Fans of my work know that while my stories are urban fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi tales filled with detailed plot and character growth, there is always a love story at the heart of it. In some ways, I am forever retelling my own love story, which through every chapter, every book, every new set of characters, rekindles my love for my husband.
Because he and the story that led us from friends to lovers to happily married is the most interesting thing that ever happened to me.
Out meet-cute wasn’t anything special. In fact, I don’t know if I could tell you the exact moment I met him. We lived in the same dorm Freshman year of college and had a few classes together as Asian Studies majors. But I had a boyfriend at the time.
Sophomore year, when we were both single, during a trip to China and Japan when nearly every girl who was there fell in love with him—no joke, two different girls asked him out the same night—I realized I wanted more than just friendship.
It wasn’t until we got back that I found out he was dating one of my friends. One of our OTHER friends who was also interested in him had a hard time accepting that, so the last thing I wanted was to speak up about my heartbreak and claim the spotlight. I pined in silence.
Until he broke up with that friend and Junior year we were both single again and started flirting mercilessly for months. It all came to a head at our annual anime convention, a perfect night of being a little tipsy and having time alone, dancing.
I literally said the words, “You know, I could totally see us dating,” and right on cue two of our friends appeared to interrupt.
He was headed back to Japan for a semester abroad anyway, so we didn’t think it smart to start something then. The unresolved sexual tension was unbearable, even if we look back on that night now and figure it was likely for the best.
The end of the semester and summer passed before we saw each other again, both anxious, never quite getting the right moment to be alone, until a week of misery had gone by. It was September 12th (by about ten minutes, since he waited to come upstairs to my room until after midnight so our anniversary wouldn’t be September 11th).
He called me out into the common room, my makeup off, in PJs, with chili pepper lights hanging from the ceiling in otherwise dim lighting, and asked me out. A high school friend of mine was visiting and had snuck out during our talk to use the bathroom, and just as we kissed, we heard her flush the toilet through the wall and just lost it. It’s still one of my favorite memories.
After barely two months of dating, I knew I wanted to marry him. After seven months, he asked. That was ten years ago now, and every day I love him more. It really is practically a work of fiction.