I finally found love when I found someone that can give me the one thing that my past partners could not give me.
Mike is a rock. He is a creature of habit and pattern. A delightful foil to my personality: slightly flaky and a creature of occasional habit and pattern. I am not without a smidgen of spontaneity, but it's still calculated. Although Mike is far from perfect as an individual, he is the perfect partner for me. Atleast, as close to perfect as humanly possible.
We met the first week of school and we quickly fell in love after we got over our age differences. It doesn't seem so bad now, but when I was 18 and he was 25, we seemed ages apart.
Twice, I was tempted to stray from him. That evil lust whispering in my ear. But I remained steadfast, even in our darkest hour.
Brian was my new friend, a fan of the Rip Chords which was how I met him. We hung out together and he introduced me to his friends. I clicked with them immediately. We were all nerds in a pod. I was trying to gather new friends around me to prepare for the time when Mike would move up to Chicago and take up his fancy mathematics consulting job. He was to graduate with his Masters degree in a few months. All he had to do was defend his thesis.
He defended it. It was rejected. I put my arms around him and tried to give him all my confidence. He could do it, I knew he could. He had a second shot a few weeks later.
Mike became increasingly nervous and nothing I did seemed to make him genuinely happy. But he had other plans. He was to move up to Chicago anyway and continue working on his thesis and defend it in future, like one of his high school friends.
It was two weeks before he was to move to Chicago. I was planning the past two weeks to make sure I gave him enough time to pack while I got as much time to see him as I could. I cleared my schedule to help him move.
I remember that night so well. We sat on his bed while we cried each other's eyes out, the first time that I saw Mike really cry. His thesis was going nowhere and the weeks that I had come to believe that it was no big deal... it was in fact quite a big deal. He would not graduate. He would not take the job in Chicago. They required all their consultants to have a Masters degree. He felt lost and felt like he betrayed me and his family.
He did in a way. And there was a little glimmer in my brain. The first feeling I really had of leaving Mike; leaving him for Brian, the new male model. My policy is no lying, ever, the consequences would be immediate dumping. Here I am discovering that he lied to me. He didn't feel comfortable coming to me with his anxieties over his grades, his financial problems, his thesis. Evil thesis. By my policy, I should dump him.
But I shut that protesting voice. He was my best friend, not just a lover and boyfriend. I needed to be here for him, to understand why he did what he did. He needed me the most right then and there. How could I betray my best friend? I couldn't. My lover, I could. My boyfriend, I could. Never, my best friend. I comforted him and for the first time I told him, "Do you feel safe?"
After we both calmed down, I started planning out how we were to deal with this problem. It was a fascinating role reversal for the both of us. Typically, it is Mike helping me deal with my problems.
We've trudged through our problems and we've come out a stronger couple in the end. Instead of following Mike and his career, he has followed me in mine. He uprooted his midwestern roots and is with me on the east coast. What a sacrifice for me.
What a wonderful friend.
 In times that I feel Mike was going to leave me, he would comfort me with the phrase "Do you feel safe?" He means that he wants to be sure that I feel he won't leave me and find solace and comfort in that feeling. It's a phrase that soothes me. I hear those four words and all doubt leaves me.