I peeked out the window to watch him, standing with a friend, under an umbrella, smoking a cigarette. I thought about my perfect-on-paper boyfriend back in Vancouver. The boyfriend with the well paying job, and the British accent, who was into marathons, not cigarettes. I thought about The Boyfriend, but could not stop staring at the Man Under The Umbrella.
Later that afternoon, after I had moved fully into my too-small bedroom, we bumped into each other in the hallway. The conversation started quickly, continued easily, the physical attraction palpable. We talked. And laughed. And kept talking. And talking. He was articulate, passionate, irreverent, sexy. I was completely and utterly…screwed.
I broke up with The Boyfriend shortly after that.
And about 5 minutes after I broke up with The Boyfriend, I kissed Leon Willey. If I knew I loved him when I saw him under that umbrella, then I knew I'd love him forever after that kiss.
But this love story isn't about the beginnings. Beginnings are easy, often fiery, and usually dramatic. This love story is about the Every Day Since.
We married each other exactly one year after the day we met. After 30 years of swearing we would never get married, to anyone, ever, we stood unwaveringly under a woodland gazebo in a park valley, with a few witnesses, and declared out loud what we both knew to be true that first day in the hallway - we never wanted this conversation to end. It didn't mean we suddenly believed in marriage, we just believed in each other.
Everyone told us our incredible connection would fade with time. Everyone warned us that we'd stop having so much to talk about, stop wanting to hang out with each other on days off, that we'd stop finding each other as funny, and that the sexual attraction would morph slowly into a safe, benign, friendship. I'm not sure why people believed this? Sadly, it may be because it is the truth for most.
But seven years later, we've proven them wrong. We still grope each other inappropriately in public places. We still sing and dance and act together…sometimes on stage, and sometimes in the frozen foods aisle at Superstore. We laugh like crazy people, and when we fight it is like two hurricanes getting caught up in the same funnel. And the talking? Well, it continues at a fever pitch. It is a mad, whirlwind love we share, wrapped in peace and respect, with a side of goofiness. Still.
And a couple of years ago, when he came to me and asked if we could have a child together, I searched my soul because it was again something I had said I would never do. Then I remembered. This was Us. And we were magic. And that magic wrapped me close and made me brave and in the summer of 2013, in that same rainy town we first met, we conceived our daughter.
She lives inside me now. Kicking and punching, and dancing and swirling. And every time I feel her move, I love Leon more. Because the only reason she is here, soon to make us a threesome, is because on a rainy day in March in 2007, I fell madly and instantly in love with a man in a leather jacket, standing in the rain, under an umbrella, smoking a cigarette.