Could our story be any more cliché? Foreigner falls for American girl. He’s in a pickle, she wants to help. They marry before they’re ready but it’s cool because, you know, happily ever after and all that. Only this wasn’t a romantic comedy, this was my life.
We met at a coffee shop through mutual friends and exchanged clumsy hellos while our friends did the flirting. I was wearing borrowed clothes that day, so I didn’t exactly own up to the belly shirt and low-rise jeans I was wearing. I had never been comfortable around boys, so I scrambled to hide my shy midsection while he pretended not to notice. Just as I began to console myself with the thought that love would probably find me in college, I mustered just enough confidence to glance in his direction –and that was when he smiled. Oh my god, that smile. It was energy and passion and electricity and magic and in that moment I felt strangely drawn to him. Stranger still was the suspicion that things would never be the same again.
We fell quickly and easily for each other. Whispery late night phone calls, make-out sessions in my Toyota, and a new appreciation for sappy love songs sustained us that summer. He was kind to me, attentive, and even though he was guarded and even careful at times not to reveal too much, that mystery only drew me closer. Beautiful days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and months, I secretly hoped, would turn to forever.
Little did I know as this 17-year-old girl enjoying her last summer before college, that I’d go on to marry this beautiful 18-year-old boy who housed a very personal secret. [read more…]