5 years and three weeks ago, I was living in Boston, working for Upromise, living with Chad in Somerville, in a relationship clearly spiraling down towards the ocean in flames. 5 years and three weeks ago, Luke and Lindy came over to my place for home-made dinner (pasta from scratch; I’d recently been to Italy) and a movie (Donnie Darko). 5 years and three weeks ago, they brought with them Lindy’s sister Kate, visiting from Philadelphia.

I remember the doorbell ringing; I remember looking through the plate glass window and catching my breath. I remember dinner as a flour-spattered success, I remember the dark living room lit only by Jake Gyllenhaal, I remember sidling a little towards Kate as the movie intensified, and her sidling a little towards me.

The next day, Luke and Lindy invited me over to their place for breakfast, which was followed by all four of us playing frisbee in the park. I remember tackling Kate to the ground, both of us laughing, after some horseplay or a particularly good catch. We exchanged email addresses, and I waited a scant 24 hours before sending the first of many messages. A week of electronic correspondence later, we switched to phone calls.

5 years ago, Chad drove me down to South Station where I missed the 6:40 train to Philadelphia. I sheepishly called Kate to say I’d be taking the next one. In my traveling bag: clothes, toothbrush, spaetzle maker, a bottle of riesling. That weekend we made spaetzle, drank the wine, saw Philadelphia, and set ourselves on a path we’re still walking now.

5 years ago we had our first date. I still catch my breath when I see her.