June 2007, when puka shells were barely still a thing
Nine years ago, & 4 days after I was hoping he would (May 23rd is my favorite day of the year), an 18-year-old Jared took a 17-year-old me on a walk around my parents' neighborhood. We sat in a garden on the golf course. He said, "Kelsey Leigh Essmann, would you be my girlfriend?" & I said, "Of course."
We were babies. The older we get, the more we understand just how young we were. But I can still feel the knowledge I had in my heart & in my gut. That this was it. This was my big love. He was more than I could ever dream up. This was only going to get better.
Nine whole years have flown by. I've been thinking on this for the past couple of weeks & I don't know how to put this thought into words without sounding cheesy or insincere. But here it is: Every day is still a dream. My love for this man has not faltered, faded or dimmed. Love is so big. So overwhelming. It is seriously such a gift.
My heart booms for you, Jared Stedman Bethune. I love you, My Someone.