After being diagnosed with a rare heart disease at fourteen and having a gnarly scar left on my chest from a defibrillator implant, I assumed no prince was ever coming for me. I was damaged goods after all, not an ideal mate for any sensible man. Yet, I wanted to be loved so badly that I tried so hard to make it work with guys that were terrible for me. So every time I convinced myself I got it right, it fell apart for obvious reasons. For many years I thought I was stuck with dating subpar douchebags who only cared about their Xbox and/or football games. I figured I’d just always be the single friend, the permanent 5th wheel. However, that all changed October 2, 2015; my last first date.
After exchanging messages on and off for over a month on Tinder, I finally agreed to go out with Dillon. However, I didn’t really want to go out with him because I was so done with dating (again). However, every excuse I threw out he countered with a solution. Even the unplanned excuse of having to work 2 hours late, he didn’t waiver. I still remember rushing home to shower at 10:30pm because this guy I had never met from Tinder was picking me up at 10:45pm for a date. I had never gotten ready so fast in my life, but at 10:45pm sharp he was there and calling me. I wouldn’t tell him my apartment number because you know, I didn’t want to get killed. So as I walk out into the parking lot, I find him parked in guest parking standing outside his truck waiting for me. In his hand he was holding a single red rose and I was like, “damnnnnn no one ever brings me flowers.”
He tried to take me to Pappadeaux’s but they were closing by the time we arrived, so we settled on the Chili’s next door. He apologized multiple times for taking me to Chili’s because it was so subpar; while all I could think was, “hell yeah, chicken tenders and ranch here I come!” We made small talk over dinner, I don’t even remember what we talked about. I was too busy being delighted with chicken tenders and wondering what his next move was going to be.
After we finished dinner, he asked if I wanted to go walk around the park. Of course I made a million murder jokes and he kept shaking his head and sort of laughing (which is exactly how he still reacts to my shit today). Funny thing though, when we arrived to the park, it was completely closed down due to flooding or something. He swore he had no idea (to this day I think he did but won’t admit it), so of course I started back in with the murder jokes. However, Dillon being Dillon, he casually mentions he lived close by and wanted to know if I wanted to go watch Netflix at his place. I skeptically agreed, I just didn’t want another guy trying to maul me over a lame Netflix show.
After arriving to his place and meeting his giant black lab, Sugar, we settled on the couch 3ft apart to watch Netflix. This guy turned on an animal documentary of all things. Not a comedy, not a horror movie, a legit lions running through the Saharah documentary. I was bored out of my mind 😂 but after 30 minutes he finally made his way beside me and we cuddled, maybe I let him kiss me but I guarantee you, I stayed a classy lady that night 😌 So after the show ended he took me home, and I arrived in my apartment completely intrigued and confused.
I’d like to say the rest is history, but no relationship is ever simple.
By January 2016 we were officially living together and in May we we got our first dog together after returning home from our first vacation. Everything was normal, we worked, went out on weekends together, shared tv shows – the norm. It was all just normal until November.
On November 8, 2016 I had a new surgery performed to help my heart and hopefully postpone the need for a heart transplant. However, the surgery left me with a severe, right hand, post op injury and I couldn’t close any of my fingers, which meant I couldn’t type (my whole job consisted of typing). So in conjuncture with my worsening heart failure symptoms and my limited hand function, by May 2017 I was let go from my job. While the last five months have been financially, emotionally and physically exhausting; Dillon’s love for me continues to shine through.
No relationship is perfect, we annoy the shit out of each other in so many ways but it doesn’t matter. Regardless of how extra I’m being, he puts up with it. He shows his love for me in nonverbal ways on a regular basis. He has worked countless hours of overtime trying to cover my bills, since I don’t receive unemployment or disability. We have spent more nights together at the hospital than we ever have on vacation. Even though he carries the weight of my declining health, all our bills, work demands, etc. on his shoulders, he always stays positive. He never puts his stress on me but I know it’s there, I mean it has to be. He is literally the most amazing blessing to have ever come into my life and I don’t know what I did to deserve him (except impatiently wait for him for 4 years). He is always putting me first, and even though he is sassy at times, I know I’m his number one priority. I don’t think many people can say that. I don’t think many guys would stick around with a girl who needs a heart transplant but may not get one, or a girl who may get one and still end up dying. The unknown is the scariest part and I’m scared too. However, Dillon remains strong and optimistic no matter what. I can confidently say that I know what it’s like to be completely loved by someone. True love, selfless love, I have felt it (from someone besides my parents).