One of you asked about my love story, so here it is, in the form of a few small nonfiction essays I’ve written about my life thus far:
Junior year of college. Late morning. Late September. “He just texted. He’s heading this way now.” My roommate Kate invited her friend from class to go with us to Mountain Heritage Day. We walked through campus, heading for the clock tower, red faced and already sweating. A boy in a camo t-shirt and matching hat strode towards us, phone in one hand pressed against his ear and a blue drink in the other. “Tell me that’s not him,” I said. “That’s him.” “I am not walking around with someone wearing a camo shirt and hat all day.” “Shhh, he’s really nice! Trust me.” And so I did, even though I wasn’t proud of my southern roots at that point in my life, and even though this boy was wearing the one type of clothing I despised most. We waited for Matt to get off the phone, Kate introduced us, and we made our way towards the fair with the rest of the crowds to look at things we couldn’t afford to buy and then spend the only money we had on the fair food, which was the main reason any of us went in the first place. Kate and I got ice cream and Matt got a funnel cake. “Do you want some?” he said, holding his plate out to me. I had only had funnel cake once before, years prior. It wasn’t something I would ever get for myself, but it looked and smelled fantastic, like a perfect warm summer day filled with uninterrupted sunshine and laughter. I nodded. “Can you pull a piece off for me?” I didn’t explain that I had a weird quirk about getting my hands dirty, and, luckily, I didn’t have to, because he immediately ripped a giant chunk off, dunked it into the powdered sugar to make sure it was completely covered, and handed it to me. “Can you pass me a piece too?” Kate said. “You can get one yourself!” he said. He was joking, but held out his plate to her for her to get her own bit just the same. Looking back, this was my first inkling that he was interested in me. “Dude, I want McDonald’s so bad,” I said. We were still eating the funnel cake. Leave it to me to not even be finished with what I’m currently eating before thinking and planning my next snack/meal. “Mmm, that sounds so good,” Matt said. “Let’s do it!” Kate said, swiping another piece of funnel cake off of Matt’s plate.
After I learned what a McGangBang was (a concoction involving two McDoubles and a McChicken and then squishing them all together into one giant sandwich), we picked up my pup Jake and headed to the park, where we walked for over an hour and talked about things that I think I have purposely pushed out of my mind because they were things I never would have talked about with Matt had I known I would start dating him soon after the fact. Going into the day I told myself that this boy would be just a friend, because I had never really had a guy friend before, but while walking in the park I think I knew: I felt more comfortable about this boy than any other in my life. It was different. Still, I didn’t push it. He went home after the walk in the park and Kate and I went back to our apartment, where we, after some gabbing, eventually went to our own rooms to study and work on homework. Later that evening I heard Kate squealing in her room. “Are you okay?” I shouted. “Come here right now!” I groaned. I was exhausted. Padding my way into her room, I knew something was up the second I saw her face. You know the one: the one your best friend gives you when they know something you don’t, when they’re so overly excited about something involving you that their eyes seem twice as large as usual and they won’t stop staring at you, and you think their smile might be permanent because it’s never changing for such a long portion of time. “What?” I said, my voice flat, crossing my arms. She patted her bed. I shuffled over, sprawled out, and stared at where she sat in her desk chair opposite the bed. While my room was plain and calm, hers was loud. She had pink wall stickers everywhere, writing on her mirror, stuffed animals lining the top of her bookshelf and wrapped up in the blankets on her bed. She had a giant flat screen tv and the newest video game system. I had played video games growing up with dad, Andrew, and Ames, but hadn’t played in well over 10 years. I spent a lot of time in Kate’s room making my character spin around in circles while getting shot at. Needless to say, I didn’t have the best techniques. “Guess who just texted me?” Kate flicked her eyes back and forth from her phone to me. “Lindsay?” One of our mutual friends at the time. A bad guess on purpose. I knew it was a boy from the way she was looking at me, eyebrows raised and head tilted to the side. She didn’t ask me to guess again. “Matt!” she said, her voice a normal pitch again. “Okay… What did he say?” It wasn’t a big deal that he was texting her. They had class together and had become friends. They texted back and forth most days, most of the time talking about the current girl Matt was trying to woo. Kate was his feminine perspective. “Quote: ‘Hey, I had a really good time today and was wondering… Do you know if Stephanie is talking to anyone?’” My entire body warmed, the heat traveling from my cheeks to my feet. I was ecstatic, though I tried to hide it. I’m sure I didn’t do a very good job. “Did you respond yet?” “Not yet. I wanted to see what you thought first.” “I mean… what do you think? And are you sure you’re over him?” Yeah, that tiny detail: Kate had originally had a crush on Matt, though she claimed a week or so prior to Mountain Heritage Day that she had decided she didn’t like him anymore, or rather, that she had never liked him, just the idea of him. “Yes, totally.” “Okay… because you say the word, and I won’t talk to him.” “Steph, I promise I don’t like him.” She held out her phone to me so I could see the screen and the text he sent. “Go for it.” “Okay,” I said, grinning. She turned her phone back and started typing. “What are you saying?” I jumped off the bed and skipped over next to her so I could see what she was doing. “I’m telling him that you’re not talking to anyone,” she said, not looking up. “Because you aren’t.” “This is so weird.” The whooshing sound of Kate’s text sounded. “Well, what are you thinking? I mean, did you have fun today? What do you think of him?” “I had a really good time. It’s weird because… I felt really comfortable with him.” I met Kate’s stare. “Like, really comfortable. That’s never happened before.” I thought back to the random conversations we had while walking through the park earlier that day and slapped my hand to my face. “Kate, I talked to him about masturbation. Oh, my God.” She paused, jaw dropping, and began laughing hysterically. “Oh my God, you did! You seriously talked to him about masturbation.” “I’m humiliated. I’m… mortified. I can’t speak to him again!” “Yes you can. Now calm down,” she said, unable to stop or hide her laughter. “He obviously likes you if he’s asking me whether you’re seeing anyone or not.” I nodded. “True, true. But still,” I sighed. “God, this would happen. I meet a nice boy and act totally vulgar around him the first time we hang.” Kate’s phone dinged in her hand. She glanced at the screen, then jumped up in her chair. “It’s him!” “Well… what’d he say?” “He wants your number.” She flicked her eyes up at me. “Can I give it to him?” “Yeah,” I breathed. “Sure.” She typed the message out and set her phone down on her desk. I laid down on her bed, stared up at the ceiling, and thought about how just weeks prior I had declared that I was swearing off boys. That lasted a good 20 minutes, I thought, fiddling with Kate’s sheets. I had met a boy my freshman year of college, and I use the term “met” loosely because he lived in Florida and the daughter of the minister at the church we were attending at that point introduced me to him. We only actually hung out in person two or three times. Other than that, it was a total text relationship. Which is fine. It’s what I needed at the time. I wasn’t ready for anything real, but I liked having someone “there” for me, if only through text, who I could talk to. After talking to him for almost two years and having nothing much come of it (mostly my fault because, like I said, I definitely wasn’t ready), and then having an incredibly ugly falling out (also via text like 99% of our relationship), I had told myself that I was going to stop trying to find a guy and was going to “let go and let God” as they say and was going to trust His timing. After all, if it was meant to be it would be. And boy was it meant to be. I got lucky, I will admit. Many people have told me this, my sister most recently and most often. Matthew was the first boy I ever really dated. He was my first real kiss. My first romantic love. My first… well, everything. And I his. We both got lucky. We both are blessed. My phone went off in the other room. Kate and I looked at each and grinned. “Yeah, you might want to go get that,” she said. My feet couldn’t carry me fast enough. I snagged the phone off my desk and jumped onto my bed, landing face first and stomach down. Graceful as ever. I read the text, responded, and saved his number into my phone. “How’s it going in there?” Kate called across the apartment. “Spectacular,” I said, loud enough for only me to hear.
He had spent the day over at my place, walking the pup in the park, laughing together while watching silly TV shows, and asking each other questions. We spent most of our time together in the beginning doing these kinds of things. There was so much to talk about, so much to learn about each other. And we’re still learning, because even now, years later, we are changing each day, molding, becoming different people, and so we continue to ask questions and learn about one another, about the one we will be spending the rest of our lives with. We walked out of the apartment together, the three of us: Matt, Kate, and myself. (Kate because I was still so nervous to be alone with Matt, even though I was getting good vibes from him and trusted him more than I had trusted any other guy before that point. Sometimes having a friend nearby can calm the nerves better than anything else.) Kate walked several feet behind us, and then several yards. “I’ll text you later,” Matt said. “And maybe see you tomorrow?” “That sounds good,” I said. “This was fun. I love spending time with you. I really like you.” “I really like you too.” We hugged and I turned to walk back up to my place with Kate. I made it halfway back to my friend before turning around. I had kissed boys before, but only a few, and only ever pecks. Also, I didn’t consider any of them to be of any importance as they were either dares or I didn’t actually care about the person I was kissing. Still, I was nervous because I knew what I was going to do the second I decided to turn back around. “Matt,” I called. He turned, holding his hand above his eyes to shade them from the sun shining ferociously behind me. “Wait.” I jogged back to him and kissed him, fast. His lips were soft and he smelled like the mountains, like home. “Bye,” I said, my voice high pitched and nervous, waving like a maniac. I ran off without seeing his immediate reaction, but halfway to Kate I turned around. He was still walking but was turned around looking at me too. I smiled, waved again, and kept jogging until I reached Kate. Our first kiss, and it had been perfect.
The night Matt asked me to be his girlfriend, we went to a Greek restaurant in Dillsboro, two towns over from the University. Before we left the apartment I shared with Kate, she took a picture of us standing by the door and we joked about how she was my stand-in mom and Matt was the guy taking her daughter out. I still have the picture: me in a black shirt with a gold, detailed tree on the front, and a red jacket thrown over top, Matt sporting a blue shirt under a blue and white plaid flannel, both of us wearing matching cheesy grins, and his arm around my shoulder. There’s another picture from that night, of me with a wine holder that stood in the corner of the restaurant where we waited to be seated. It’s a moose lying on its back, downing the wine, and I’m standing in front of it giving a thumbs up, smiling with my mouth open. The photo is blurry, probably because Matt was chuckling while he took it and couldn’t hold his phone still enough for it to focus. We thought it was such an odd decoration and were entertained by it most of the night. We’re still entertained by it now, actually. It’s still there. We point it out each time we go and remember our first time there. I ordered a tuna melt and Matt a gyro. I had gone into the night incredibly nervous, but it didn’t take long for my nerves (and stomach) to settle. Matt was wonderful. Like always, he carried the conversation, asking me questions about myself, my family, my friends, my interests, the books I was reading, the classes I was taking, and he made no comment and wasn’t at all phased that he seemed to be the only one asking questions. I prayed he knew my lack of questioning was due to my anxiety and wasn’t a lack of interest. I’m sure some people think me an egoist, but I tend to ask less questions of people in return of their questions directed at me, opting instead to observe them and learn from what they weren’t saying. For instance, someone may seem confident by the way they’re talking or by what they’re saying, but maybe they’re rubbing their hands together or shuffling their feet. We all have different quirks and tells, too. “Ready for part two?” Matt asked me after paying the bill. “There’s a part two?” I grabbed his hand and we walked out the door, past our moose statue, and towards his ‘96 Ford Explorer. It was my first time heading towards the Jackson County Airport and “The Lookout” (as locals had dubbed the area further down from the airport where you could pull off the road onto a small patch of grass on the side of the mountain). The roads, like most of the ones here in Western North Carolina, were skinny, windy, and a straight shot up with the edge of the road doubling as the edge of the mountainside. We drove up to the airport, a small airfield about three miles from town that sits on a ridge, and used the entryway as a turn around to get back to The Lookout, where Matt pulled off the road and onto the side of a mountain and I tried not to have a panic attack. I zoned back in from staring out my window as Matt opened my door for me and held out his hand. We could see for miles. We could see everything: the forest, the University, my apartment, the Fraternity house Matt was living in. It was all lit up, trying to keep up with the moon and stars above us. “So this is part two,” I said, turning in circles looking up at the sky and the world around me, feeling very, very small. “Almost,” Matt said as he opened his trunk and pulled out a blanket and some candies. “I brought this,” he said, holding up the blanket–blue and white, I saw now, with sheep on it– “in case we get cold, and these,” he held out the candies, “because I know they’re your favorites. Junior Mints, Sour Patch Kids, and Swedish Fish, right?” “Yeah,” I said, smiling like an idiot. He put the blanket and candies down and we walked to the edge together, where I was reminded of the first time I had a panic attack (also on top of a mountain) years prior, and thought about far I’d come. Look at me, standing feet away from the edge of a mountainside, not completely freaking out. (I would have started to though if I could see future me sitting on the edge of a rock face that juts out from the mountain thousands of feet up, smiling and swinging my feet.) “You know, there’s this study,” Matt began after we stood in silence together for a minute or so.” “Uh huh?” He turned me around so I wasn’t facing him and trailed his fingers in circles all over my back. “That only a small percentage of people can actually figure out what someone is saying to them when it’s traced onto their back.” “Mm, I used to love doing that with my friends when we were kids.” His fingers began tracing. I tried to focus more on what they were saying rather than how good the tingles felt and how they traveled up and down my entire body. “W,” I said, when he was finished with the first letter. “Yes.” One straight line down followed by two horizontal lines, one at the top of the original line and one on bottom. He was writing in all caps. I shivered in pleasure. “I.” “Mhm.” One vertical line and a horizontal one stemming from the bottom of the first, the whole thing repeated right away. “L. Twice. Will?” “Correct!” He traced just a horizontal line and said, “That’s a space.” Y - O - U - space - B - E - space - M - Y - I knew the last word before he began tracing it. I had known the second he finished the second word in the question. His hands became more and more unsteady as he was further into the sentence. He even “erased” a letter or two that he had messed up by rubbing his hand, open faced, all across my back. G - I - R - L - F - R - I - E - N - D - ? He paused, waited. “Girlfriend,” I said. “Will you be my girlfriend?” I turned around to face him. “Stephanie Cheryl Wooten,” he said. “Will you be my girlfriend?” I let myself have a mini freak out session in my head before saying, “Yes.”
We were making macaroni and cheese and dancing in the living room while the water boiled. Matthew and I had been dating a few weeks, and he had already told me, “I love you.” It was the middle of the night. We had stayed up kissing and talking and keeping each other warm in between the sheets. After he said it, I told him that I really liked him, and that I thought I was on the way to love, but that I wasn’t ready to say it yet, to which he understood and held me until I fell asleep in his arms. While we were dancing together though, with the water boiling in the next room and our feet sliding across the carpet, I looked at him and I knew: I love him, I thought to myself. And I think I had loved him for some time. I just wasn’t ready to admit it to myself yet, or maybe it was that I had never been in love before–not this kind of love, anyway–and I didn’t know that was what I was feeling. “Come on,” I said, pulling him into my room by his hand. I closed the door so Kate wouldn’t hear what I was about to say. It was a private moment, just between Matt and me. “What is it?” he said, laughing, breathing hard from all the dancing. “I love you,” I told him, taking both of his hands in mine, lacing my fingers through his, and squeezing. The outer corners of his eyes pinched together as he smiled down at me. “I love you, too.”
Two years and nine months after Matthew asked me to be his girlfriend, we went out on one of our typical “date nights.” Our friends and family made fun of us, dubbing us the “old married couple.” Which we were, kind of. We spent most nights together, and most days. We ate together, walked together, made love together, fought together, laughed together, played board games together, watched TV together, went to the movies together, jogged together, cried together. We were going through life together, and even if it was only for a short time, I was ineffably happy. “Where are we going?” I asked Matt as we walked to his Ford, dressed up in our summer clothes. “You’ll see,” he said, opening the door for me. When we passed the town of Sylva, I began to have an inkling as to where he was taking us. I waited until we got closer, until we passed the place where you could paint pottery, to make sure my inkling was more than that. “I knew it!” I shouted as we turned left when we were across from the Jarrett House and pulled into the almost full parking lot. “No, you didn’t!” “Mhm. I did. You’re so predictable.” “It’s our place, though.” He cut the engine and jogged over to get my door for me. “Thank you.” “You’re welcome. I love you,” he said as he laced his fingers through mine and we started up the ramp to the front door. We talked about the moose statue, per usual, while we waited to be seated, and eventually wound up choosing to sit outside on the patio rather than to wait much longer. It was warm out and the patio was screened in. I ordered the same thing I did on our first date there and, just as the first time around, it didn’t live up to my expectations for it. “Why do I keep ordering this every time? It’s never as good as I want it to be.” “I’m putting a note in my phone,” Matt said, whipping his phone out of his pocket, “reminding you to never order this again.” He chuckled at me, put his phone away when he was done, and then looked at me like he always did, like he still does, like no one ever has before. It’s a look reserved especially for me, I know, and it makes me feel like we’re the only two people left in the world. I had a feeling this was the night: the night Matt would propose to me. We’d talked of it often together, talked about what our life with one another might look like. Plus, Matt had dressed much nicer than he usually did, and he was much more fidgety. I could tell he was nervous about something. We ate on the patio, surrounded by others whom we gave stories too. “Couple behind you and to your left. Guy is in the green shirt and girl in white dress.” I snuck a peak behind me. The couple in question didn’t look much like that. They were young, around our age. The girl was on her phone, presumably texting someone else while she sat across from the boy, who looked around the restaurant like a pendulum, back and forth and back and forth, anywhere but the girl sitting across from him. “First date,” I said, turning back around. “Or… Maybe hundredth date, and now they’re bored. Or in a fight. Something’s going on there. She won’t look him in the eye.” Matt nodded in agreement as I scanned the patio. “All right,” Matt said, putting his napkin on top of the food he couldn’t finish. “Are you ready for part two?” I lifted my sweaty glass to my lips and took one last sip. “Ah, yes. Always.” Once we passed the new Health and Science building and turned onto the familiar windy road, I knew: he was recreating our first date. “The lookout?” I said. He squeezed my hand, his warming mine, and grinned, his smile warm like the rest of him. We were quiet most of the ride up there, the silence a comforting one, like the feeling you get when you sit down in your favorite chair early in the morning with coffee and a well loved book. The view was the same, but different, mostly because we were different. I was different, and so while the view hadn’t changed over the past two and half years, my view had. We look at things differently at different stages in life, I think. It’s like I can read a book and have a very specific experience, and then read it a year or maybe even five or ten years later, and because of all the different things I’ve gone through and felt, because I’m a different person than I was one or five or ten years prior when I first read the book, the second time will be completely different. And I’ll get something different out of it. We parked and stood together at the edge of the mountainside, and I looked up at the stars and crescent moon. We listened to the crickets and frogs and stood still, enveloped around one another. “Do you remember that study I told you about the first time we came here?” he said, turning me away from him. “The one you made up? Yeah. Why?” “I’ve got another one for you.” He began tracing the letters. The first few words were the same: Will you be my… W - I - F - E ? I turned around to Matthew down on one knee, holding out a black velvet box with a ring I had pointed out casually once in our local jewelry story in it. “Stephanie Cheryl Wooten,” he began. “I know I’m not perfect, and I know we have our disagreements, but I love you to the moon and back, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” I was tempted to be cruel and say No but then really quickly after say yes, just to mess with him, but I didn’t want to give the poor man a heart attack. “Yes,” I said. “Yes.” He reached for my hand and slid the ring onto my finger, then rotated it side to side, admiring it on me. The diamonds shined almost as much as his eyes when he stood up and looked at me. Those summer sky blue eyes that had me the first time I saw them that October in 2011 at Mountain Heritage Day. I never would have thought that I would be engaged. I never thought I would ever get married, or even fall in love. I had been hurt so much by someone who was supposed to love me, who did love me, in a weird way. But then, I knew how blessed I was. I thought about the day God created us both. Did He know we would find each other? Was this His doing? One thing was certain: whether it was all God or our free will that led us here, I was grateful. Matt has the best heart. He takes such good care of me. We take care of each other. And he’s a Godly man, which I love most of all, because we lead each other closer to God each and every day. I mean, I get to hike and snuggle and read and build blanket forts and watch movies and eat good food and read and talk about the Bible and God with my best friend for the rest of my life. I am so incredibly lucky. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus. I love you to the moon and back too, Matthew.
Told drinkyourfuckingmilk that she could give me a doodle prompt and it quickly escalated into something bigger and ridiculous, lol. The prompt was something along the lines of Levi and Hanji getting ready in the morning together, like Hanji helping Levi shave.
Helping him shave was Hanji’s idea but she doesn’t really know where the idea came from. It actually came from seeing her mom do the same for her father years and years ago, and now it’s surfacing in Hanji’s subconscious as a sign of affection since ~titans~ and ~general military business~ keeps her from doing much else. Also, the 104th kids were taking bets on who tops. (Sorry Eren but both you and Jean are wrong!)
I’ve never understood the “well where’s the receipts” attitude because here’s the thing about that.
Skype logs get lost because Skype sucks. Not everyone hangs on to every ugly, gross conversation they’ve had on Discord. Some people keep their texts tidy and clean them out every few weeks. Most importantly, not every medium produces an easily-exported log you can just fork over on request.
On top of all of that, spending weeks or possibly months gathering and collating chat logs on the off-hand chance someone is going to eventually turn out to be a piece of shit is something a crazy person does. That is a level of paranoia that is absolutely irrational to expect from a healthy person.
This is something I have barley told anyone and it silll haunts me. I was bullied very bad in middle school and I had a crush on this popular boy the entire time. I got his number from a friend and texted him and we kind of talked. His friends made fun of me and so did he, but I liked him so much I ignored it. The night before valentines day I got a text that said “I’ve been wrong for making fun of you I’ve liked you the entire time” I cried and told him I was so glad he liked me and I would be happy to be his valentine. The text continued with apologies for calling me ugly, not like me,ect. I said “I forgive you, I’ve loved you since we were kids!” a few minutes later I got a text that said “this was his friends haha u ugly bitch.” I had to go to school and be in class with the guys who did it. They kept reciting the lines I had sent, mocking me about loving him and what not. It was horrible…I’m still not over it.
Sorry for the ugly post, I had to slap on some text in Paint.
So if you’ve been following me you’d notice that my computer has royally shat itself. I’ve had it for 5 years and it was a good computer. I’m using my mom’s laptop right now to make this post. Without my computer, I can not make money, and without money I run the risk of getting kicked out. My mom is being a little understanding at least but as it stands without my computer I am Fucked.
These commissions will be going towards getting a new computer + hopefully with enough left over for rent the following month.
I’m hoping to get maybe 40 CHIBI COMMISSIONS. That is my goal right now. The only problem is that I will NOT be able to work on them until I get a new computer. I do not know when that will be so please only do this if you are okay with waiting. I will absolutely keep Tumblr updated on my progress. ( And I have to finish one other commission first before I start the chibi commissions. )
I am okay with doing just about anything. Ferals, furries, NSFW-esque chibis, Gore, etc. Please make sure you provide reference to your character. I’d really rather not work off of descriptions. I’d prefer to have an actual picture ref. All chibis will be transparent and will be stand-alone, in that it is one character per commission. You can order more than one commission but they won’t be interacting. I will happily draw your character with accessories like food, cellphones and even small pets though! NO backgrounds.
I will NOT do mecha characters however. I’m sorry, I just don’t feel comfortable with those yet. ;; Super extensive and design heavy characters may cost a bit more.
REMINDER THAT THESE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BE DONE UNTIL I GET A NEW COMPUTER.
If you are interested, feel free to send me an email to email@example.com.
I’m also accepting donations if you’d rather do that instead. ;; Anything will help.