You once made your request. You asked us to please not get married, at least as long as you're still alive.
The thing was, I was dying to marry her. To share an excerpt of one of my online ramblings around that time: "I was raised to believe that the ultimate commitment is marriage, symbolized by a wedding. And more importantly, I believe that. I'm doing it for me, for me to be able to give my partner what I believe is the highest form of commitment - vows, rings and all."
So, what did I do? I married her because I had to.
And, how did I accommodate your wish? We had the most covert wedding in recent memory. No social media announcement, no celebrations of any kind. Any congratulatory message from any of our friends went directly to our phones. Because, no, we can't shout it out for the world to know, no matter how much we want to, because I still don't want you to get hurt. I went through with it without the knowledge of my family, without the well-wishes of the very people I need it from. To this day, I still remove my wedding ring when you're around.
And here's the behind the scenes between then and now. I see you liking posts of other couples celebrating their anniversaries, and it pains me. I see you get excited for the wedding of your friend's daughter, and it hurts me. I see you send an engagement message to a couple you barely know, a message complete with a "Love you both," and it drove me crying the rest of the day. Because, what would it take to earn that from you?
How happy would you be that she never hurt me, had she been a man?
How proud would you be that we have both achieved so much, had she been a man?
How thankful would you be if you'd known how many times she bailed me out of serious tight spots, had she been a man?
How proud would you be that we love each other so much, had she been a man?
We will never earn it, will we?