In the beginning of our relationship, there would be small, slivers of a moment where I'd recognize something in Radley, and in us, that felt so good and easy that I just knew. In my heart, I knew. And now, five years later, I still come across those moments of wonderful, impossible clarity.
I like to brag, though, that I've known from the beginning.
The thing is, I had an inkling that Radley might be the one when, a week after meeting him, I wrote in my diary that there was something real and true between us, and that I felt out-of-my-mind terrified.
I had an inkling that he might be the one when I asked him to dance and he blushed.
I had an inkling that he might be the one when, minutes before our first date, he called to say that he'd accidentally given himself a bald spot with an electric razor, and we laughed and laughed.
I had an inkling that he might be the one when he left the keys in his motorcycle not once, but twice because he kept rushing to my door to see me. (His words, not mine.)
I had an inkling that he might be the one when he sent me roses after our first date, and when my roommates gave me that oh-man-you're-in-so-deep-it's-not-even-funny look.
And I knew, without the slightest doubt, that Radley was the one when — of all things — he bought me a stack of the softest, thinnest gray t-shirts at the store because he knew they were my favorite.
(I knew before that, of course, but still — that really sealed the deal.)
I knew that he was the one when he surprised me with tickets to a concert in LA, and he'd planned absolutely everything: the road trip playlist, the dinner reservation, and the charging of my camera.
I knew that he was the one when, at a bar, he ordered me a beer and a margarita because he thought I might want both. And chances are high that I probably, definitely did.
I knew that he was the one when my nephews fell in love with him. Instantly.
I knew that he was the one when I felt deeply, openly sad in front of him for the first time, and he made me feel like that vulnerability was the best, truest part of me he'd ever seen.
I knew that he was the one when he bought a one-way ticket to Chicago, and I knew that he was the one when I felt sure that I wanted a one-way ticket to San Francisco, too.
I knew that he was the one when he teased me in his wedding vows.
I knew that he was the one when he helped me pick out hand towels for our new house, and he sweetly held up one after another as if he actually cared when he most definitely, adorably didn't.
And I knew — for the millionth time I knew — that Radley was the one when, last Thursday, he offered to drive 500 miles both ways to surprise my parents in Newport for a 24-hour trip.
... When you know, you know. Again and again and again, you know.