This was the troublemaker that started it all, the point when our stars aligned in skies across the universe. One evening at Publix, I was snooping for something to buy for you. I didn’t want the ordinary, like just giving you flowers. I wanted something different. I passed by some balloons and a small spark of interest halted me in my tracks. I looked them over, searching for the perfect phrase that could capture how I felt (which rarely happens, anyway). When I brushed over the birthday balloons, it struck me as a joke to get those for you since your birthday was months away, but soon the thought developed into a really romantic idea.
The next day I came to class with 3 Happy Birthday! balloons and a small box wrapped in Happy Birthday! paper. I handed everything to you and exclaimed, “Happy Birthday!”
Bewildered, you quickly replied, “It’s not my birthday!”
“I know, but I got you these, take them.”
“But it’s not my birthday!”
Oh, no! I thought. Everything’s backfired. Eventually you took the items and quit protesting after I insisted some more, but I had a single caveat: “You can’t open that gift until you get home. You have to walk around with this stuff all day and if I see that you’ve opened my gift, I’m going to take it back.” It sounded kind of harsh, and I’m sorry, baby, you found out why I said that by the end of the day.
I didn’t get to talk to you again until we got home from school when I called you to see if you had opened your gift, and you said you did and you loved it. I asked if everyone was wishing you a happy birthday all day, and in a half-annoyed, half-giddy way you said that they were. You thanked me and told me you loved the stuffed animal I had placed in the box, and most especially the note I glued to the bottom which read, Even though it wasn’t your birthday, didn’t you feel special for a day? That’s how you make me feel every day. Happy Birthday, every day, mi angelita!