The story starts in eighth grade. Eighth grade was party time for Ally and I. We told each other detailed stories of our adventures with our other friends, the people we didn't like, and especially our crushes.
Ally was crushing on a ninth grader. He was kind of short with golden brown hair and a wannabe-gansta' attitude. She and him weren't super close, but she sat by him in one of her classes and, after a while, was no match for his boyish charm. We saw him in the halls one day with his friends, and we couldn't help but notice that one of his friends stood out from the rest. It took us but a second to figure out what it was.
His monumentally large head.
He was tall with narrow shoulders and a thin body. But right on top of it all sat a huge head topped with short dark curls.
"You should marry him," Ally said. I laughed in surprise. Sometimes I had no idea where her ideas came from. I treated it like a joke only told once, but Ally was determined to keep it going. Every time we saw him she referred to him as my "husband". We later found out his name, but his former title had already stuck. Soon it became one of our inside jokes that we mentioned every once and a while and laughed at.
Near the beginning of ninth grade I made a new friend. She and I talked at school and she was super sweet and fun. When I told Ally about her and mentioned her name she made a connection that hadn't before occurred to me. "Whoa! That's your sister-in-law!"
Much later in the year my "sister-in-law" and I planned a movie night at her house. I arrived and walked up the porch steps listening to piano music filtering from inside the house. When I knocked on the door the music stopped. Footsteps. The blinds from the thin window next to the door lifted a bit, and I stared into the small crack to see brown eyes. Brown eyes connected to a large head topped with short dark curls.
I had to remind myself that he had no idea who he was as he opened the door. I asked him if his sister was home.
"I don't think so," he told me. His voice was deep.
"She invited me to come over at 7..." I said, trying to look less confused than I was.
"Do you want me to call her?" he asked.
"No, I can call her," I said. I scrolled through my contacts, expecting the door to close and to be left on the lonely porch. I only had a moment to ponder on that thought when he invited me in.
I stepped in the house. It smelled and looked clean with a shiny grand piano and brown leather couches. I called my friend and she apologized profusely for forgetting about our movie night and said she was headed right over. "My husband" asked for the phone and I handed it to him. He talked to her for a minute and probably made her feel super guilty before handing the phone back to me. I hung up. He invited me to come and sit on the couch while I waited for her to arrive. I sat down and so did he.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"Tessa Hatchett," I said, "what's yours?"
It was one of those moments I'd never thought I'd have. Just sitting there on his living room couch. Just small talk with someone I had just met. But for some reason, it seemed a lot more important than that.
When my friend got home she apologized some more and we continued on to our activities. As she and I talked I found out her brother sings and plays drums, guitar, and piano. It was like all of the sudden he was becoming less of just an inside joke and more of a person. A person who lives in a house and goes to high school and has hobbies and talents and friends. I'll never forget that feeling.
And I'm pretty happy to have finally met "my husband".