At First Sight

A WISH

Here in my palm
Is a wish I hold dear
Tiny, with much room to grow

It’s the wish that I’ve held
For you year after year
A frail secret I just couldn’t tell

I had seen you one day
You were so far away
And I didn’t yet know your first name

But I wished and I prayed
And with each wish I made
I wished you were doing the same

Will we finally meet
On a less crowded street
Will you see me at last and just know

That wherever your heart
From the end to the start
Mine will be there to welcome you home

This isn’t an ode to stalkers. Honestly. I had sat down to write my husband’s Valentine’s Day card and ended up writing this first. I had been reflecting on how we met and how long we had been together.

I saw him long before I met him. He appeared in my homeroom junior year of high school. We had assigned seats, alphabetical order, and his was across the room. I happened to glance that way and had a moment of recognition that startled me: “That’s him. That’s the guy I’m going to marry.”

I was sixteen. My mantra, given to me by my mother, was, “Never get married; never have kids.” I was not the girl with the hope chest and stacks of bridal magazines. So, yes, I was startled, but I was also hooked. Hooked on meeting this guy, not marrying him. Oddly enough, he ended up in three of my classes that year. It wasn’t until senior year, though, that we started dating. During the interim, I was a bit obsessed, I confess. I went out of my way to put myself where he would be, hoping that he’d start to feel for me what I felt for him. It didn’t seem to work, so that summer, I convinced myself I was over it, over him. Life went on, until the first day of school senior year, when he sought me out. It was four more months before he asked me out.

Love at first sight? Maybe not love. How could it have been? I had no idea who he was, what he was like, how he fit into the world. Still, there was something there that day. A knowing? A recognition, at least. It wasn’t a hearts and flowers moment; it was calm and quiet, solid and sure. And it wasn’t fleeting—it dropped into my soul and stayed, waiting (not always patiently), even when I had vowed to forget about him.

And it’s still there, even now.

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