September 1999, Stephen F Austin State University campus, late afternoon.
I was just barely a freshman in college. I had only been traversing the waters of SFA for a few weeks and I was still fairly well lost. I had managed to secure myself a pair of friends who were fast becoming my best friends so that helped immensely. I also had my roommate who I had known before college and she was my point of sanity most days.
The four of us exited out of the UC after an early dinner and began making our way across campus to a destination I can no longer recall. It was late enough in the day and the week that we didn't have many concerns or obligations; we were just a bunch of kids hanging out. It was just a typical day in the life of a college kid.
As we approached the admin building an incredibly tall young man with long dark hair and a mischievous smile hidden behind an unkempt goatee came lumbering up the sidewalk towards us. My roommate recognized him and called out to him at once, our small group coming to a stop to say hello to this strange young man. Introductions were made and a conversation started up and before we knew it we were sitting on the impressive steps of the Austin building chatting about all manner of things.
The sun was drawing lower in the sky and this young man made the suggestion that we go see a movie. I looked at my companions and it was fast agreed that none of us had the money and we had to be at the theater soon so a movie wasn't in the cards for that evening. We all parted ways with smiles and I didn't give that moment a second thought for quite a while.
Little did I know that was the beginning of the rest of my life.
October 28th 2000, Samhain bonfire out in the middle of nowhere East Texas, after midnight.
I had not seen the tall young man in over a year. Shortly after we met that day on the steps to the Austin building he moved to Dallas. I had mostly forgotten about that day and him. Our party had been mighty and as the evening wore on we found ourselves in a large pile of people laying by the fire and watching the impossible amount of stars that are visible from the woods far from the city lights. I had managed to lay in his arms, purely by coincidence.
I don't know how long we lay like that before he turned to look at me, his face aglow in the fire light, and asked to kiss me. I do know it took me less than a second in my slightly inebriated state to shout "NO!" and extricate myself from the tangle of bodies we were in, making a fast run for the old barn to hide. It was not one of my better moments.
It took a mutual friend to talk me down. There had been a guy I was really into, and I was a little drunk, and I had sworn off kissing friends in drunken moments at parties because it never ended well. Our friend made me feel less like an ass and convinced me to come back to the party, he swore that the young man understood and was not upset with my reaction.
I made it back down to the party to find him sitting in a chair on an old house slab waiting for me. Everyone else was down at the fire so we were alone. He beckoned me to sit on his knee as there were no other chairs, and he softly began to tell me that it was alright.
I don't remember a thing he said. I remember that I could feel his warm breath against my ear and neck. I remember how he shifted my weight on his knee so he could speak softly into my other ear. I remember this shift kept happening, moving from one ear to the other, getting closer to my mouth with each word spoken. I remember a loud cat call from down by the fire and someone shouting "Come up for air" or some such nonsense and realizing that we were kissing.
May 25th 2003, Scarborough Renaissance Festival, Captains Pub, Evening Pub Sing.
I knew he was going to propose to me that weekend. He slipped up asking me about my ring size on the drive to faire and got really upset when he realized he had gotten it wrong. I knew what that meant. It was my birthday on the 26th, and so I expected it then.
We had discussed proposals many times in the four years we had been dating. I made it clear to him that I wanted something grand. My answer was most assuredly going to be yes, but I wanted a good story to tell later. I had no idea what to expect.
Throughout the day different cast members began delivering me flowers. Every flower that Rose Joe sold that was not a rose since I don't like roses all that much. With each flower was the message "This is not from me." By the end of court dance I had a bouquet that was quite impressive, I was quite pleased.
We were getting ready for Pub Sing and I started to notice people acting a bit squirrely. Every time I would move one person in particular would jump at me asking me where I was going. I kept assuring him I was not going anywhere and finally opted to sit down so he would stop barking at me. I also noticed more people than usual. Pub Sing is popular, but not THAT popular. My boy was no where to be seen.
As Pub Sing wound on I kept looking for my boy but it was looking as though he was not going to show up which was very unusual for him. The show was nearly over when the royal procession came up from the evening joust. It was impossible to miss that trailing behind the King and Queen was a block of playtron royal guard surrounding my boy who was in shackles. I had no idea what he had done, but I was certain that it was something insane.
No explanation was given for his state as the King and Queen arrived and everything went on as though nothing was happening. A solo performer got up and began singing Red is the Rose, which is a slower song but one of my favorites. I somehow did not notice that the King and Queen had snuck up behind me until they were standing at my side. Each grabbed an elbow and tossed me unceremoniously out into the center of the pub where the boy was now standing holding a single white rose.
The music had stopped and everyone was staring at us. He handed me the rose and began reciting a poem he had written for me. I honestly have no idea what he said. As much as I had been expecting it, I was in shock. There were camera flashes going off everywhere; it was like we were at the Superbowl.
When the poem ended he dropped to a knee and held out a dagger and a small box. He told me that if I did not want to be his I should take the knife and plunge it into his heart right then. I opted for the box and quickly shouted yes as I flung myself into his arms. The small emerald ring fit on my pinky finger, but I didn't mind.
I had my story and I had my boy.
October 23rd 2004, Texas Renaissance Festival, Castle Stage after hours.
Everything had gone wrong. All of our wedding plans had fallen through; no dress, no venue, no cake, no flowers, nothing. It was nothing like what I had dreamed of except for my boy. We had decided not to wait until we could find the money to do the big white fluffy wedding. We just wanted to be married.
I wore my normal work garb and so did he. My mom lent me her pearl necklace and gave me one of my grandfathers handkerchiefs. Our shop mates bought us a cake at the grocery store and got me a bouquet of daisies from Rose Joe. Even a dinner had been made for us thanks to our boss knowing a guy who was a chef. It might not have been perfect but it was all done for us from love which made it even better.
Nothing went off without a hitch. There was nothing but hitches from the word go. I cried in the not good way more than once. It was the sort of wedding you tell people about to make them feel better about their bad wedding day.
When it was all said and done though I still had my boy; my husbeast. I wouldn't trade a moment of the misery of that day for the world, because that day was the best day because of him.
16 years since we met.
15 years since we became a couple.
11 years since we were wed.
He is still my everything and I am thankful every day that he is in my life. I love him more than I can ever say. He is my knight, he is my love, he is my husbeast.