The Story of Us

*Steps back & counts the years we've dated on two hands*

Let me start by saying it was not love at first sight.

I met Richie when we were both sophomores in high school. I had transferred schools at the beginning of the year & was just starting to find my friend group when our football team qualified for the state championship. The game was a 3-hour drive away that everyone was going to. Luckily, our school had chartered buses for all the students to hitch a ride on - States here we come! My new friends & I were all signed up and about to head out, I just needed to make one pit stop at my homeroom to grab my things.

Enter Richie Westerlind.

While I was in the back of the room gathering my things, I exchanged a hello with a friend sitting in class. Turning back toward my belongings, I soon hear a whispering of my name - I turn to look where it's coming from and see a guy I've yet to come across in my short time walking the halls of STA. Confused how he knew my name and questioning why he was trying to get my attention, I starred back & waited. A bright-eyed 'hi' with a smile was thrown my way. Mind you, one of my new friends had accompanied me to my homeroom and during this scene gives the cheeky guy a 'never gonna happen' look and glances back at me. 

As we left the classroom, we laughed & gossiped about what had just happened - ironically my new friend had grown up with this guy and gave me a recap of all the reasons why I wouldn't want anything to do with him. Roger, roger - alert received loud & clear. Sophomore year went on without a glitch.

Hello, Junior year.

Class schedules were a big deal at STA - side note this was righhhtt around the time that Facebook was becoming a thing & everyone couldn't get the word out fast enough to tell others what teachers and lunch schedule they had for the new year. By this time, I had found an amazing group of friends & hoped they'd be in at least one of my six classes. Luckily they were & I couldn't wait to walk the halls on that first day. All of that excitement quickly disappeared when I walked in my first class and saw that guy smiling back at me. Greeeaattt...I thought. That guy's in my class.

Second period.

A brief glance around the room and that same smile caught my eye...again - make that two classes with that guy. 'Whhhhyyyyy me?!' is all I could scream inside. *bell rings, bolts for the door* My next 3 classes were that-guy-free & I start to think Junior year won't be too bad after all. 

I take that back. You could call it fate, divine intervention, or a joke of a scheduling system because once sixth period rolled around - oh hi there, you look familiar. If you're keeping count, that's a total of three out of six classes we officially have together. 

Day two: Junior year, let's start over.

I walked into class with a positive attitude and planned on making the best out of my situation. He sat down next to me, we exchanged smiles & a proper introduction between us was made. Richie cracked a hilarious joke, I laughed uncontrollably, and the rest is a cliche history. Those three classes gave me the opportunity to change my perspective on someone I only knew through an opinion of someone else. I'm so thankful I was given the chance to truly get to know the amazing guy who I've called mine for the past 9 years.

You never know when you're going to meet that one person who could change the course of your life. A seemingly horrible situation turned into some of the best years of my life. Everyday I think about how we met. I never go a day without sharing a smile with a stranger, passing along a kind word & most importantly, I never, ever judge a book its cover. 

You never know when fate will come knocking, but when it does, make sure you're ready to answer the door!

XO, The Future Miss You

P.S. Shout out to the STA class scheduler!