I did not believe in "love at first sight." I did not think it necessary to put so much into a relationship, and to literally give everything to another individual who could potentially take it for granted. I did not want to experience feeling broken after giving and giving. So I went through my younger years guarded.
I was the quiet one in school. I didn't have any enemies, but I also only had few friends because of my closed off nature. A lot of fellow classmates took it as me being mean or antisocial, when in fact I was just protecting myself from being hurt. I wasn't going to give anybody that chance. It wasn't until high school when I realized I had everything all wrong.
I met Christine over the summer for a mutual friend's birthday. She and I literally had the same group of friends, but did not meet until right before our Junior year in high school. I actually thought she was a cousin and not a student in the same high school. I didn't pay too much attention to her. We probably spoke a handful of words to each other before we parted ways. There was no single moment upon meeting her where I felt those butterflies or that strange feeling in my chest. She was just another girl who I happened to cross paths with. Oh, how little I knew about how that meeting would impact my life.
Love is a fickle thing to me. This other person does not owe you anything. Changing your mind is something we all have the right to do. So why would I want to be with something when nothing is guaranteed? Still... once I found out Christine went to the same high school as me, and we shared similar classes, it's like fate just took over. There was nothing I could do to prevent our inevitable relationship. The friendship was great, but a year later, we both wanted the same thing: love. We wanted something more where our hugs wouldn't last just three seconds, and where I could compliment her gorgeous smile without feeling weird. I gave into all of the emotions and took a chance for once in my life, and I have not looked back whatsoever.
The moment we realized we wanted to be together was back in 2006. Christine and I have been together this entire time. We've experienced the late nights together, the fights, the times apart to "cool off," the endless talks, the new experiences; it's all happened over the past decade. I kept giving all of myself to her, but I never expected anything in return. I learned what unconditional love really means, and I also learned there will be people who want to break all of that. But we have persevered, and it has been more than I could ever describe.
Even after almost 12 years together, we still hold hands and we still fight. She smiles when I tell her how beautiful she is, and that is more than enough for me.
We still want the same thing: love. High school sweethearts has always had a nice ring to it.