I’ve been searching for you since the moment my voice started to change and I left behind the Clerics and Rogues of Dungeons and Dragons.
I didn’t quite realize what exactly I was searching for at the time, I just knew I had been released by my hormones to find you (like Zeus released the Kraken). Every time I closed my eyes, there you were. Sometimes you were whoever graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and sometimes I saw you when I snuck downstairs to watch you on Cinemax but I was young and didn’t know who I was looking for. I only knew I was looking.
For brief moments, I thought I found you but it was high school and I was fooled by those hormones and by teenage love I so passionately defended. The rush of emotions, excitement, and adolescent flirtation I began each relationship with, and defended, inevitably wore off. Yet, you stayed in my mind. I know because every time I closed my eyes I could see you, even if I still didn’t know you.
I would continue to be blinded by what I thought was love. What I didn’t realize was I was falling for moments. Moments that would not last. I broke hearts and was heartbroken along the way. I felt pain I thought would never go away and hoped I didn’t make the mistake of letting you go. But I knew better because the pain vanished but you never did. Every time I closed my eyes, there you were.
Age and experience tempered me. Regretfully, I became jaded. Eventually I would convince myself you were nowhere to be found. You were relegated to my dreams only to show yourself when I closed my eyes. How ironic then, that when I decided you could never be found, I found you. Not roaming the halls of high school, wearing sorority letters, or on the pages of a magazine, but sitting in front of me, smiling.
And I knew as soon as I saw you… my search was over.
I still get butterflies in my stomach any time our eyes lock. I can’t help but smile whenever we hold hands for no reason other than to hold. I would do whatever clichés movies and love songs have ascribed to love and demand of us for you. I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember. There are no words that can be said to explain what it has meant to my life that you have loved me. For so long, I had to close my eyes to see you but for the past 13 years, my eyes have stayed open because you have been in front of me. Smiling. The girl of my dreams.