I was two years old when my parents bought their house. My mom was pregnant with my little sister and we needed more space to accommodate the growing family (I would eventually become the second oldest of four girls). The neighbors to our right were a smaller family, a mom and two boys a few years older than me. Their house was identical on the inside, same setup, just different finishes and color schemes. Being next door was like one of those strange dreams where you’re standing in your living room, only it’s not really your living room, but it’s supposed to be.
We all became very close very quickly and soon enough, my sisters and I could be found in the front or backyard playing bloody murder and kick the can with the neighbors every day of the week. In the winter, we’d build snow forts and go ice-skating and my dad would be in the background taking home video which, at the time, we had NO idea how fun it would be to watch later.
My whole adolescence, I had a crush on the younger of the two brothers (he was 3 years older than me). I would knock on his door when I knew he was home, and ask to borrow eggs or sugar and tell him I was baking cookies, just to see him. He’d hand over the eggs and always replied with “only if I get some of those cookies when you’re done!” He never did get any cookies though cause I was never actually baking. There is also still a heart that I drew in my closet in my parents’ house that says ‘I love Scott, borrowed 2 eggs from him today, dated 1992’.
We went our separate ways when we went to college- he commuted to the city and I moved a few states over. When college was over, we lived our separate lives – starting careers, moving around, a couple of relationships here and there. We’d see each other once in a while pulling in and out of our parents’ driveways, we’d say hello and give a wave, but hadn’t really talked to each other for about seven years.
A while later, I moved to the city on my own. I was a MySpace junkie around that time and I decided to look up the neighbor to see what he had been up to. Lo and behold, I found him and sent him a message. The lines of communication were reopened and we began to catch up on everything we had missed in each other’s lives.
He met me out at my local haunt one night and he was just as cute and sweet as always. About a month later, he called me up and asked me to meet him to see a band. We met, we had so much fun, and when it was time to close the place down, he walked me to the corner to get a cab, and he asked if he could kiss me. Oh. My. God. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would ever, ever happen. Ever. We stood on that corner for two hours (where he would eventually propose a year and a half later) kissing in the rain, half-heartedly waiting for a cab. My fairy tale had come true.
If you had told me, when I was 13 and baking fake cookies for Scott, that I would be marrying him 19 years later, I would have called you crazy. Wow, what I wouldn’t give to go back and tell my 13-year-old self to hang in there and truly believe that everything happens for a reason.