I loved you before I had met you.

I loved you before I had ever met you. 

I didn't know you were "the one" the first night we met. 
The slightly chilly early September evening,
my first night of my freshman year of college,
18 years young.
A small house, many people.
Overwhelmed and excited
at the prospect of the next four
years as my oyster.
 Someone pointed at you in the next room,
"Stay away, he's crazy", they joked. 
I believed them.
You- telling a loud story,
surrounded by people, making them laugh.
I made a mental note to stay away. 

I didn't know you were "the one" the first night we talked.
St. Patrick's Day.
A mutual friend's small apartment.
You walked in and made people laugh without effort.
I sat on the floor, keeping to myself.
You talked the entire movie.
I grew annoyed.
I hate when people talk during movies.
It was late, I was about to walk home alone.
But you drove me home.
I resolved to not be charmed by you.
You dropped me off.
Later that night,
I encountered the worst night of my college career
and you sat at a bar with another girl. 

I didn't know you were the "the one" the first night we danced. 
A humid May evening,
two weeks before I transferred colleges
and left for good.
A barn party.
You wore overalls and a camera around your neck.
All night, I danced and
shook off the burden of my freshman year of college.
I square danced and acted silly with friends
and felt free and beautiful.
You ran over to me for the last song of the night
and told me that you wanted to be my partner.
You said I looked like I was having more fun than anyone else in the room.
I found your boldness to be overwhelming.
You took my picture. 

I didn't know you were "the one" the first night we hung out. 
Summer was beginning.
Graduation parties.
I didn't realize we knew so many of the same people,
yet there we were, attending two of the same graduation parties
on the same day.
You talked and joked with me.
But then again, you talked and joked with everyone.
I watched you flirt with the tall blonde from Ohio.
Part of me was relieved because I had resolved to be annoyed by you.
Part of me was jealous that you were no longer talking to me.
We spontaneously carpooled with friends to the next party.
By the end of the night, we sat in the grass with friends.
You smoked a Black & Mild and told me that we probably wouldn't see each other ever again. 


I knew you were the one the first time we got coffee

and I got there early because I didn't want you to offer to pay for me,
because I wanted to avoid the awkward dance of who can pull their
wallet out first. 
You told me that if I left my teabag in the cup any longer my tea would burn.
And you drove me around in your old beat up car and we took a walk at the reservoir. 
You asked my brothers' names. 
You told me you would remember them. 

I knew you were the one the first time you called me. 
I was anxious and nervous
but shocked you would want to call me to talk to me
about the little nothings that made up your day. 
My stomach flip-flopped when the phone rang. 

I knew you were the one the first time I told you my panic attacks never stop. 
My heart raced and I felt the words in my mouth
but it seemed like they tripped over each other on the way out.
And you were kind.
You told me that it was alright and you'd take care of me. 

I knew you were the one when I felt happy and free and beautiful
and completely and totally myself
in your presence.

I knew you were the one when I looked at you, 
drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. 
And I knew, then and there, this was the man
I wanted to look at across the breakfast table
every morning for the rest of my existence. 

I had always been looking for you. 
I loved you before I had met you.