August 1, 2011

10th anniversary, where it all started

It all began on a beautiful campus hidden in the hills of Connecticut, in this building 10 years ago, in the summer of 2001, right across this stream, on these green chairs, and at these vending machines.

This is where I first met Yanni. I first saw him in the hallway, and we first hung out eating pizza behind these windows.

The story begins...

I was in highschool and my sister was in college and she was a Resident Assistant (RA), an RA is a peer who is a mentor to the residents, they supervise the residence halls, they are on duty with security on weekdays and weeknights walking around buildings and hallways making sure everyone is safe, documenting illegal drinking and damage, and much more. Yanni and I later became RAs too, but that's another story.

One Friday night when my sister was on duty she met Yanni and his friend, they both were sitting in the hallways talking and laughing. My sister asked them what they were doing, she thought they might have been drinking. We all look back now and laugh about that because Yanni doesn't drink. He didn't drink that Friday night either. She became friends with Yanni and his friend, they weren't RAs, but they would do rounds with her at night, and if they found building damage they would let her know.

I visited my sister a few times during my school vacations and during a spring vacation I spent a week with my sister. I went to classes with her, walked around the college like I was a student there. 

I fell in love with the college, and I knew that I had to go there.

The campus was so beautiful, the people there were so kind and nice, and I knew this is where I belonged.

One day as I was walking with my sister after one of her classes she ran into a group of guys in her building, they all greeted her so politely, and one of them caught my eye, he ran up to my sister and said "We won the game for you!" I asked my sister who he was, and she said, "Oh, that's Yanni!"

That night we were figuring out what to eat and I told her that we should order out pizza and invite Yanni. She agreed and asked him to come up. Yanni came with his friend and I had a chance to talk with him. At the end of the night I told Yanni I was coming back up for another visit soon.

Back then AOL's instant messenger was the big thing and all the kids were using it. They might still be using it. I asked my sister if she could give me Yanni's username, so that I could message him, which I did every chance I got. We began writing back and forth to each other.

It was not long after that that I came back for another visit, and this time around my sister was much busier, she was the president of a co-ed faternity, and belonged to many groups and clubs on campus, so she couldn't take me along with her everywhere and every day, so she enlisted Yanni to "baby sit" me while she was out. 

Yanni and I went to the cafe on campus to get a soda, sweet treats, and talk. We talked and talked for hours. He walked me back to my sister and his building and we sat in the lobby on these green chairs (from the image above) we spoke until the wee hours in the morning. It was around 2 or 3 am when my sister came down looking for me and found me and Yanni talking.

I knew then that Yanni and I were meant to be. I hung out with him the entire visit. I showed him my art, talked to him about my family, and we learned we had so much in common. He was extremely loving and respectful with his family, had morals and values that I respected and admired. He was and still is wonderfully funny and makes me laugh out loud multiple times a day. He spoke differently, he was very mature for his age, which might be why his college roomates nicknamed him "Father Yanni".

But, like sisters often do, my sister was getting terribly annoyed with me, we got into a fight and she sent me home, my dear mother came all the way to pick me up, a 2 hour drive. My mom knew that something wasn't right, she could see I was sad, so she called my sister and told her she was bringing me back to Connecticut that weekend. So, a few days later, my sweet mom drove me all the way back another 2 hours there and another 2 hours back just so I could see Yanni again.

She left me off on a Friday night and Yanni and I spent the whole weekend together watching Jean Claude Van Damme action movies, playing video games, eating ice cream, getting to know each other even more. It was the first time I ever connected with someone (outside of my family) that I trusted and bonded with.

That summer after I graduated highschool, I was still awaiting for my acceptance letter. One morning, the phone rang, and it was the college telling me I was accepted. I was so happy that day, I cried and called my mom right away. It was one of the happiest days of my life. 

That meant that in a few months, that fall, I could go to the school of my dreams and be with my sister and Yanni! It was a dream come true!

That fall semester I moved into my college dorm, and Yanni and I were the closest of friends, not long after we started officially going out, August 31st, 2001, and it will be 10 years this month. We have been inseparable since.

This is picture of us that my sister took in her dorm room when I was a freshman and Yanni was a sophomore in 2001.

And here is a photo my college roomate took of us on our first Valentine's Day together in February 2002. I remember that day very well. Yanni kept surprising me. He sent balloons and roses to my room and as I was getting ready that night, there was a knock at the door, the door was about to open, I ran to the door because I was changing, I stubbed my toe so hard against it and I broke it! So after this photo was taken we went to the nurse to have her take a look at it. She said it looked broken and that there wasn't much they could do with a broken toe. The person at the door was a student delivering roses! My toe has never been the same ;)

I look back in amazement. I can't believe the odds. What if my sister never met Yanni that Friday night, what if I didn't get accepted? What if my sister never went to that college.

I am so lucky I found my best friend and life partner. These past 10 years have been amazing, full of laughter, love, and a strong friendship and bond that is unbreakable. People might not believe this, but he and Yanni never fight, he has the patience of a nun, and though I might have a fiery temper, he always shows me that no argument is worth us going against each other, because we are team and a team works together. He has taught me a lot about patience, kindness, and love. 

Two against the world.
I am looking forward to the many many more years we have together.

Happy Anniversary Yanni!!!


Gloria said...

Oh Kim, what a beautiful tribute you Yanni and yourself. Happy Anniversary amiga to you and your Yanni. I am so happy for you both. Have fun and take lots more pictures of both of you making memories. Excellent story of your meeting and so romantic, your moments together, and the happiness involved. Beautiful post!!

chandlerguera said...

What a wonderful story; it's heartwarming to read about true and enduring love.

Peachy Cheek said...

Hi Gloria and Garci!!! Thanks so much for the sweet comments!!!