I don’t remember the first time we held hands. It has become an action so familiar that the beginning starts to fade and blur around the edges, much like a picture my grandmother stashed away from her youth.
I don’t remember our first kiss. Every moment that we spent with each other is marked with the memories of us interlocking our fingers and brushing our lips against each other, so much so that the first time we kissed doesn’t come to my memory as easily as it should. But I was intoxicated that’s for sure. I can’t remember if it was from the alcohol or from you.
I don’t remember the first time we started texting. Regularly, I mean. We talked for days on end, never once stopping even for a day. I don’t remember the exact moment when we started depending on each other’s daily texts, the moment we both decided that sending messages to each other late into the night would become a norm. I don’t remember how it felt to not have your arms around me, to not have you stroke my hair when you hold me in your embrace.
All these actions, all these rituals, they’re so familiar, so needed. Please don’t take them away. I may not remember much of how it first started, and I cannot pinpoint where it all began, confusing beginning for end and end for beginning, but I can give you a promise.
I promise that I’ll always love you. You can never forget how you once felt about a person, and you are no exception. I promise that I’ll take care of you, as I can’t bear to see you hurt, to see you in any other sort of pain, to see you cry. But even if you do cry, as I know you do even though you hate showing it, I promise to hold you, to give you comfort through my embrace until it all seems as close to okay as it can be, even if it isn’t.
I promise to listen, to hear all your anecdotes about how life was before you met me and all the plans you have set out for our future. I promise to hold you when we go to bed at night and smile at you whenever I am the first to wake, which we both know is not usually the case. I promise to not take you for granted, you who have helped me in my many instances of difficulty. I promise to always be there for you, to not take you for granted, to do my very best in making sure that we are never complacent, because being comfortable with each other is one thing, but to think that someone would be in your life forever is another. We can never be sure of what will happen in the future, but I want you in mine.
Screw that, I want you to be my future.
I want a permanent home with you, with a backyard big enough for two dogs to run around in. I want the both of us to be individually happy, so that when we come together we can both share the happiness that we both independently attained. I say this because I don’t want my happiness to be dependent on you. I don’t want my every mood to be affected by whether you’re there or not. I want to be happy as an individual so that I can share that with you.
I want you there to experience all the milestones that I am about to embark on. It would be great to have you there by my side through it all, but I know that sometimes life would get in the way, and I want you to know that I don’t blame you for that. I may be sad or disappointed, but I’ll soon come to realize that it’s just a passing phase. Because there are so many more experiences out there—all the adventures that we are yet to encounter, all the food that you are excited to try, all the breathtaking sights that will forever be etched into our memories. What are those moments compared to the small, insignificant obstacles we face?
I love you. And I hope you feel the same, especially when I am in doubt, when I go through my insecurities. I hope you’ll still love me through all my flaws, through all the sad spells, mood swings, and random tear-jerking moments that are far from the perfection I tried to display in the beginning. I hope that it’s you whom I’ll spend the rest of my life with, because when everything else is uncertain, I know that you’ll be there providing me the reassurance that I need, always holding me in your warm embrace.