She returned to our home city the day before Valentine's Day, and I was leaving for San Francisco the day after Valentine's Day, so we had a one-day window in the middle to meet. Which we didn't do, as I, ever the pessimist, decided that I didn't want to potentially ruin Valentine's Day forever with the memory of a terrible date. Instead, I went to San Francisco with only a fantasy version of her in my mind, and I spent my days thinking about how to impress her with witty and intelligent stories of my travels.
(The Pride Flag in San Francisco's Castro District)
When I returned, and we finally met in person over a pot of Earl Gray tea (her) and a glass of Sibling Rivalry (me), she was everything and nothing that I had imagined. She was even more beautiful than she had been in her pictures, and I had to force myself to look away to keep from creepily staring at her. She was louder and more confident than I had expected, and my shy self felt unpleasantly awkward in comparison. The date was a short one - she had intentionally scheduled something immediately afterwards so that she would have an excuse to leave - but it left me wanting to know more about this intriguing creature.
And so I have. Next Sunday (the 22nd) marks our one-year anniversary, and we are both hopeful that it will be one of many. It has been a tough year in many ways, marked by my studying for and writing my licensing exam, by work crises (mine and hers), and by a cancer diagnosis for my mom*, but it has always been made better by her presence.
In the words of my Valentine: "If I had known then what I know now, I would have met you on Valentine's Day."
*Worthy of one or more separate posts, but I will say that here that she is post-surgery and apparently cancer free. Yay!