I don’t remember how we met. I should. Sam was the love of my life, but no matter how hard I tried to remember, I just couldn’t.
I think we met at school. It was freshman year of University, so a lot of it is a blur anyways. Maybe Sam was in my physics class or maybe my friends set us up. I honestly don’t remember, but that wasn’t important.
Regardless of how we met, we ended up together. It was not a quick hook-up. It took time and a lot of awkward confrontations before we realized how we both felt, how truly in love we had both been.
Today was our third anniversary.
I remembered that and that was all that was important.
It was hard to surprise Sam. Sam loved surprises, but only because I could never pull them off. I didn’t even try this year. It was Sam’s turn anyways.
I locked our apartment door before heading to the spot Sam wanted to meet after class. It was a small Italian restaurant where we had our first date. Cliché, I know, but it held a lot of significance. It was close enough to campus that we had both been able to walk there, but secluded enough that we wouldn’t have ran into anyone we knew. A lot of people didn’t think we should be together. Sam was loud, artistic, and always on the go. I was quiet and never late. I took my coffee to a table with a newspaper while Sam took the coffee in a to-go cup before class. I sat. Sam ran. Everyone says opposites attract, but that wasn’t our problem.
My parents were the kind who wanted me to finish school, get a stable job, then get married, have kids and a white picket fence. My parents weren’t my friends, like Sam’s; they were there to make sure I didn’t screw up. And dating Sam was screwing up.
Sam’s parents were not wealthy by any means, but they were there. They helped Sam through school and were never short of encouragement. It was impossible not to love Sam’s parents, and after two years my parents started to see that too. They loosened up. They still didn’t love Sam, but they were neutral and they realized we were good for each other. I kept Sam on time and demonstrated the importance of creating plans for the future. Sam taught me that if we were late to school the world wouldn’t come crashing down. Because Sam was my world, and it’s hard for something so stable to crash.
So yes we were scared to give “us” a shot. There were issues with how my parents would react to the fact that I wasn’t sticking to their plan, and Sam was scared I would leave for someone wealthier. And then there were all our friends who never thought we’d work. Who were so convinced with the fact that we could never be more than friends.
I might have believed them too if it wasn’t for Sam’s eyes. Sam’s crystal clear blue eyes were the reason I took a chance and sat down for dinner three years ago. The eyes that were so full of excitement, but could have the most serious conversation when ready. Sam’s eyes made you want to know more because they were so clearly full of brilliant ideas and images waiting to escape. Sam’s eyes were staring at me right now and I struggled to breath.
“Happy Anniversary.” Sam stepped forward and we pressed our lips together in a way that felt so natural after three years of practice.
Sam tugged me into the restaurant and we were seated by the manager. He had become our friend after our first date. He encouraged us to keep going out because he could see how blinded by love we were. He supported us from the beginning and so every year, we spent our anniversary dinner at his restaurant.
Our dinner was fabulous as always and Sam acted surprised when he told us dessert was on him. He had done that every year and every year Sam looked at me and said, “That’s how you surprise someone!”
Sam held my hand under the table and whispered about the future. I wanted a dog, Sam wanted marriage, and yet we knew neither of those things could happen at the moment.
“Maybe someday it will all work out.”
“Sam, you’re allergic to dogs.” I pointed out.
“But maybe we could get a hypoallergenic one?”
“We don’t have the money.”
We continued eating our dessert, Sam stopped every few minutes to point out something new in the restaurant and I stopped to get a picture of Sam’s eyes above the candlelight.
“You’re ridiculous, Alex.”
“I love you Alex.”
“I love you Sam,” I took a deep breath because if I was going to surprise Sam, now would be the time.
“Would you marry me, Sam?”
“You want to get married and I know I can’t live without you, would you marry me Sam?”
“But we- you know we can’t.”
“Maybe not today, but someday when we have the money, the approval from my parents and when everyone is allowed to get married, maybe you and I can too.”
“It’s going to be a long wait,”
“I know, but with you the wait won’t seem too long. It will just be another one of our adventures.”
**I have had this idea to do a short romance between two genderless people to show that all love is the same. I wrote this today and it was much harder than I expected. I’m not sure if I love the ending, but I wanted to post it for Valentine’s Day regardless. You can read this as two girls, two boys, one girl one boy, or just neutral (which was the original title). I hope you enjoy it. xox Em**