I became a wife just over two months ago now, and I still can’t believe it’s all real. The words husband and wife still echo in my head after being said aloud. September 2nd, 2017. Our wedding day. A day neither Joe, nor I, ever pictured becoming a reality. A love story written here to encourage others that not every romance starts off with two curious, hopeful humans. Humans are allowed to be damaged. Burnt out. With that said, there is no reason those of us that were, can’t rise from the ashes.
Joe and I met working at Starbucks here in Portland, Maine. I started with the company in January of 2014. Joe had already had a couple years with the company under his belt at that time. He was working at another location twenty minutes from mine. But with changes in his personal life, he ended up moving here to Portland. He started to work at my location, and we hardly ever worked together at first, as I was a morning person, and he nights. I then got another job offer, and started working part time at Starbucks. I bet you can’t guess what happened next. I started to work nights. With Joe.
Our lives were very different, and yet so similar, at the same time. I was in a relationship at the time, nearing seven years. A relationship that was just like any other happy couples. Taking adventures, hiking, taking care of our pets, and enjoying each others company. Enjoying each others company after many years, turned into enduring each others company. We each had our skeletons, and indiscretions. Those indiscretions led me to believe that if I were to marry this man, it would be for the wrong reasons. A lie. I could not carry on with potentially marrying someone I had grown too comfortable with, just for that reason. I wanted a clean slate. I wanted to right my wrongs in my own personal life, as I knew I could not fix any of what we had done to one another. Towards the closing of our relationship, we had discussed many times that both knew we weren’t working, and there seemed to be no fixing the damage. Working throughout all this helped me find some sort of solace. I was able to confide in my coworkers, and confide in Joe. Joe and I enjoyed each others company all those night shifts. Isn’t that always how it starts?
With my love life fleeting fast, as was his. For many similar reasons. The growing comfort, that was more convenient company. Both of us found ourselves becoming more, and more reckless in our relationships. Him staying out until 4am with friends, and simply not wanting to be what was his home, but not his “home”. Me seeking out attention from anyone that may seem to be interested in giving it to me. We noticed this about one another, and broke the silence about our personal lives. A topic Joe and I never discussed before. We exchanged email address’s, and from there, we would email back and forth multiple times a week. Sometimes about everything i’ve written above, and sometimes on nothing at all. We grew fond of one another, but me not wanting to feel the uneasy feeling of what may come with change, denied this fact for many months to come. The feelings only grew stronger, and more palpable. We were there as we ended our relationships with our significant others. Not only so we could be with one another though. As we knew damn well, that that is no way to enter a new relationship. We also wanted to see one another happy, and our current situations obviously weren’t doing that for us. So we agreed to be truthful, and to trust. Communication deserving the credit to our success thus far. The timeline, long. The relationships with both parties, complicated, and miserable. Looking back now, it may have hurt them then, but only more damage could have been done if they proceeded. Joe and I both received many wonderful memories to cherish from the past, but it was time to be happy.
Joe and I morphed our lives into one quickly following the end of our previous love lives. We moved right in with one another. Into the apartment I once shared with my previous partner. What once, a dark apartment, now alive, radiating with love. We shared our first Thanksgiving, (friendsgiving), with many of our coworkers in this very place. As well as Christmas, and New Years. We were free to create a life together. FINALLY. As we did.
Come early February of this year, we took a trip to Washington D.C. Our first weekend trip. There we enjoyed the sights, although we almost froze to death. There wasn’t any other human on this planet either of us wanted to freeze with. When we returned home, we transitioned back into our every day life. Work, and other adventures. But February 20th, was different.
That day Joe was preparing a pot roast, and suggested that we be spontaneous and eat dessert before dinner. Me having the sweet tooth I have, I could not deny his suggestion. We strolled to a local restaurant here in Portland, not to far from our apartment. The Great Lost Bear. There we each ordered a dessert, and our alcoholic drink of choice. Joe sipping what I can only assume was either a Jack and coke, or Jameson and ginger ale. He seemed a bit antsy as he didn’t want the pot roast to get overcooked, and the service at the restaurant was taking some time. We finally received our check, paid our bill, and started our short walk home. We reached our apartment, and climbed the porch steps. I was ahead of Joe, fiddling with my keys to get the front door open. My back turned to him, I successfully opened the door, and turned around to let him in, only to see him kneeling on one knee with what now is a symbol of our marriage, and perseverance, in his hand. Told me that this is where we began our lives, and this is where he was going to ask me to be his wife. I laughed. Isn’t that what people do when they get proposed to? I was nervous, okay! I said yes, and that is all that matters. I wrapped my arms around him, and the ring fit perfectly. We fit perfectly.
That very moment leading to September 2nd, 2017. We had just shy of seven months to plan our wedding, as a long engagement seemed just silly to the both of us. People would ask us, “Why so soon?” or “Why so fast?”. Joe being so eloquent, would explain. “Why not? I love this woman, and she loves me just as much. If we don’t marry now, we will marry a year from now, or two years from now, and then there are one or two years that we could have been married. So why not now?” Neither of us felt the need to explain ourselves, as were both adults, and knew what we had was rare, and we didn’t have any time to waste. People that know Joe, should already know that he has been married once before, and when it ended, it crushed him. To the point where he thought he would never love again. That alone is proof enough that what we have is real. Electric. That I could reach the deepest parts of him that were drowning, and pull him to the surface. Which explains why he always said that I was his breath of fresh air.
I love this man with every fiber, every ounce, and every breath. We worked hard to achieve the life we both live today. Every day I wake, I am reminded of our accomplishments when I open my eyes to his, and his hands stroking my hair in the morning light. Where I once couldn’t imagine a life with him, now not being able to see it without him. I am finally the person i’ve always wanted to be. The wife i’ve always wanted to be.