Ten years. That’s how long Jenni and I have been together. Ten beautiful years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We met when we were just a couple of kids in high school. Now we’re a decade older and still very much in love.

We’ve had our difficulties, but what relationship hasn’t? Ups and downs like the roads of the Rocky Mountains, but no obstacle too big to overcome.

Mom says I should leave, she says I can do better. But, she doesn’t understand commitment. That’s why Dad left when I was 8.

I’m not going to give up. Just because I have to sleep on a random couch every now and then? Big deal. What married man doesn’t spend a little time in the dog house? “I said my vows and I meant them!” I’ve yelled at Mom more times than I care to admit, “I’ll give Jenni a little time and she will let me back in the house, you’ll see.”

The few friends I still have ask if I’m doing ok. They say things like, “you’re not the same.” And they’re right. I’m not. True love changes a man. When you love someone this much there is no more ‘I,’ just ‘us.’

Pure jealousy on their part, I’m sure. That’s why they accuse her of sleeping around with Jason. But she wouldn’t do that. No, not again. The last time was a fluke, she explained. She was drunk at a party, and so was our friend, Roger. “It won’t ever happen again!” she screamed at me. It was just one of the nights that police got called.

Well, who am I to point my finger? I’ve had some fun experiences with Amanda, from work. And then, there were those times with Tina.

I’m not a cheater. Promise, I’m not. Every time I’ve messed around with these girls, Jenni and I were on a ‘break.’ And she has no idea these things happened so it doesn’t count. These ‘breaks’ usually came about when she won’t come home after an argument. So, it’s cool.

‘Stop Texting Me!!!’ will be her last message before her phone goes dead. Then, we don’t see each other until morning.

Oh, young romance. It’s so sweet, and so bitter. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I truly love her.

And she loves me.

A 40 year old wanna be writer taking a creative writing class at the local community college.