Give me something raw and messy. Give me two people trying to navigate the craziness of one another’s thoughts, dreams, schedules, goals, pet peeves, and habits. Give me two pairs of shoes by the front door with a dirt stain near the toe. Give me two toothbrushes by the bathroom sink, and two bodies shuffling to make room as they both get ready in the morning. Give me a person who challenges me, who doesn’t always share the same perspective so when it’s late at night we can lay in bed and stare at the ceiling, talking about why we’re here and what it all means.
Give me lazy afternoons and early mornings and shivering when he steals the covers and sweating when he realizes he’s wrapped up in them and rolls over to tuck them around me. Give me someone who hates to dust and fold laundry just as much as I do, so we have to take turns, learn how it is to make compromises, learn how it is to do all the mundane, every day things with one another, learn how to love not out of habit but of promise.
Give me someone who f*cks up. Who doesn’t say and do the right thing all the time because I sure as hell won’t either. Someone who tells me when I’m wrong and isn’t afraid to stand up to me, but still knows how to take it, too. How to back down. How to treat me with respect. And yes this goes both ways. And yes, I know we won’t be perfect, but we’ll sure as hell try to be one another’s fighters—against and for—and for all the days of our lives. Fighting to believe. Fighting to stay.
Give me something confusing. Something that makes me wonder if this is how love is supposed to be, even though deep down I know. Someone that takes everything I thought I knew and spins my mind in circles. Because this is life. Because this is real. Because this is what it means to give someone your heart—not a damn fairytale, but a story with turns and twists. A continual challenge, continual choice.
Give me a broken body. Give me flaws. Give me someone who blurts out what he’s thinking or swears when he’s mad. Give me someone who can handle my sass, but knows how to cross the living room and hand me a scoop of ice cream—one that we can share—our truce.
Give me screaming and slammed doors. Give me arguments over how runny our scrambled eggs should be or what we should spend our money on. Give me a man who values me for who I am, who wants to learn my mind because damn, I want to spend the rest of my days knowing what he hides.
Give me frustration. Give me tears. Give me the continual ups and downs of a relationship because that will teach us both what it means to really be there. And not run when the road gets tough.
Give me long conversations about the weather. Give me spaghetti sauce on our fingers and bare toes on the kitchen floor and fingers running through one another’s hair. Give me sweatpants and his over-sized hoodie shrugged over my shoulders and kisses on his lips that taste like yesterday’s cologne and all the ways I will love him for who he is—human. Mine.
Give me something that doesn’t shine all the time, that doesn’t look like a magazine because pictures are pretty but they never tell the true story and I want the whole thing—start to finish—not a single sentence removed. Because this is life, our life and there’s no editor. And I wouldn’t trade it for a fancy hardcover on a shelf, wouldn’t exchange it for a glossy paperback with crisp edges and fresh ink. I just want this—all the smudges and fingerprints and eraser shavings and chicken scratch and chapters that unfold so chaotically, so beautifully with each passing day.
Give me unedited. Give me imperfect. Give me us.