“Knowing what you know now would you do it all over again?”

The short answer is YES.

The long answer is Hell YES.

I would stop and ask a stranger for directions because that is how we met and he wouldn’t have become my best friend.

I ugly cry-laugh in front of him – you know the kind of laugh-cry I mean, when you are sitting on the floor with tears down your cheeks and laughing so hard no sound comes out! You tip over clapping like some sort of seal, mascara down your face someone asks why you’re laughing but you don’t remember. And everything in between as freely as I can because I know I am safe.

I would lie to my parents to protect him.

I would go through the first horrific moment of him having a seizure and the 50th time of him having a seizure.

Being called a whore at 14 by a male neighbor for walking down the street with him and how it made my parents and the community look.

Being called really derogatory names as we hold hands because of our skin colours.

The awkward conversation my mom and I had about dating a man not my race, and that the hate we experience might not just be from strangers. I am too young to understand. I lie and say I do. It is 2000 this stuff is over, wasn’t it? Mom was right. Aren’t they always? Mom used to say one day a moment might come to pick between him and family. I made that decision proudly. David is family. I would make that decision over again and over again.

Me hearing the N-word falling out of someone’s mouth, I feel sick and want to talk. He doesn’t. He shrugs it off like a mosquito bite. Don’t worry about it. I do because once again it isn’t a stranger.

Endless summer bike rides.

First kisses.

Urging him to ask me out again because the first time he did it, I wasn’t ready, but PLEASE do it again.

Pregnancy scares.

Breakups.

Falling for other people. Wrong people.

Getting back together.

Highschool graduations. What does that mean for us?

Nothing changes. Me and him. Him and me.

His mom had a stroke and almost dies.

In sickness and in health.

I apply for colleges and wonder why my parents aren’t divorced.

Dad dies.

I am questioning the bi thing and what that means for me. For him. “I love YOU. All of YOU. I am here,” he states in a way that is distinctively and wondrously human.

Someone calls me a dyke and wonders why David would want to be with me. My turn to shrug it off like mosquito bites. “But if you want to leave I understand.” Always giving him and out. But he is still standing with arms open wide.

Mom dies.

College drops out.

Dreams on hold.

Being called to a new existence of adulthood.

Houses.

Eviction notices.

Small fires and cook books.

Chinese food and video game marathons.

Working at fast food places because it means maybe you get a meal and that is okay because one of you can eat, how meals can you keep a Wendy’s single burger last? What if you quarter it? a fun game no one wants to play.

Learning to sense the other as a person and how to grow and evolve. How this can change. How you can still get them wrong. But you laugh, or cry, and try again.

Niagara Falls.

Dreams of owning book stores and detective agencies.

Last minute trips to Montreal and being so cold I thought we were dying.

Film School.

Learning about how real intimacy isn’t sex.

Real intimacy is faithfulness over the long haul.

It is kittens.

And shaving the back of his head because he can never quite reach.

It is finding our selves but still reaching over and finding each other.

It is realizing that we aren’t the other half of someone but we are whole ourselves.

It is watching WWE Raw with him on Monday nights and him trusting me to order sushi for him on a random Thursday. “trust me?” “Always.” “Then eat the eel.”

Love is sharing and listening and allowing the person you are with to be fully them.

It is watching the little dim of hope and curiosity in his eyes as he asks me “If we have a girl can we name her Trinity Grace?” and watch his hand stretch naturally over my womb to protect us both.

It is crying over negative pregnancy tests.

It is about panic attacks

Living with friends.

Suicide attempts.

It is about Queerness.

Identity.

And being wondrously human.

Who are we? Who is he? Me? Us?

It is a wedding and me in a white dress. The only traditional thing about us. Walking down the aisle to an acoustic version of Eric Clapton.

It is a commitment we made and bluntly announced to the world “we are getting married. Don’t like it don’t come,” His parents don’t even send a card.

It is waking up to the sunrise as his wife and realizing I don’t feel different, maybe because we were already living our vows…

For better.

For worse.

A trip to Ottawa and never wanting to leave.

It is a promise for a lifetime.

It is possibilities.

It is all encompassing.

Midnight shifts.

I set the stove on fire by accident. Again.

Wonder if I have given him food poisoning.

We can’t pay rent. Again.

It is having to keep each other warm when heat gets turned off.

More dreams on hold.

More plans that never come to fruition.

He is hospitalized.

When he is released I need to find his pulse and panic when I can’t even though he is talking to me and I know he is okay.

It is having that niggling feeling in the back of your brain that you ignore because you’re too young.

It is stressful moves and dangerous jobs.

It is 2am slushies from 7/11 and diner breakfast dates.

It is mistakes.

High fevers.

Morphine and crutches.

It is understanding.

Teaching.

Swearing to unnamed Gods that if you have to eat one more bag of white rice…but never finishing the idle threat.
It is ugly-cry laughing with your best friend all these years later.

It is his early death.

It is becoming a widow at 32.

It is mistakes.

It is encouragement.

It is Him and I. Me and Him.

“Knowing what you know now would you do it all over again?”’

The short answer is YES.

About 

Donna (they/them) is originally from Ontario Canada but now resides in Nova Scotia Canada. Donna met their husband David when they were 14. Literal best friends and completely inseparable, then that trope happened in rom-coms when they realized there was something more. Together Donna and David navigated life, love, and all the weirdness that comes with it (including a cat). They stumbled through, poverty, unemployment, interracial relationships, and Donna's queerness (and how that redefined things or did it?) and a mental health journey that always seemed ever-changing with nerdy humor that was unique and all them. In August 2018 Donna found David passed away in their bed early one morning, later they found out that there was no cause of death. Now Donna is still trying to navigate life, love, and weirdness all on their own with a little help from their friends, and a whole lot of coffee.