"Hey back. Hug?"
"Mmmmmm back. How ya been?"
"Missing you. Good to see you again."
"You too. Good to be back again. Got you a present! Here, happy day that ends in Y."
"What, birthday ends in Y!"
"Aw, that's perfect! You always know what to get me."
"You're easy to buy for."
"I have got to be the luckiest man alive."
"How do you figure?"
"Well, I have a wife whom I love madly, and who loves me madly back, and..."
" ... and?"
"And ... I'm most likely the only guy in the world who gets to do this with you."
"No most likely about it."
"Why is that anyway?"
"Well, you're the only guy in the world who loves me."
"There's a laugh! Ninety per cent of Edmonton's male population would give their right testicles, and their grandmothers, just to enter a lottery to be where I am right now. And twenty per cent of the females."
"You're right, that doesn't quite work does it? The females don't have testicles. They could give their right ovaries then."
"That isn't love."
"Maybe not, but it's still true. Hey, what about your Dad?"
"I haven't sat in his lap since I was ten."
"Triple goof! He loves you, is what I meant."
"I guess I don't count my Dad as a guy. You know, he's my Dad."
"Okay, what about Ian? I bet he loves you."
"Um, actually, Ian's gay."
"I mean, yeah, I think he does, but that doesn't exactly count. Like my Dad."
"Anyhow, that's why I'm the luckiest guy alive. I'm in love with the two most amazing women I've ever met ... how did you know I was in love with you anyway?"
"You told me, remember?"
"Only once. And very, very quietly."
"You whispered it in my ear."
"My life was falling a apart. I've been known to do crazy things in situations like that."
"What you said wasn't crazy at all."
"'I don't want to change anything in our relationship, but for what it's worth, I love you.' It took me five minutes before saying it to get the phrasing right. And two more minutes to get up the courage to say it. And it took you four seconds to whisper back exactly what I needed to hear."
"And that's the only time I've ever said it, which brings me back to my question. How did you know?"
"I'd be breaking a promise if I told you."
"Could you tell me when you knew?"
"Hmmm. I don't remember exactly, for a very long time now."
"I've known for exactly eleven years tonight. I fell in love with you the evening of October 5th, 1997."
"Nineteenth. I was walking home from the party, and it was a completely clear, warm Sunday night. It was after midnight and Orion was just rising. My mind was replaying over and over your reaction to my present, and suddenly it just hit me, like a sucker punch to the gut. It was so intense I thought I was going to throw up, but I never wanted to feel anything else ever again."
"That is the most romantic thing anybody has ever told me."
"Happy anniversary, I guess."
"Sure! Here's to eleven years."
"Eleven years of ... what?"