I'll never forget the first time you gave me a ride on your motorcycle. That walk to the bank with the deposit for Starbucks was never something I enjoyed doing; the thought of carrying thousands of dollars while I walked 3 blocks alone wasn't something I relished that day. When you offered to drive me, I jumped all over it.
At 21, I still had no concept that perhaps the bike could be a dangerous thing, because I was invincible, wasn't I? Eagerly, I jumped on and was prepared to fly. Sure, I was a little afraid but I trusted you. You were, after all, a friend of mine.
I had no idea what that motorcycle ride would bring.
The next motorcycle ride was an all day affair. It wasn't a date. You were so sneaky that way, getting me out on your bike without my boyfriend and making it look like we were just hanging out together. Remember stopping for at McDonalds for hot chocolate? I was so nervous I shredded that poor styrofoam cup into confetti once I finished. As we rode some more, you asked me if I was really going to marry that high school boyfriend of mine.
"I don't know," from where I sat on the back of your bike, suddenly I began to waver. I knew I wasn't happy with him, so...what was I doing?
"I don't think you'd be here if you were going to," was your quiet reply. You were right. You've always been able to see right through me. I never have to say anything, you always just know. In that moment, I knew that my relationship with my boyfriend had been over for a long time. I had always been afraid to admit that to myself, but there, on the back of that bike watching the world fly by, ending it didn't seem to be a scary thing at all.
I know the exact moment when I knew you were the guy I wanted to spend my life with. We were riding through the canyon between Hell's Gate and Hope (I'm not making up these names, they are real cities!) and you reached back, rested your hand on my leg, and gave my knee a gentle squeeze.
And I KNEW.
For the longest time, I've never been sure how I knew, or rather, how to put it into words. For years, friends and family have asked me why we, such an unlikely couple, fell in love and how we just knew we were meant to be together.
Last weekend, 18 years later and once again on the back of a motorcycle, I finally figured it out.
Getting on the bike with you that first time was leap of faith. I needed to believe that I'd be safe with you. Being a passenger on a motorcycle really is an act of faith; you have to put your life in the hands of the person at the controls. The second time, there you were-and I took another leap of faith, believing that you would be just as careful with my heart. You made me feel, above anything else, safe. Protected. LOVED.
Throughout kids, hard decisions, moves, career changes, every time I have felt lost and without an anchor, you have been there standing guard, making sure that I am safe and cared for, and reassuring me in the dark nights when I'm terrified that everything will be okay. Every single time I have taken those leaps of faith; gripping your hand for dear life, because I know that if I ever slip, you'll catch me.
And you DO.
18 years later, we wound through the country roads past breathtaking scenery, and you reached around and gave my leg a gentle squeeze. You've always been my Prince Charming, right from the day you walked in to Starbucks and ordered a coffee.
I just never expected you to roar up on a Yamaha.