A moment ago, sat on the sofa of our unfinished, partly decorated house, I felt love. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the sentence we’d just shared about how good it tasted; each of us knowing exactly what the other would say. Or maybe it was the image of her carrying my 22 month old son up to bed earlier that evening, despite being almost eight months pregnant. Maybe - and this is the one I’m going to believe - it was the culmination of nine years of moments like this one.
Nine years of moments that started as a drunken kiss in a bad night club. At first she turned away. To this day, I don’t know what made me persevere. Ordinarily it would have been enough to destroy what was left of my self confidence. Not that night. She changed her mind, and the rest is history.
We weren’t even twenty years old then; and now, as we approach thirty together, an infinite number of these moments stretch out in either direction. Reaching forwards, into the future, and stretching backwards into the past. Those that lie behind me are made even more beautiful by my imagination. Those that are to come will be beautiful without it.
If I’d listened to people around me, I would never have married her. I was too young. How can you be sure? You’re wrong. That’s what people told me. People were wrong. They were wrong for so many reasons. They were wrong because they thought being single was independence. Independence is born of security and self confidence. When I say self confidence, I don’t mean self centred, egotistical vanity; I mean liberation. The liberation from fear that grows from the knowledge that you’re a part of a relationship that feeds on your self confidence. It’s self sustaining and perpetual. Round and round and round and round.
On April 7th she’ll be 28. On August 7th I’ll be 28. An overly conservative estimate would suggest that we have at least 28 more to go. 28 years of moments like tonight. 28 years of split seconds of intimacy that will flower in my mind like the tulips in our kitchen. I bought them, but they’ll only blossom if she waters them.
update: Nearly 5 years on. We read this back to ourselves in a restaurant on Valentines night thanks to an iPhone. We're still in love.