Now it's today. It's 11 years. Tonight we'll have wings and beer. I guess I'll start there - why wings and beer?
11 years ago, Easter was also on April 12. Two days after my birthday. I was in college and a waitress at a popular restaurant here in Morgantown - The Boston Beanery. I was scheduled to work on Easter Sunday. My family? They were in Pittsburgh celebrating my birthday and Pap's birthday - there was even a cake with my name on it. At work, I wasn't busy and there was a new, cute, face washing dishes...with a cast on his left wrist. A simple "what happened?" started an evening of small talk; commiserating over our bad luck at having to work a holiday; and of course a trip out to the dumpster to take out the trash (we waitresses always asked a kitchen-guy to walk out back with us because it was dark and we had aprons full of money) made an impression on this girl.
That night, I thought about this cute boy that night and the next day until I went to work. I wanted to see if he might want to have wings after work (the Monday night special), but I wanted to be oh-so-cool about it. It was so
He made a special sauce for the wings - spicy, but with flavor. He drank beer. I drank pop (not old enough for beer just yet). We sat and talked until closing time. I drove him home and at 4 AM I pulled away. We'd spent 1/2 the night talking - really. We laughed. We swore we weren't looking for anything serious. Just a friend. Someone to hang out with.
Months later, I learned his Dad had been watching us out the window. A witness to our 1/2 a night conversation. I also learned that all he had to say when this cute boy had walked in was "Talking 'til 4 AM? Must be a romance."
It all started that night. With wings and beer (& pop, too, I guess). With 2 people with hearts putting up walls, not willing to openly look for love.
Tonight, we'll go to dinner. We'll have wings and beer. We'll probably talk about the past and the future. But mostly, we'll just be together. Because, well, that's what we do.
We play cards. We watch movies. We make dinner. We laugh. We cry. We agree. We disagree. We've lived across town from one another. We've lived on opposite coasts from one another. We travel. We stay home. We took a break. We got back together. We never go to bed mad. We stay up really, really late some nights working it out. We live. We love.
Eleven years ago, I thought I'd made a new friend. Now I know, I'd met my best friend. My soul mate. My partner for life. My partner forever.