As I was driving home from work just after 5pm last night, I noticed a small white sedan swerve a little into my lane. I pulled up next to the car at the next red light we both stopped at, where I noticed the driver was a young, teenage girl and the passenger was a young, teenage boy. Both of them were probably 16 or seventeen years old and without a care in the world. For that fleeting moment at the light, I soaked up a glimpse of their lives and immediately likened them to Hugo and I. In those short seconds, I saw her laughing and joking with him, as they were on their way to someone’s house to hang out with friends. The sun was still alive in the sky for another three hours, which meant plenty of both day light and night life to enjoy during their carefree summer night. Maybe she had a crush on him and most likely he liked her. Maybe they were just friends but we all know how that story goes; Hugo and I were best friends turned lifelong loves so it can be a slippery slope. During my brief observation of their simple, innocent interaction, I remembered what it all felt like. No stress from work and adult life. The simple beauty of having fun with friends and, quite possibly, your future husband. And happily looking forward to having their entire lives ahead of them, yet only focusing on the present.
The main thing I thought of as I peered into the little white car was how high school evenings, such as theirs is and ours was, are focused on spending time with people you care about. You spend all day plotting out how you can hang out with friends and where the gathering will occur. You spend the rest of your time planning out how you can interact with the guy or gal you have a crush on. Finally, you spend any remaining time panicking about it all coming together without a hitch.
The light turned green and the sedan sped off, full of possibility. It looked like those two would spend the night together and they looked happy as hell. I drove behind them for a little bit, as it appeared we were both headed back into the canyon for the rest of the evening, and then it occurred to me of exactly what I’d achieved since those days in high school. While Hugo and I used to be those two kids in the little white car, just hoping to spend the night together and yearning for more time to live and laugh and love, I realized we are so very fortunate to get to spend that time together now, every night when we finish a day’s work, and every weekend when we are fortunate enough to sleep in together, well past the time of our alarms. Rather than make plans to meet up somewhere and hope to catch a glimpse of a momentary flirtation, I now get to call that man my husband, all while living with him and sharing this beautiful life together. After both of us dreaming and wanting one another as a high school crush, turned romance, turned love story, we hit the jackpot as we get to come home to one another every day for the rest of our lives. From the little white car to the big white house we live in today, we are two lucky kids.