I met you on a really warm night, in a really crowded bar, after a really long day.
Everything about our first interaction was hyperbolic, from the fact I'd nearly been assaulted in the parking lot to the pleasant surprise that the Cubs were heading to the World Series.
Lights twinkled and shrieks erupted that night. Fancy urban cocktails literally exploded into flames before our eyes.
You were dressed for a wedding instead of a standard first date. I was wearing a striped sweater, although I would've been more comfortable in a short-sleeved shirt.
Halfway through my drink, I mentioned how unique Deep Ellum was. It reminded me of my favorite neighborhood in Denver, a city I had left only a few days earlier. There was something new, yet entirely familiar, about your corner of Dallas.
We left the bar and meandered down Elm Street, passing a tattoo parlor that looked identical to the downtown Denver shop where I'd gotten my first--and only-- tat. You gave me a complete tour of the Dallas music district, while I tried to come up with a good reason to see you again. Soon.
That first night was fast-paced and utterly brilliant. It is the perfect metaphor for our entire relationship. I've grown closer to you in a six-month span than I have ever been to anyone in my 32 years on this planet.
You've approached my insecurities with confidence. You've calmed my fears and repeatedly proven that your support has no expiration date.
By acknowledging my broken parts and loving me anyway, you've made me feel whole. Less flawed. Adored and admired and appreciated. In truth, you are the gem, my dear...yet all you see is my sparkle.
I came to Texas primarily in the hopes of going to grad school here. Unsurprisingly, I was also searching for my next big adventure.
Well, I found it in you. You are they journey of a lifetime, Derek.
Thank you for proving that love can be found in the midst of heartbreak. Thank you for reigniting my hope for the future. I can't wait to be your roommate and travel companion and life partner. You're the best gift I've ever received.
I risked everything by leaving my comfort zone and moving to Texas. Baby, you were worth the risk.