I sometimes joke that Samir and I have a reverse relationship. Not reverse in the fact that it started at the end, but reverse because oftentimes I take on the male role, and he the female when it comes to certain things. For instance, while he was the one who initially liked me prior to me even thinking of him in that way, I was the one who approached the conversation of us dating. When we argue about something, I get angry and he gets moody and mopey. I fix the toilet, he cooks dinner. Perhaps it’s a more modern version of a classic relationship.
So now that we’re less than a month away from our wedding (!!!), he’s giddy with excitement and I’m freaking out. Not freaking out because I have 1,000 things to do (okay, well, I DO have 1,000 things to do), but freaking out because This. Is. Scary. I’ll admit it, it’s absolutely frightening. Putting myself out there like that. Committing for life. I buy shoes that I know won’t last more than two years because I know I’ll probably want new ones by then.
That’s not say I’m not excited as well. I am. I’m thrilled. I’m ready. I want to do this. But is it not okay to be scared as well? It seems so foreign – so undisclosed. I feel other girls in my position would run away, afraid my fears will rub off on them. They wouldn’t dare admit to feeling the slightest bit of nervousness.
I think about forever and get scared. Will we still be the same? Will it still feel the same?
Last night we were sitting in bed. He was listening to comedy on his iPod, I was reading yet another young adult novel. As Hurricane Irene passed, our lights flickered, and then went out. It was around midnight, so the apartment was pitch black. I couldn’t see my hands.
So naturally, unlike normal people who’d just shrug and go to sleep, I freaked out.
When I was little, I was raised on Cinderella, The Sound of Music, and Grease. But I was also raised on Terminator, Demolition Man, and Robocop. While years later I appreciated my dad’s addition to my movie list, being able to quote guy-films with the guys, I was confused as a child. I enjoyed them, I did, but my childhood changed from a normal fear of ghosts in the night to murderers and serial killers. The T-1,000 was going to get me, not the boogie man. The un-captured murderer was under my bed, not a zombie. So every night I slammed my closet open to ensure it was clear, jumped quickly onto my bed, and covered myself with the protective embrace of my blanket, hoping the ritual would ward off child-killers. And since fear of the known doesn’t go away quite easily as fear of the unreal, my discomfort with the dark never quite ebbed. Most nights I’m fine, but every now and then, the feeling of something coming to get me comes over. And I have to check every lock, every bed, every closet before falling asleep.
So when the lights popped, I shot my head up and looked around. Silence.
“Well that sucks,” Samir said, pulling his earbuds out.
“It’s dark,” I murmured.
“What if I have to pee?” Of course this was my first reaction. In the comfort of our bedroom, we were safe. The door was shut, closet open, no one was there to hurt me. But creeping out into a dark hallway, with the inability to see if a murderer was around the corner? I couldn’t take it.
“I’ll go with you,” he said. Anyone else would think I’m crazy. Anyone else would just sigh and turn around, ignoring my childish fears. But he didn’t. He wasn’t sarcastic or dismissive; he earnestly said it, as if there was reason to be afraid of our dark living room.
The lights came back on not five minutes later. Eyes adjusting to our bedside lamps, I looked over at him and for the first time since we realized there’s only a month to go, felt not an ounce of fear. Or anxiety. Or nerves. I knew we’d be fine, I’d be fine. I wasn’t nervous for our future together, I was excited for it. We’ll keep going at the speed we’re at and break through our obstacles, whatever they may be. We’re in it together – we always were. I knew that no matter the fear, he’ll be there to hold my hand and get me through it. And that while forever may sound frightening, it’s also truly incredible.