Although your mother claims to have had designs on us going to the same college, I don’t believe her. When I consider that idea, I think it could’ve been a lot of fun, but I also think about how unlikely it would’ve been for us to end up getting married. As much as I hated her reasoning at the time about why we shouldn’t date (“I don’t want to lose you as a friend”), it was so so true. I made all my early relationship mistakes on someone else’s emotions, which I’m not proud of, but glad about.
Your mother went to college in Texas and I in Rhode Island, so the distance between us remained about the same as before when she was in California and I in Ohio. As fate would have it, your mother planned a trip out to visit me the second half of our freshman year, a time when we both happened to be newly single. I was excited just to have someone visit me, as I struggled the entire year adjusting to this new way of life.
It had been three years since we last saw each other. I had bought myself a ticket during our junior year in high school and flew out to visit your mother in California despite her having a boyfriend at the time. The most memorable moment from that entire trip was sitting in the backseat of her boyfriend’s car listening to your mother yell at him…the little joys in life.
As expected, the first few hours of your mother’s arrival was like two puppies at play – they circle around sniffing each other out, figuring out what the boundaries are and how to play with each other. It wasn’t long before it felt like the kindled romance we had five years earlier with the fluttering butterflies in the stomach and the racing heart…at least for me.
We were nineteen and in college without adult supervision, so what do you think we did? We held each other and cuddled, which makes us the lamest teenagers, but the best kids a parent would want. Your mother was only visiting for two nights, and on her last night, we stayed up and repeated to each other: “You are so magical.”
I still remember walking your mother over to Faunce Arch in the light misty rain at 5 in the morning so your mother could catch a shuttle to the airport. It was still dark out and our faces glistened in an orange glow from the overhead street lamps. When the shuttle arrived, I grabbed your mother’s face with both of my hands and held it close to mine and just said, “You’re so magical.” There was a long hug, but no kiss.
It turns out had I been a normal teenager and made a move or kissed her or said anything about dating her, she would’ve said yes. Instead, I let her slip away once more because not two months after that, your mother found her next boyfriend, and this time, he was in a band. But a yes back then, might not result in my writing these letters today.