Love Stories — Chelsea and Pete

photograph by Tim Hennessy of Slow Content Studio

photograph by Tim Hennessy of Slow Content Studio


Story 03

We’ve been together since…

Chelsea: our senior year of college.
Pete: 2011

The story of how we met.

C: Our freshman fall at Colby we both took an Anthropology class. On Fridays, the professor screened movies. I thought they were dull, so I wrote Pete notes and sneakily pushed them across our table. I convinced him to come to gymnastics club with me. I taught him to do backflips. We bought a tent and camped in it next to the track. He brought a bottle of wine. We dressed up like snowmen and went to Soccer Ball. We had all these sweet moments, but we didn’t start dating until three years later.

P: We met in Anthropology class.

I first knew they were my person when…

C: He called me from Australia when he heard Aleisha died. He didn’t know what to say. Neither did I. I just knew that I didn’t want to be around most people, but I wanted to be around him.

P: She walked in the room.

The first time saying I love you. 

C: When we were in school, we used to read poems to each other at bedtime. Usually a poem that I was supposed to be reading for one of my classes. One night, he started reading a poem, and I realized it was one he had written and taped to the front of the book. It had all of our inside jokes. The last line said, “I hope it’s not too soon to say — I love you. She probably already knows.” By the time he finished, I was crying. Happy tears.

P: I wrote her a poem, and "I love you" was the last line. — We would often read each other poems from Norton's Anthology as we fell asleep. One night, I wrote my own poem and taped it to one of the pages. I think she could tell it wasn't Yeats, because when I looked up from reading it her eyes were full of tears and she said, I love you.

A challenge or hardship you’ve faced together.

C: Mourning and missing Al. His braveness and willingness to step in when everything was at its heaviest and hold me through it.

P: Nothing will ever be harder then when Chelsea's little sister, Aleisha, died in a car accident the summer after our junior year of college. In the greatest depths of sorrow, Chelsea wanted to be with me. And I've been doing my best to make her smile ever since.

The good list of your life together, right now.

C: The white house we’ve made for ourselves now, the black house we dream of for later, our morning walks to the Country Mart for lattes, the friends, family, and love on both coasts, becoming grown-ups beside each other, candlelit dinners at home, watching him talk politics with my grandparents, Rio the bus, Ellie the cat, holding his hand, his homemade pasta and tomato sauce, the card he wrote me the morning of my birthday, dreaming of our littles.

P: Affogatos, endless scheming, ocean dips, backpacking Yosemite, our bus Rio, impromptu dancing, cackling laughter, homemade pasta, the cat, wrinkly hands

I’m grateful for… 

C: His silliness. His humor. His heart. 

P: The way we take care of each other when we're down and bring the best out of each other when we're up.

I most admire… 

C: The way he studies something so deeply, just for the sake of it. His generosity, his patience, his gentleness, the way he moves on a soccer field, the depth of conversation he engages in, the vastness of his dreams.  

P: The way she runs. When she moves, she has the speed and grace of a gazelle, while I'm more like a cagey, asthmatic badger.

I choose them still because —

C: He makes my life so bright. He makes me laugh, every day. He challenges me; he teaches me; he dances with me in the kitchen; he still reads me poetry before bed. He is my favorite person, my best friend, my favorite collaborator. I feel grateful every day for the gift of his love. 

P: Life with her is a wondrous joy.