I don't remember when I fell in love with him. I have no idea what tipped the scales from "He's just a friend." to "Maybe..." to "This is it."
I remember other bits and pieces, though. I remember him holding my icy cold hands on the day of his college graduation, and somewhere in the back of my mind realizing that, after 5 years of being at this college, he wanted to spend his graduation day, inexplicably, with me, instead of with all the other friends of the past 5 years. I remember answering a phone call from him in the living room of my uncle's house over Christmas break, and responding to my uncle's sideways glances with, "Don't worry, he lives in Texas." I remember Angel telling me, "Let's not tell all of our friends about us till we're sure we're getting married, okay?" and two weeks later, finding out that he'd told everyone. I remember my parents asking over Skype, "If Angel asked you to marry him today, what would you say?" and answering, "I'd say yes" without any hesitation.
I don't remember what convinced me. I have no idea what, at 18 years old, made me so sure that I wanted to marry this man.
But I remember a letter he wrote while at work, telling me he'd picked up two extra shifts that week because he wanted to start our marriage debt-free. I remember cheesy Christian pick up lines he wrote on every single photo I had on Facebook. I remember an American boy who flew to Malaysia to meet my family. I remember a late-night phone call when he told me that he thought I was beautiful even when I was wearing glasses. I remember a man who, because I was still in college, moved from Texas to Michigan and started a new job making less money and working worse hours than his previous job, just so that he could marry me.
I don't remember our wedding. Maybe it's a stress reaction to a busy, momentous day, but I'm not even sure what the ceremony involved until I take a look at an old program.
However, I remember driving to go out for breakfast the next morning. It was bright and sunny, and Angel pulled down his visor, dousing himself with fake snow that my uncles had booby-trapped the visor with. I remember our first Valentine's Day together, Angel silently darting into my Spanish 102 classroom, handing me a bouquet of purple roses, and running away. I remember on our honeymoon, I had to go to the bathroom before we left a shopping center, and while I was in the bathroom he moved our car to a different part of the parking lot, leaving me completely bewildered when I tried to return to our car. I remember going out on a date, and finding out after dinner that Angel had locked the keys in the car, and having to call my grandpa to rescue us. I remember long debates over whether we should splurge and buy the cherry bed frame that we were in love with.
Looking back, it appears to have been a whirlwind romance, but it never seemed romantic at the time. We were friends who suddenly decided that marriage sounded like a good idea, a very good idea, and that was it.
It's been an adventure.
People who think decorating cookies with their husband is romantic have never decorated cookies with Angel. Now you know why we have a cat named Morphine. Oh, and the shapeless blob on the bottom right-hand cookie? According to Angel, it's a liver. "Because people always draw hearts, so I can draw a liver if I want to."