I never expected this to happen. Us. The Us in my mind, the one I predicted, dated for a while and then kind of teetered out. The Us now comes to my house every week, the Us now sneaks off to go dance alone, the Us now goes to the park and never gets out of the truck. The Us in reality is scarier, better, lovelier than I ever could have dreamed. You are my prince, saying and doing all the right things without even trying. I mock you about so many things, make fun of you, push and shove you, only to laugh and pull you against me and kiss you softly, whispering I’m sorry. I’ve found that there is no escaping you. Your serious talk about the future is frightening sometimes, but I don’t know if it’s your talk that scares me or more the fact that I believe it and contribute to it. It’s funny how the girl who promised to never get married now laughs about whether or not we’ll have a cat in our apartment. Just like the trees in your metaphor, you are a part of me, and we’ve become something else entirely from what we used to be as individuals. From the endless movies we never end up watching to the dancing in my shed to Balmorhea, to coffee to flowers, from kissing to teasing to small talk, there’s not a minute I regret. It’s silly to think that we are the ones to make it, huh? To think that as high schoolers we can know what love is, or think that we’ll make it against the rising odds. But if we don’t believe we can make it, who will? Let everyone else doubt us, let everyone else tell us it’s not possible. When everyone else is yelling and shouting and making racket, I promise I’ll hold on tight to you and whisper in your ear “I love you,” and “We’ll make it.” When they’ve beaten us down and we are laying on the floor, cracking under the pressure, I’ll bury my head in your shoulder, kiss your neck, and drown them out. I’ll stand by you.