Every time that Patrick and I get to see each other, I always have plenty of crazy albeit sweet anecdotes to tell later. Many involve surprises (like showing up to be my date to my sister’s wedding vow renewal), road trips gone wrong (Yes, we got lost and ended up in Mississippi), or just time spent arguing over the funniest things (Mary Jane will always beat Gwen Stacey!).
However, there is one specific memory I have from my last trip visiting him which I have yet to share with anybody. It is probably mundane to some people. It doesn’t involve any mishaps or bad humor. There are no date nights or special occasions involved. Yet, this memory—this one, single moment is one of the most cherished that I have.
While I was visiting Patrick, I managed to get a large majority of my schoolwork done ahead of time. This meant I could spend more quality time with Patrick the week he had off from work, and my professors were happy that they didn’t have to change any deadlines. The second week I was there, I planned to do any remaining schoolwork during the time that he was working. There was not a lot left to do. The biggest assignments were 2 quizzes for a class that I was struggling in. This meant that much of my spare time was spent studying and preparing for them.
One day, when Patrick had to work, I spent 8 or 9 hours upstairs in a secluded bedroom studying for these quizzes. I only took a break to eat a quick lunch. I was so time-consumed with schoolwork that I didn’t realize how fast time was going by. When Patrick got off work and came home, I was still upstairs reading and rereading and reviewing my class materials.
He walked up the stairs and into the room, to find me huddled over a textbook with notes splayed across the bed. My unwashed hair was thrown into a messy bun. I had no makeup on. My glasses were practically plastered to my face. There were huge bags under my eyes from exhaustion. I was wearing a slightly oversized sweater with an old, faded pair of blue jeans. I had stress-lines across my forehead, and quite frankly, I barely acknowledged that he walked into the room.
Yet, the first thing he did was come around to the open side of the bed, sit down next to me and smile. I glanced up at him for a second and smiled. I said a quick “hi” and then turned back to my textbook.
“Hey, you look nice,” he said.
Of course, my initial reaction—I looked up at him confused and asked, “Wait, what?”
“You look beautiful,” he said without even so much as a pause.
My brain took a second to process what was said. Sure, he’s called me beautiful before and it always was nice to hear. But, usually I put effort into looking nice. In this moment, I couldn’t believe that he would find me beautiful given my frumpy, disheveled state. Yet looking at him staring back at me, I knew he wasn’t lying. So, despite my inability to understand his compliment, I denied it, said thank you, and gave him a hug.
Looking back, this memory makes me smile every time I think of it. I may never truly understand what he saw in that moment. But, that doesn’t really matter. I know that Patrick looks at me in a moment when I am so drained that I just don’t care about my appearance and he somehow sees beauty. And, I fully believe that everyone deserves someone like this—someone who will look at them at their worst and see the absolute best. It’s just a matter of finding that person and never letting go.