The Story of Us

23 Apr

The storybooks have it all wrong. It’s not about the Princess and her perfect Prince.

It’s about the girl who deserved better. It’s about the boy who tries a little too hard to be everything to everyone. It’s about disappointment and disillusionment. And it’s about a choice.

See, one day, once upon a time, the girl decided there was more to life- more to love. The boy decided he needed to do something for himself.

Separately (or was it together?), they chose.

And unbeknownst to them (at the time), they chose each other.

They chose honesty. They chose to find something real- not based on what someone could do for them- or what they could offer to someone else.

For once, they decided to be selfish.

The real story, the one that always gets left out?

It starts with friendship.

The kind of friendship most people never experience. The one where the other person understands you so completely, you feel like they’re inside your head. They anticipate your needs, know when to laugh, and are comfortable in silence.

Those friends.

That’s how the real story begins.

They get to know each other. This is different than the “dating” version of “getting to know each other.” You know, the kind where she “really does!” wear makeup every day, and he “really does!” enjoy going to a romantic comedy rather than the big game?

I’m talking about the time she broke down in tears and could hardly speak. She gave him the option to leave. And he stayed. Or the time he needed support, so she went to his race in the rain, even though she didn’t really understand what was going on. And she brought snacks. They both hate scary movies. She loves photography. He collects watches.

This is how it starts.

Then one day, he hugs her and she realizes just how good it feels. He holds on just a second too long and breathes in the scent of her hair. They pull away, expecting the inevitable awkwardness, but it’s nowhere to be found.

The moment passes, and life resumes.

Slowly, he becomes the person she calls when she’s excited (or sad, or mad…). He realizes that days when he doesn’t see her seem empty.

Bit by bit, their lives begin to overlap

More. And more. And more.

Before long, friends start teasing; they start denying.

And then. It happens.

Late night. They’re alone. Emotions high. Blood rushing.

The kiss.

And that’s the end of the story.

OR, is it the beginning?

All of a sudden, everything is crystal clear. They shake their heads and laugh at the absurdity of it all. They don’t know how it happened. They don’t know how it took them so long to see it.

Most of all, they are amazed that they could be so happy.

This story, this “anti-fairytale,” if you will, is the real story.

This chapter continues with challenges. They have to learn each other’s “languages,” because even though they thought they understood each other, they come from totally opposite backgrounds. They have to learn a new level of intimacy, and the baggage that comes along with that.

They learn to make allowances.

To talk it out.

To be patient.

To rephrase.

To be honest, even when it’s difficult.

To stop, and breathe.

He begins to realize when she needs to be kissed, mid-sentence. She learns when to let him work, and when to interrupt. He learns her key words for frustration. She recognizes his tone of exhaustion. They share a love for reading. They enjoy music. And art. And cinema. And culture. And food.

Quickly, you, me, mine, and yours are replaced with us and ours.

This part, the “honeymoon” phase, is blissful.

Every moment, every experience, is new and exciting. Just being together, touching, feeling, breathing, is like a jolt of lightning. The sparks fly. The stars align. For a split second, you think you’re back in the fairytale.

But you’re not.

Graduation. She moves away.

Distance.

The foulest word in a relationship. Ask anyone who’s experienced it. The words, “…makes the heart grow fonder,” and “…is the true test,” should never follow it. These shallow phrases are only ever spoken by outsiders.

She hates it. He hates it just as much. But they are determined. They made a choice, remember?

So begins yet another chapter.

He writes her letters. She draws him pictures. They chat on the phone, and send barrages of emails. Every thing reminds her of him. He can’t go anywhere without seeing her face.

The true story is about love.

Most people don’t know what love truly is. Love isn’t an emotion. Love is a choice. Love is choosing to see the good, when the bad is most apparent. Love is choosing not to hang up when you’re upset. Love is understanding that he’s busy. Love is knowing that no matter how long you go without seeing each other, it will someday be worth the wait. Love is being patient. Love is dreaming together of the future. Love is making time to spend together, when it’s possible. Love is aching. Love is needing. Love is listening.

This is the real story.

It’s the story of true love.

It’s the story of us.

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One Response to “The Story of Us”

  1. Todd April 30, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Gosh, you’re so good at simply being you. I would tell you to become a writer, but you already are. Share your gift. There are many out there who could benefit from your insight, your wisdom, and your words. Don’t deprive them. You’re already found your voice – you just need to find a larger venue (or at the very least broaden this one). Work on that. K, thanks. 🙂

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