel immediately relaxed when you pull me to you and kiss the top of my head, inaudible, but so powerful.
I feel your fingers on the small of my back as we walk, the electricity running through me to my toes. I can predict the moment right before you reach up to run your fingers through your hair, whether from a falling strand or out of stress. I treasure this time – the attention to little things, the learning, and the thrill of unwritten chapters – and know it won’t always be this way, this shiny and new. No matter though. Just like a favorite story, our tale will become one that may be familiar, but its message is transformative. It’s one you don’t ever want to end.
Fittingly, you’ve moved into a new apartment, a blank page. I absorb every detail of our time together, especially in this new setting, eager to remember every bit of this part of our story.
Last night I studied the cursive of the cord on the floor, the lamp’s light casting long shadows onto the high ceiling. I could smell the scent of the dinner you had cooked, thought about your one-shouldered shrug when I thanked you. “It’s nothing special, but I wanted to make it for you,” with a sheepish smile.
I felt the newness of your sheets, soft against my cheek, the folds not yet fallen out. Humming, your fan put a chill in the room, but the heat of your legs tangled with my own kept us warm. My eyes traced the baseboards, so clean and spotless. Your furniture, your apartment, us – everything here is so new. No bent corners here; no dust has settled yet. Time will change that, but it just means feeling more like home.