I was from Kansas and she was from Portugal. She spoke impeccable English but didn't get any of my pop culture references. I was words and stories and loud laughter and she was quiet and analytical and had the most adorable smirk.
We were a little bit of a mess at times. We were so young.
Twenty years have passed and we are different versions of ourselves, better versions.
I know, without a doubt, that I am a better person because of her.
It sounds sentimental and it is but it is also a truth born of work. We are not perfect, individually or together. There is no secret or special magic. We've made it this far simply by wanting the best for each other, by honoring the most vulnerable parts of each other, by stripping away illusions.
I will always be the girl who is more likely to write her a poem than make her a pot of coffee and she will always be the girl who makes the pot of coffee rather than writing me a poem.
Somehow, it works.
I hope it keeps working for years to come.