The Boy Next Door

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s to you B.

Every little girl dreams about being cherished and spoiled by a boy sometime in her life. A lot of girls find that boy in college or beyond, but lucky for me, mine was right under my nose my entire life. The “boy next door” was always a term used for the nice boy that was too innocent and super sincere, but to me that was always meant exactly what the words say…. I fell in love with the boy next door. Actually I fell for the boy a few doors down, but that doesn’t sound as good.

Every love story is beautiful, but our is my favorite. Our story isn’t like normal love stories. Ours is one for the books. I’ve known Blake Jackson since I moved into the neighborhood when I was almost 3. My mom used to babysit him and his brother. I always saw him as the guy who everyone knew and loved. He and his brother ruled the neighborhood. I admired from afar, wishing to somehow talk to him. It wasn’t until the summer before my freshman year of high school, that we held a conversation. It was June 3, 2012 and my family had rented out the clubhouse for my brother’s graduation party. I noticed a boy on the basketball court right outside the gate, and soon realized it was Blake.

I panicked to talk to him so I grabbed my friend and asked her to come with me, to make sure I didn’t look like a complete idiot. We walked to the court, and casually held a conversation for what felt like hours. We talked the entire day and into the night. After that night, I made up any excuse I could, just so I could see him again. I didn’t have his number, so I would sit at the pool all day and wait for him to come around.

Eventually school started back up, and my nerves kicked in as high school began. I remember walking into Geometry and noticing the boy sitting in front of me, it was Blake’s best friend at the time. This was going to be my way of getting to him, through his friends. I saw him in passing in between classes but I never spoke to him, I was too nervous. It wasn’t until I needed a ride home and my mom made me go home with him, that I engaged in conversation with him. I rode quietly in the back seat while he and his mom sat in the front. I sat there thinking, “he’s just a boy, talk to him”. I wish it was that easy.

Fast forward a year, and I was back to my comfortable surroundings. The neighborhood, where all my friends were. I would invite my friends over, so I had an excuse to sit at the pool all day without looking like a total idiot. I thought about texting him to invite him to come hang with me, but I soon realized that I didn’t have his number so that was impossible. Instead, I texted our mutual friend and asked him for Blake’s number. He graciously gave it to me, and I sent a text his way. “Hey Blake. It’s Marissa. I’m at the pool with my brothers. Do you want to come hang with me?” He came and sat with me until the pool closed and we spent the day laughing and enjoying ourselves.

A few weeks later, the date was June 21, 2013. I had just finished a long day of softball and was ready to relax. I invited my friend Madeline over to my house so we could go to the pool. Little did I know, that he was going to be there. We found Blake, and the three of us were having fun, until my friend forced Blake to say six words, will you go out with me. I responded hesitantly, not knowing whether this was real or a joke. A year after we started talking, he finally asked me out.

Fast forward almost 4 years later, and we’re still together.

I’ve discovered so much about him, and he with I. Looking back on our relationship, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He used to tell me that he waited as long as he did to ask me out, because he wanted to hit puberty so he would be taller than me before we started dating.

We started dating my sophomore year, and are still dating today. We are truly high school sweethearts. We’ve made it through all the proms, school dances, panthers games, wrestling matches, rugby games and everything in between so there’s nothing that we can’t face, but I cannot thank you enough for your continuous support and patience during play season and musical season. Oh, thanks for all the cute and spontaneous beach trips too! This man that I have spent almost 4 years with, is still the same goofy boy that I fell in love with all those years ago. Thank you for driving my cranky butt to school every morning, but most importantly thank you for not giving up on me even when I did. He’s helped me realize things about myself, that no one else has. He’s been my rock, my anchor and sometimes my punching bag. Thanks babe, for all you do for me. You mean the world to me.

Although this story is coming to an end, the story of us is nowhere near over. I’ll be here for you until the end of time babe. It’s you and me forever.

Like the Friends theme song states, “I’ll be there for you when the rain starts to pour. I’ll be there for you like I’ve been there before. I’ll be there for you like you’re there for me too”.

Love you to the moon and back ❤. To infinity and beyond ❤. Forever and always ❤.