Note: This is long. This is mushy. Paul has no idea I'm writing this. :)
It's hard to believe that you took me on what we could call our first "date" 9 years ago today. We had been great friends for around 5 years and had known each other since we were 5 years old, but something changed when you showed up to my house to surprise me for a birthday trip to Colonial Williamsburg. (Thanks Michelle for giving Paul the idea! I think it worked out okay.)
We rode in your mom's minivan since you didn't even have your license yet-- thanks Momma Moore! We walked around Colonial Williamsburg, admired the wreaths, and took a break from walking to take an impromptu friendly carriage ride. I remember telling you that I bet all the girls looking at me were jealous, but I also remember feeling uncomfortable knowing that people were watching us and probably thought we were, like, DATING. Weird. Paul, you were my great friend who I had only ever spent time one-on-one with studying, working on never-ending summer homework packets, or driving you to and from school. I was not used to being spoiled like that and was certainly confused by your sudden interest in making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
After we took some pictures with Prince & Pete (the horses) we walked down DoG Street to Shields Tavern for an incredible candle-lit friend-dinner. While we waited for our reservation, we kept warm by the fire baskets. Dinner was so delicious and curiously special. We held hands for the first time. The waiter asked if we were married, which must have been a joke since we both looked 15, and we blushed and admitted that we were just friends. The day wasn't over though. We strolled over to a Christmas caroling sing-along in CW then quietly walked over to the Williamsburg Inn for a Christmas play. After the play, we caught back up with your mom and Michelle, climbed into the minivan, and I passed out on your shoulder on the same bench seat where we had sat silent and far apart in sixth grade when I missed the bus.
The entire day was beautiful and I felt so special, but when I got home and my mom mentioned how romantic it all was, I refused to believe you had any reason to romance me. We were great friends. You just wanted to do something special because you're just a really nice guy.
I'll admit now that that was an incredibly romantic day, but I was still right. You really are just a super nice guy who knows how to make me feel special without it feeling forced or like you have any other motivation than kindness. Sometimes you show it with romance, sometimes with humor, but mostly just by embracing me just as I am.
I can never fully express how special you made me feel this day 9 years ago, or every day since, but know that I will fight anyone who tells me they are the luckiest person in the world. It's so me.