It was May 3rd, 2010 when we first met. One message, one word is what you sent me… “cuties.” What an odd and yet unforgettable message from a person with whom I would grow very close with over time. It took that one message to strike up a conversation. That one message which began an unforgettable journey that has yet (thankfully), yet to cease. It is a journey, an adventure in my life, a great many chapters as one might call it, a series in which has led me through some of the happiest, and most sad of times.
I had never been the fortunate sort of man when meeting other people with whom I would grow close to, but you redefined that entire concept to me. I was always unsure of myself even though most would describe me as being a strong person, having a good head on my shoulders, a clear mind in which I had set goals and dreams… yet I had no one to share those life aspirations with. Not many would look at me and see me as an interesting person unless they wanted some favor in which came with my career. I had very few very close friends, less so than one has fingers on both hands.
We talked, countless emails, text messages, and phone calls that lasted late into the night. I remember the first few conversations we had by phone… you would stop talking and all of a sudden, I would get nervous that I was boring you, so I would laugh. I remember asking you why you were so quiet once, and your response to me was “because I like hearing the sound of your voice, and I love your laugh. You seem like such a happy guy.” I can say that in the time I spent getting to know you, that was the happiest time of my life since being out on my own in this world. You, unlike many others, could make me smile without ever having said a single word.
Our first date came shortly afterwards. A few weeks of talking nearly every waking moment of the day led me to believe that you just might be the package deal. That once in a lifetime person that not everyone gets. Some “settle” for another out of desperation, out of loneliness, or simply lust and desire. Few wait for that extraordinary person, the one who they think about all day long, the one who they could see staying with for the rest of their lives, that one they would walk down the path with. After talking with you as much as we had, I strongly believed that you could possibly be this person to me.
Our first date was somewhat different from dates I had been on with others in the past. It was unique, it was a spur of the moment decision and one that I can never forget. We went to a small Mexican restaurant near your home (which might I add, I got lost when trying to get there.). Two orders of cheesy loaded nachos practically sat untouched on the table as we sat there across from eachother talking… barely taking time to breathe. We talked about your school, our friends, what our friends had asked us about eachother before we had even met in person, and what funny things we could tell them when we returned home… we had contemplated telling our friends how “horrible” we each were and how “aweful” the date was. I laugh when I think back to that evening. It was by far, the best date I had ever gone on in my life. There was no first date kiss, no cliches, no obligations. There was a hug… that was something nothing short of a ritual for every single time we spent time with each other.
I was not worried when on our second date, I took you to see my second family during the Forth of July celebrations in Orrville. It was the perfect time for you to see the people I loved, and who knew me perhaps even more than I knew myself. You were immediately liked by my family. My nieces, nephews, my brothers and sisters just loved you. You were funny, you were the second guy they had ever met who not only liked kids, but was not opposed to perhaps having some later on down the road. I knew that if my family liked you this much, my closest friends would love you… and I was right. From the moment my closest friends met you, it created this inseparable bond between all of us. Though the many good and bad times that followed those days, we all stayed together.
The most terrifying event I have ever experienced, is the day you called me from the hospital. It was the week before we had all planned to take an “epic” trip to the outer banks of North Carolina. You, Cena, Therese, Megan and I. I got the call that day and I knew from the sound of your voice that something was wrong, it didn’t matter how many times you told me that you were fine. We were not dating at this time, we had decided a few months beforehand that with our conflicting schedules, it would perhaps be best to wait. I remember that when I got off the phone with you, it felt like my stomach dropped. There was something going on and I hadn’t known about it till then. I felt like the single worst person on this earth right at that moment. I think it was at that time that I realized that to me, you were that one person. The package deal guy for me. I knew it, and in that moment, I promised myself that I would do whatever needed to be done would be, so long as it helped you.
I went to visit you a few times in the hospital… I will never forget how the nurses would sit and chat with me while I waited for you to finish your appointments with the doctors. They made me promise to bring you back each time I went to visit you since I would take you out so we could get a nice dinner somewhere. I knew that in these moments, there’s nowhere else I would rather be. If I was with you, I was happy, and that is all that mattered to me.
That was not your most shining moment and I know that. I am hoping that at least in some small way, you see how much I care for you. I dont care about your flaws, your strengths, weaknesses, doubt and insecurities. I care about you and who you are as a person. You’re my person. Each of us has a person, and I chose you as mine. Few people in life know who we truly are. Each one of us portrays a personality and life that we want others to see… but few actually know what goes on behind that curtain. I feel like I know you. Not all of you, but I feel like I know you more than most, and I think you know me more than just about anyone walking the face of this earth today. You know what cheers me up, whats important to me, and I know you know to some degree, where I want to go in life, and who I want by my side.
I am not perfect. In truth, I am far from it. I fight my own battles. I have scars, I have baggage… I believe we all have these and I feel that alone, it can be a very lonely path to go down by ourselves. But if we are fortunate enough to have a special man or woman by our side to help us make it through the best and worst of times, I believe we can make it through anything. There will likely be times where we cant stand each other, times where we think, even if for just that brief moment, that we had taken a different path. I know that even through this, that I would not change it for the world.
I do not often see the best in the world, or the best in people for that fact, but you help me to do so. You have stood beside me in the most trying of times and you were not quick to judge or pass biased opinion. As stated before, I think that you understand me, and I feel like I understand you. And if you are willing to step forward and take a new path, begin a new adventure, I would be most honored if you would take it with me… because I need you, perhaps now more than ever before. Just know that whatever may happen, whatever set of cards life may deal us, I will always have your back whether we are together, or apart.
I want you to take a journey, a new adventure in life, begin a great many chapters in the story of us… my question to you, is will you?
Dustin Cole Robertson
May 22nd, 2012