I remember the first time we met. I was waiting in line to return a razor and some blades I had bought. It was the first of the month and I needed rent money. I had managed to spend it all on survival tools such as razorblades, toothbrush, toilet paper, ramen, and was now returning them to pay for a roof over my head. I remember making these sure decisions when I was young. Thinking I would some how come up with more money by the end of the month. I look back on it and still have no idea how I survived.
I went straight into the market, and found the register with the least amount of people in it. She was right in front of me. She was wearing these dreadful baggy sweatpants with a ripped up t shirt. Her hair was in a mess on top of her head and she was cradling a box of tampons. I wouldn’t have looked twice if it wasn’t for her confidence. She was so comfortable, so subtle in the way she stood there. Like she was a business woman buying her morning latte. I couldn’t help but smile when she turned around and faced me with those deep green eyes. So plain yet full of something, it seemed. I couldn’t place it then, but once we got to know each other I understood why her eyes were so captivating. She had experienced so much and seen things I couldn’t even imagine. She was an old soul stuck in a 24 year old’s menstrating body.
She didn’t look at me twice, and if I hadn’t spoken first I probably would’ve have never seen her again. I was 25 at the time, just got out of school and was working in the mail room of a law office. I owned 4 button up white shirts and three pairs of pants all the same color. Lets just say I wasn’t a shimmering prince riding in on a white horse. She didn’t face me for more than 4 seconds, but that was all it took. One look at her, and I was interested beyond comprehension.
Funny thing, that is. You never know how someone can completely cause your life to go in a different direction. If I would have never said anything to her I would be in a completely different place. I mean, who knows, maybe I would be a big lawyer in New York, working high profile cases, partying every weekend with the big firms and living the good life. Maybe I wouldn’t be a manager at a local supermarket and maybe I wouldn’t have had to watch as my wife lose every memory we created together.
She placed her purchase on the counter, and by that time my immaturity had gotten the best of me. “Rough morning?” I sarcastically commented. She whips around and without missing a beat smiles and says “oh you mean these? No, I’ve just got a leak in my roof, I needed something to block the rain with”, I laughed and nodded, too in shock by her response to do much more.
From that moment on, she was mine. This young, attractive, sarcastic woman. All mine. We laughed, we cried, we traveled the world, we drove for hours to find cute hidden cities, we met strange people and picked up some dear friends along the way. We did everything we ever wanted to do, and it didn’t matter if we had big fancy things, because we were together, and we were happy.
To spend 45 good years with someone is a blessing to me. Sure I had some plans for my future, but the second I laid eyes on her, it all changed. She made me into the man I am today, and for that I am grateful. I have enjoyed my life with her, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Rest in peace my dear Candice. May your adventure continue on the other side.