If I had to tell you where it all began, I would tell you a story of an autumn night in Chicago. The winds were just cold enough to hit the bone but the company I had kept me from feeling a thing. I don't really know if that's the moment it all began. There are stories that preceed that night. People, moments, memories, places. But once I met him, it's like nothing else mattered. Everything that had happened faded in seconds. Meaningless events in comparison, I would guess. It wasn't that he was some Prince Charming who knew all the right things to say and completely swept me off my feet. In fact, he stuttered over more words than he was actually able to spit out. He wasn't gorgeous. Wasn't a rockstar. He was just a punk ass kid. He could have been anyone. But he wasn't. That punk ass kid, as awkward as he was that night, was my first love. The first time I felt like life had a purpose. For me, he became that purpose. Of course, no love story is perfect. Happily ever after is a Hollywood-invented concept to trick people into feeling like they're missing something. Many came after him. Too many to ever bother counting. Some mattered, some never could. Those are the details. The little things that truly bring the story together. If I wrote about him, there'd be gaps bigger than the Grand Canyon. Years missing. We haven't been the most consistent, unless you count that one small detail: We always end up back in the same places. That's one of the strange miracles of life. I couldn't explain it to you for the life of me. I've tried, for myself. For my therapist. For those I've left in the pursuit of happiness, only to end up miserable. He makes me pretty miserable sometimes. It's like I've got a case of Stockholm syndrome, only the captor keep switching roles. We've never been on the same page and that's one of the things that makes our story so impressive. We're not determined. We're stubborn. Too stubborn to walk away, even when we know what is best for ourselves.