Since Chad and I got engaged, I've been offered many congratulations and heartfelt good wishes. I've also been told, always in a jokey, elbow-you-in-the-ribs sort of way, that there is still time for me to make a break for it. The first time this happened, it took me completely aback - the person who said it meant it as a lighthearted joke, I am sure. But to me, it was a rude shock.
As you may have noticed by now, I am afraid of a lot of things. I'm scared of snakes, those terrifying death-trap swings at carnivals, and the dark to name a few. For a long, long time, I was scared of being alone. I slept with my brothers in the same room until I was a teenager because I didn't like sleeping by myself. I've never actually lived alone. Even now, I don't sleep well (or at all really) if Chad's not home.
As I grew older though, and boys became part of the picture, I was less scared of being alone and more frightened at the thought that I might actually end up with someone. So I kept boys that liked me at arm's length, or chose to safely pine away for ones I knew with certainty would never give me the time of day. If, by some chance, I actually ended up so far as dating someone, it didn't last long. I was too terrified to try to my hand at an actual relationship that I'd just end it first.
But when I met Chad, something inside me said, maybe this time. It is possible it was the beer talking. Ok, that first night we met, it was definitely the beer. But stone sober in the morning, he persevered. Past all my attempts at deflection, my excuses and last minute cancellations. And the second time we met, I knew that I was going to let this one in.
That's why, when people make jokes about being a runaway bride, I'm not having it. I have never been more sure of anything in my entire life, and for once, our marriage is something that I look forward to without one ounce of trepidation or fear.