When we first got together, we used to write each other notes all the time.
We would leave them in each other's cars, on the kitchen counter for when we got home from work, on the side table for when we woke up in the morning, etc. We wrote each other so much actually, that we bought a journal for us to write a note a day in, taking turns on every other day. We loved doing little things like this, because the newness and excitement of our relationship was something both of us couldn’t get enough of. It was also very overwhelming. I had never been with a man before. PJ was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, and well, my first everything with a guy.
I was completely out of my element with him. I was 19, still living at my mom's house, and just starting my second year of college. He was 24 and lived in a house that he bought and fixed up when he was 22. I was so intimidated by him that I was often at a loss for words when he was around, racking my brain for something clever or funny to say that we could share together, hoping to impress him. Little did I know that all that worrying would be useless, and that one day I would end up sharing so much of my life with him anyway: dogs, houses, a last name. But isn't worrying part of the fun when you’re just starting out?
The first night we ever hung out, (eight years ago last week!) just the two of us, I went over to his house at around 9p after telling my mom I was staying at my friend Zach's house (I wasn’t out yet). He only lived about four miles away but it felt like the longest drive of my life. I was so nervous! I had had a crush on PJ McKay since I was 15 years old and here I was, going to sleep over at his house?! Did I mess up by not also playing the lottery that night? How did I get so lucky? When I got to his house we just sat on the couch and talked for hours about our pasts and our futures, though at that point we were speaking in singulars, not plurals. There was no "we" at this time, only a couple of "me's" and "I's".
He had to be up early for work, but told me I could sleep in as long as I wanted. He had a guest bedroom with a bed and everything, all made and waiting for me. He offered to let me sleep with him, but warned me that he tends to wrap his legs around things while he sleeps and it might make for an uncomfortable night's sleep. I later found out he definitely wraps his legs around things, and he still does to this day (usually my leg or sometimes, both of my legs), but he was wrong about it being uncomfortable. In fact, it's one of the most comforting things about our relationship now.
We didn't do anything but talk that night. We didn't even kiss. I didn't know if I would ever see him again and had the hardest time getting to sleep that night, in my guest bedroom, alone. Was I foolish for not taking the plunge and just going into his room and kissing him? Is kissing someone on the first night you hang out moving too fast? Was I missing my only opportunity to be with the boy that I've had a crush on for the last four years? What if I never get another chance like this one? Alas, my crazy mind finally got some rest and I woke up to the best, most amazing thing I could have woken up to.
He had scribbled a little note on a ripped piece of envelope that I imagine was an old bill. He had been at work a couple of hours at this point, and I was alone, in PJ McKay's house. Was I still dreaming? How did I get into this situation? I obviously had a million questions going on in my mind both day and night, and they didn't ease up after that morning, but one thing I knew for sure: PJ had fun the night before, and I no longer felt like I missed out on anything. I had spent the night at my crush's house and didn't make a move, and I think he respected me for that. I knew that, if we never talked again, if I never spent another night with him or we never got to finally kiss like I wanted, that one night would be enough for me.
That, and the note he wrote me that, to this day, is still the most romantic thing my husband has ever written me. Why? Maybe it's because at the time I thought he wouldn't want to waste his time on a skinny, 19 year old with tattoos who still lived at home with his mom. Isn't it crazy how your mind can talk you into believing toxic thoughts that aren't true? What he wrote showed that he cared, that he enjoyed our time together, and it proved to me that nothing is impossible; that two boys can find love, even in a little town in the south. I'll never forget our first night together on the last week of August in 2010, or those words and what they've always meant to me.