Day 1 — When you know, you know.


The apartment was stuffy, a welcome buffer between me and Boston's chilly weather this early in the morning.

The alarm went off once, twice, three times, the sound coming through my dreams as if I was ten feet underwater. I made my way up for air, wading out of my dreams until all there was was beeping. My eyes wide with sudden panic, I leaned over my bed instinctively to turn it off. “Make it stop,” I thought to myself. "Make. It. Stop." I reached toward my desk, scrambling across its surface for the phone but coming up empty. Of course the phone wasn’t there. I’d moved it to the other side of the room to force myself out of bed. So smart. So evil.

One foot after the other, I crawled toward the screaming phone, my body groggier than my mind. As soon as I reached it, I blinked my eyes into focus and searched for the blue icon. "Mmm, Facebook," I thought to myself, the perfect mindlessness to pull me out from under the grumpy fog of this early hour.

A notification: “Juan José Lugo wrote on your wall.” 

Huh. Didn’t expect that.


Juan José. Or JJ, right? I couldn’t remember when I’d met him. I definitely knew who he was, but I wasn’t sure when we’d become friends? As I navigated toward the message he’d written on my wall, I tried to remember.

I wondered to myself, “During my golf lesson, maybe?” This summer, I'd only been taking lessons for a week or two when some older guy — JJ, I think? — had come up to make small talk. He’d insisted that I swing the golf club so he could give me tips. My hands shook the entire way down, fearing the newbie mistake of hitting the floor instead of the small white ball. Thankfully, my body saved me the embarrassment and reserved the floor-hitting for later. As awkward as I felt, it wasn't half bad. The ball surged forward forcefully in a straight line, going further than I expected despite its punch-like trajectory. His compliments rang clear in my head, but his face was blurry as can be. Typical—I'd always been a harbinger of praise. "It must've been him. That's his thing, right? JJ = golf. But ... why is he writing to me?"

Immediately, I thought of a conversation I’d had just the night before with a friend. We'd been on the phone for hours, postponing studying for as long as possible, meandering from subject to subject as if we had all the time (and air time) in the world. As I sat on the floor in my room, though, bleary-eyed and groggy, one specific line played in my head over and over. 

"You already know the person you're going to marry," he'd said. 

We'd been discussing who we’d marry, wondering what our future partner-in-crime might look or be like. Incredulous, I'd rebuffed the idea as nonsense.

"How could anyone tell the future? Bonkers. Anyways, I've always wondered if my future-husband is currently on the other side of the planet wondering where I am, too. Or, you know, dating someone. Shame on him. Shame on you, future-husband! Just kidding, you're at home thinking of me, aren't you? You're so cute, future-husband. Can we call him FH for short?"

The conversation had fizzled after that. I'd looked at the clock and realized we were approaching 11pm. My sleep-worry set in and I quickly hung up, saying, "What can I say? I'm a sleeper."

Just ten hours later, here I was, staring at a message from JJ. "Could he be FH?" I peered back down at my phone, a mish-mash of nervous excitement careening through my veins.

"You already know the person you're going to marry," he'd said. 

He was right, wasn’t he? Because when you know, you just know.

Hope you enjoyed Day 1 of #100daysofmicrostories. This one's for you, Jdawg! I love you. I always knew.