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11 years ago, I committed a crime and it is time to come clean

On February 15th, 2005 6:45pm under the cover of darkness I snuck into the unlocked garage to find the spare key, it seemed like a good place to hide it I figured. After I had that key, the night would only get better from there.

Using the key I unlocked the house, I knew no one was home. The young woman who owned the place was at work. I had been following/stalking her for months now and I knew her schedule pretty well. Tonight was the night. And, since it was dark, the neighbors didn’t notice. It also helped that I parked a few blocks away.

I smuggled something in with me and kept that in my pocket but I needed to wait until she got home to use it.

7:30pm is when I was expecting her so I kept all the lights off and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

7:31pm Dude, waiting in the dark after you sneak into someone’s house is so mind numbing! There’s like, nothing. Small sounds, distant dogs talking to each other about their recent cat chasing exploits, cars driving by, and the anticipation of what was to come.

7:31:30pm At this point I’m thinking, “Holy crap! Where is she?!”

7:32pm Still nothing. At this point I’m starting to get a little nervous. Is she ok? What’s going on? What if she is heading out with friends for dinner? How long will I be hiding in the dark here?

7:35pm I see my surroundings flash briefly as headlights shine with some hope that my plans may soon come to fruition. My heart races. My palms sweat. I fell to the floor on my knee as I fished in my pocket. Then came footsteps.

The jingle of the keys in the lock and the slight sound the door makes as she opens it is my cue that it is go time. As she enters the room I turn the light on.

She is startled and taken aback as she sees the situation: some dude snuck in her house and surprised her with flowers and chocolates on the counter and is kneeling before her with a ring he just pulled from his pocket. What a jerk!

Surprise left the building as a little shock crept in I’m sure.

So there I was, caught with my heart pounding like I just ran a half-marathon, on one knee, staring at this beautiful woman with absolutely gorgeous eyes. I took a breath and I asked her to marry me and to forgive me for breaking into her house. She said yes! Bonus! No jail time for Travis!

Eleven years later I look back on this night and my heart still races like it did when I was on one knee, waiting for her to come through the door and for the moment I could flick the light on.

So yeah, I broke into a house that was not mine, technically. And yeah, I stole her from the dating pool. I’m proud of that one. I’m also proud of who she is.

Rachel is the kindest, most genuine person I know. She is also incredibly patient (look at who she married) and loving. I stole her, absolutely I did. She has helped me grow as a person in so many ways that will have to wait for another post. She is so focused and driven it is contagiously inspiring. She’s just such a fantastically fun woman to be around I can’t imagine who I would be today without her. Well, I can imagine, and it sucks.

Rachel, happy anniversary of the night we decided to say yes to this adventure! I will always love you and I will always do my best to make you as happy as you make me. We make one heck of a team and have conquered many obstacles in life; I’m looking forward to the rest of the adventure we make of this life together! You’re awesome and I love you.

NOTE: This is partly to recount and to joke about how utterly unromantic and uncreative I can be but it is also a chance for me to practice some creative writing. Working on some side projects (books) that I intend to self-publish.

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