Oof, it's almost midnight and I'm just writing this now.
Basically, although he may never see/read this...I wanted to say Happy Birthday to the first love of my life and one of my good friends, *E*. I won't say his name or post a picture because, well, he hasn't given me permission to do so and I'm not about to bug him at 11:19 PM on his birthday and ask him for said permission.
I was in school with *E* when I was in 6th and 7th grade, but we weren't properly introduced until my junior year of high school (he was a senior at the time). We fell into one of those amazing off-and-on high school relationships that is obviously not meant to last once one reaches his or her 20s, but *E* was the first of two major steps that helped me to come out of my shell. Our relationship wasn't perfect, and yes, he broke my heart--twice. But even the second time was ten and a half years ago. A lot has happened since then and I long ago learned that we weren't meant for each other and that was that.
Over the years, *E* has reminded me time and again what I'm worthy of. He is a part of what made me who I am today. He's not perfect, he's human, and he hasn't always been good to me. But obviously we've long ago moved beyond that, and there is a part of me that will always love him, a part of my heart that will always be his :o)
So happy birthday *E*!