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“The 4th of April is actually a really unlucky day”

It took me a couple of minutes to understand what she meant by that.

You see, in Chinese culture, the number four is represented by the character 四(pinyin si), which is nearly homophonous to the word “death” (死 pinyin sǐ), so with two fours in the date of our anniversary, perhaps fengshui enthusiasts would cringe.

(Kudos to Wikipedia for that fun fact)

I even forgot I ever said that (he said I said it some hours after we are “officially” a couple) whereas I am usually the girl who remembers the little details of every moment of everything. Perhaps after I said it, I went on to elaborate what I mean by that statement – it might as well be a 15-minute lecture on the unlucky number four, followed by a 15-minute lecture on the Chinese language and 15-minute of self-lamentation on how my Chinese has gotten worse by the years.

You see, I’m chatty and annoying and a truly Ms. Smartypants. But hey! My boyfriend got stuck with me for 3 years now and we are doing an ok job! So maybe, 4th of April isn’t so unlucky! They’re wrong!

…or maybe they’re right. Just kidding.

She’s definitely right though – I am stuck with her, with a healthy dose of a superglue formula called love.

(kemudian ngelem) (nvm)

Just about three years ago, give or take an hour (at time of writing), I finally had the courage to utter a few words, the choice of which I still regret until today. But then yeah, she said yes (actually, more like okay).

The question of the day is: why did she? And why did I even decide to utter those little words?

Teenlit novels would quickly rush to the conclusion: love, of course! (or maybe not, I never read those books, actually)

But I doubt it was. Looking back then, 4 April 2012 was more like a spur of the moment, a blip in timespace which just so happened at that time because on Twitter she sounded as if she actually liked me, with a healthy dose of nostalgia from a certain evening in Washington DC a couple weeks earlier.

Love, my friend, came later.

(it’s just because of that???!?!?!!!)

A couple weeks earlier, the two of us and sixteen other lovely people was attending Harvard National MUN in Boston, with side trips to NYC and Washington DC. I guess that’s *the* moment, where I (sort of) realized he is someone I’m really comfortable around with, someone I can goof around with, who shares the same interest (we were AT AWE with the Smithsonians and we *love* walking), and is just basically there to brighten up my day.

During the two incredible weeks in the States, the team’s anthem was Rihanna’s We Found Love (mind you, it was 2012). And I guess I found love at Independence Avenue SW.

(Okay, I think she missed my point.)

So back to Rihanna. She was right, I too found love at Independence Avenue SW. And in the moment we passed by a Metro station only to decide that we simply don’t have the money to spend on the train. And in the brief stops at every Starbucks around the corner for a glimpse of WiFi. And in the two leftover meatballs they had at the KBRI pantry.

Love we did find, and fall in love indeed I had proclaimed to myself deep in my conscience (to be precise, I said to myself, wow this is like that moment in the movies where the guy and the girl finally realize that they were meant for each other). But in hindsight, it was more like tripping in love.

Yes, tripping in love. Now that sounds like some offbeat B-side hip-hop song title sung by a drunk rapper.

Falling in love was the journey that we started on that evening, a journey that we are still going through today.

Even though we fight *a lot* and our normal conversational tones would sound like an endless debate to an observer’s ears, we happen to survive this one hell of a rollercoaster ride (so far). We witnessed and helped each other change for the better; I, more compromising and (trying to be) more patient, and he, more organized and reliable.

We did fall out of love every now and then – it’s not like couples should be head over heels for each other for all eternity, right? I hate it when he’s not punctual and lebay and mismanaged. Likewise, he hates me when I’m overly demanding and impatient and moody.

Although in my earlier paragraphs I did mention that he shared the same interest with me, we don’t always sync – I guess you can pretty much see it by how our paragraphs differ.

But aside from those differences, at the end of the day, she makes me feel right. To me, she’s like a lighthouse, guiding me with her light so that I don’t stumble over and crash. She’s my best friend – she knows me even when I’m not so sure about myself, and always there for me even when I don’t realize that I need her.

For the past three years I have cherished, and for the many years to come, I shall cherish her presence.

Her unending attention.

His lame jokes.

Her common sense.

His awkwardness.

Her perfectly round eyes.

His perfectly round tummy.

Her creativity and never-ending curiosity.

His positivity and naivety towards the world.

Her wholeheartedness.

His kindness.

…and we could go and on and on.

I guess love is simply about accepting the entirety of your loved one — the amazing things you’ll proudly tell the world about, but also the not-so-good things that sometimes aggravate you but still makes a part of who she is anyway.

But I’ve come to learn that it isn’t just about accepting, but also understanding that she too accepts me for who I am.

So Cahya, happy third anniversary!

Happy anniversary, Andhika! Let’s continue our rocking journey! Bag up your gadgets, snacks, songs for our car sing-along, and fasten your seatbelt. We have a long journey ahead of us!
—-

Co-written by: Andhika Nugraha & Cahyawardhani

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