By Christian Sopkowiak

“I love you. That’s all I said. Three words. I am telling you this because, well, you seem to listen. It was a bright day, and we had just walked out of the restaurant. It was our third date; even though she insists it was our second. Sitting together, just us two, doing nothing, counts as a date right? I mean, I like to think dating is that easy. It should be. But it isn’t. It has to be the most painful process of relationships. Stupid gestures, stupid clichés, and even worse: stupid people. I can’t say I have seen it all. Hell, at that moment, I was still pretty inexperienced. But hearing the stories told from others, it always makes me think the best part of love is that it’s just a little different with that person.

See, I could go on a date with a girl, enjoy myself, and call her up again. We could go out for a while, eventually begin to distance, and then go our separate ways. That’s most of the stories I’ve heard and stories I’ve lived. But I have also heard stories of true love. Of the way you meet and something clicks. You immediately enjoy each other. You smile when they are around. You wish you could see them everyday, and sometimes you do. But most of all, you want them to be happy. And that something that clicks, why I cant explain it. The spark in love cannot be defined, only felt. And I have felt that only once in my life, and I told her I loved her a week after I met her. Anyways, back to that story. So she stared at me, pursing her lips, and trying to get the hell out of there. But I stood up for my feelings; I didn’t let her think too much. I told her that I have never seen someone so beautiful, someone so smart, someone so thoughtful, and someone so driven in my life. I told her why I loved her, how she laughs when I make bad jokes. Or how she smiles at me while I talk to my friends. Or how she couldn’t stop from twisting her hair when we sat across from each other that night. Or how she always giggles when she smiles. I loved her. She smiled at me after I was done. She kissed me on the cheek and left.

It was the worst night of my life. I guess, that might be a lie, but you don’t know that. You haven’t had too many bad nights, have you? But, she contacted me the next morning, saying how much fun she had. She wanted to do it again. Love is not easy, nor is it hard. It’s somewhere in the middle. When that spark, that something is felt, nothing can stop you from getting together. Love can be really dumb. But, I like to think no matter how bad love can make you feel, it can always brighten your entire day in a moment’s notice. That’s what happened that morning. And I married that beautiful woman. And I guess, after all of this cliché stupid romantic stuff, I just want you to understand love is natural. Just go for it. And I’m telling you this, I guess, because it worked for me. And because, I want you to be the best person you can be, son.” My three-week-old son then smiled at me and giggled, just like his mom.

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