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I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not as prepared as I was years ago. The least I can do is speak from the heart, right?

It’s impossible to compress 7 years into a one-liner anniversary greeting that spells “Aww/Hugot/Feels” . And in true Sab fashion, that would be kidding myself and depriving the world of the annual cheese.

I don’t do cheese, but when I do, it’s a long-winded entry.

Let me rewind and give you a brief history lesson to remind you of our… humble beginnings.

•Early 2006 – That Astring-O-Sol Modeling thing we did. But let’s not go there. Haha.

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•Late 2006 – We were formally introduced by Ysa at the Colayco Pavilion in Ateneo. Didn’t care for you much. You didn’t care for me either. Hello. Goodbye.

•Summer 2008 – We were reintroduced by Cy at Candy Corner in Eastwood. I ditched the group date after a few minutes to see Lea Salonga. #sorrynotsorry

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•October 17, 2008 – That fateful day that would scar you for life. You asked me to be your (gulp) girlfriend. My thoughts? “This is sooooo weird… I’m somebody’s girlfriend”.

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Fast forward 7 years later and we’re here—scheming and thinking of ways to outdo one another in celebration of that 7 Year “Itch”. I don’t really believe in it, but you and I are all too familiar with the saying “You never know.” Nothing’s set in stone and much like any other relationship or couple, we don’t know what’s in store. The best we can do is move forward and cling on to the hope that it will lead to a lifetime of bliss.

Let me repeat. I don’t do cheese but when I do, it’s a long-winded entry. Bear with me.

Don’t kill me for putting this out there but I need you to know that what you said the other day put things in perspective. I had been battling chronic depression (well, prolonged numbness matched by long stretches of sadness). Badly put, an emotional rut.

We were in Seattle’s Best (of all places, di ba?) when you practically ambushed me with the question, “Do I still make you happy?”. In that moment, the walls I had built around me came crashing down. The waterworks happened and you (the adorable, awkward you) made me laugh with the usual “Babe. They might think I’m breaking up with you”.

Now, let me answer that with no holds barred and no pride left in my kick-ass body (hahaha I know that made you laugh). You are my one happy thought at the end of a horrible day. You are my home and my rock. You ground me when I’m getting ahead or becoming a little full of myself. You push me out the door when I’m crippled by fear. You remind me to dream even when life has taught me otherwise. You are the one stable thing in my life right now. The thought of losing you scares the shit out of me.

So yes, you still do.

I know that the odds haven’t been in our favor and that fate hasn’t been very kind. Do I wish circumstances were better for us? Hell, YES. Do I wish life were a little kinder? Of course. But in my moments of clarity, I realize that I am blessed a hundredfold—with a partner and a relationship worth fighting for.

Funny but when I think of you and me, I don’t think of the happy, giddy, “he swept me off my feet” moments. Instead, I look back on the struggles we’ve shared, the storms we’ve had to weather and the seven years of strength between you and me.

I guess that’s our story. One of struggle and survival, and a whole lot of love to carry us through. In a different but nonetheless relevant sense, I’ve survived you and you’ve survived me.

You and I, me and you, we and us. It’s all the same. Whatever the circumstance, whatever the struggle, whatever fate has in store, it’s good to know that I have you and you have me.

Now, to end this novel-length love letter…What is there to say?

“I love you” doesn’t seem to cut it. Words are stupid. I love you to the point of hearing my voice crack at the thought of it. What the hell? I hate you because I don’t think I’ll ever get my heart back.

Thank you for loving me in ways no one has, and for reminding me every single day of why I said yes.

7 year itch? Let’s just call it 7 years strong. Happy Anniversary! I love you SO MUCH, it’s gross.

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