"Will you be my girlfriend?"
It was a genuine question, but one that was mostly tossed out with the air of a joke--we had been spending time together for weeks and he already felt a lot like my boyfriend. It didn't seem like something that needed to be defined, and yet here we were, lying next to each other in the dark on what I think was a Thursday night; having a talk about our relationship. We had spoken about it before this moment--he was the kind of man with whom I automatically felt comfortable talking about anything, which was sort of a new feeling for me--but we always circled around the point, never landing very firmly anywhere.
It felt like spring in our little college town and I was wearing a blue and white tank top that I borrowed from my roommate. Earlier that day I had run the six miles from Longwood to Hampden-Sydney and then drank a gatorade while sitting on the floor of his dorm room before heading back to shower and change for whatever party his fraternity was throwing that night. And later, at the end of the party, people filed out of the house and I sat on the kitchen counter looking at him and thinking what a wonder this man is, the one I wasn't looking for but was so lucky to find.
Boyfriend or not, he had become my best friend since our paths crossed that October night in 2008.
We have been through so much together and I'm proud of us in almost every way--from grad school to new jobs and moving, long distance, then moving again. An engagement, a wedding, a life together. Rob has supported me through every step since college, and if I manage to be even half as steadfast and encouraging to him as he is to me, then I think I'm doing a pretty good job. They say that love is work, and that's true, but it isn't hard. We laugh and we celebrate everything and we love each other, and life with Rob Peterson is truly a pleasure.
Who would have dreamed six years ago that in 2015, we'd be approaching our first wedding anniversary? I suppose that in some way, deep down, we did.