I remember meeting him. September 1994- 3rd year Spanish class. The seat next to me was empty and when he walked in late I told him to sit there...I was really worried that I was the only brown kid in class and he was the other one....it didn't matter that we'd never spoken to each other.
Over the course of the year we became great friends and he watched me as I went through the drama-laden high school relationship with the Krazy Kid. When I graduated, he took me out to dinner at a fancy restaurant on the waterfront. On the drive home, we started talking about the future and what were were going to do with our lives. I remember joking with him not to worry "because he was going to marry me anyway". His response was perfect: "you know, TT- I would marry you. Not many girls have the kind of morals that you have."
I would go to college and we would admit we had feelings for each other, and I would be an asshole and not be over the Krazy Kid. We wouldn't talk for another year and a half until I was living in Puerto Rico going to school. We would talk, decide to date long distance until I came back to the States, and we would be reunited in San Diego where he was stationed as a Marine. I remember seeing him for the first time in years and he. was. beautiful.
We would date for 2 years and get married. I remember how impressed I was with his ability to fix everything. He not only could cook, but he could garnish, he had presentation- and he was 21 years old. He was so meticulous about his cologne, his haircuts, his wardrobe...and I loved it all. He had an order about him that seemed almost supernatural. I had never known a man like this- one who kept himself so pristine and could protect me from terrorists, cancer, and natural disaster. I was enveloped by his presence, his love of simplicity, and his seeming knowledge about everything in the world. In my eyes he could do anything, and he inspired me to be a better person, to push myself beyond limits I never knew I had. I watched him systematically knock down every stereotype they laid before him and prove he was not only as good as them, but better.
13 years later, I am still in awe. We may be on the rocks, but he is still my hero.