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Roxy was in a panic. She had two days to finish her project, a surprise that she had to finish for Tyler before their 5th Anniversary. The only problem now was that he was spending too much time at HOME for this to be possible. There were only so many times in a day she could justify holing herself up in a bathroom for 10 minutes.
The project was relatively simple, just really tedious. She was taking old photographs of their times together. She had known that her OCD habit of labeling everything would come in handy someday. As cluttered and grungy as this apartment was, her habit had not died. It had simply learned to accommodate Tyler’s mess and not make a fuss. Unless absolutely necessary. And the one thing that she had deemed absolutely positively without-a-doubt 100% necessary was labeling her photographs. She didn’t take TOO many of them, but whenever she chose to get photos printed, the backs were, without fail, labeled with the month and year she had snapped the photo. If possible, even the day. She even had a picture of the clothes she had worn when she first had sex with him. In the morning, she had snuck off to take a picture in all her glory. Smeared eyeliner, smeared lipstick, three visible hickeys on her neck and collarbone. All of it, commemorated into that photograph she took on July 5, 2011. Hey, that 4th of July party had been a reason to get trashed, and then there had been the dance and the really sexy guy with the perfect smoldering eye stare and he had danced with her and she had been so turned on by him that night that when they ended up in his apartment and she saw herself in the bathroom the next morning, she wasn’t even surprised.
She had snuck out of the apartment after writing out her number on half a post-it with a pencil snub she had seen on the mess of papers at his desk. He wasn’t one for cleanliness, but that connection she had felt with him had to be explored.
It had been almost 2 weeks later that she got a text from an unknown number telling her to meet at this club in the city. “Drinks on me,” the text had said. Sort of unsure of who this was, she had a pretty good idea and was just young and wild enough to do it anyway. She dragged her friend Celine out with her and danced the night away. He had approached her on the floor and seven songs later, she was at the bar and he was ordering cocktail after cocktail. Celine had left already to her boyfriend’s apartment in the city, and she had assured her that she had a place to crash. She’d stumbled back over to this guy and declared, “I’M NOT DRUNK. LET’S DANCE”
She remembered throwing her camera over to him several times and telling him to take a picture of this or that. She picked up the set of photographs from that month and pulled out the picture of her sloppily giving Tyler a kiss. They were in his apartment already after the night of drinking. Her dress had been loosened expertly and in the picture, the dignity of her nipples was uncomfortably precarious. She remembered that the dress had fallen to the floor not long after that shot.
They may have had a passionate and whirlwind courtship, but when he finally officially asked her to be his girlfriend, although not in so many words, that October, she was more than ready to say yes. He was nothing but a gentleman after that. Except in bed, and who wants a gentleman in bed anyway?
Picking out just one or two for every month she had been with Tyler was tough. She had chronicled the good times and the bad. That one night she had lain awake and looked over to see him sitting on his windowseat. The realization when she zoomed in on the cell phone photo that he had been crying. The misery, the ecstasy, the broken condom, the spoiled food. The meals made together, the food made apart. The texts, the pictures sent to each other when she was away for law school conferences and business trips and networking socials and he was stuck at home. The cuts on their bodies after that one really ugly fight where they had both thrown champagne glasses at each other after she struck a nerve and told him she was the financial pillar of their relationship. The certificate of employment, his first paycheck when he pulled his act together and found something stable.
They had gone through so much shit together. So so so many good memories. These five years had been nothing but a blessing, and she had the memories to prove it.
And in two days time, prove it she would.