This is one of my most favorite pictures of Jared. I’ve seen this look countless times before but this is the only picture I have where I was able to catch it in the moment. The expression on his face carries the weight of our 15-year relationship and it’s a look that I hold so close to my heart. Jared and I have known each other since we were in Jr High and are each other’s first kiss. We started dating in 2002, my junior year of high school. He was seventeen, rebellious, sarcastic and adventurous. Two months into dating he wrote me the most adorable letter professing his love for me. This would be the first time he told me loved me. Just under a year of us dating he bought me a promise ring and I almost sent him packing. I was terrified that he was giving me a pre-proposal proposal ring and I was having none of that. His promise was different and so much better. He promised that as my boyfriend he was going to love, respect and protect me. He was making it clear that he was a one-woman man and as long as I was his girl he was going to be the best he could be for me. I proudly wore that ring everyday for 12 years until it no longer fit my finger. It now sits in my jewelry box waiting to be resized.
At the ages of seventeen and eighteen you could find us with a group of our friends either at a beach in Santa Cruz or at an underground show somewhere in the Bay Area. At the time the shows were mostly hardcore and I stuck out like a sore thumb in pink in a sea of black. The cover charge was usually around $3 and most of the shows we went to, was to see our friends’ band, In Reverent Fear. Later they would change their name and have since moved on to other amazing projects.
We’ve been married for almost 10 years now and over time little things have changed. Jared takes pictures and videos on his iPhone instead of his Olympus camera. I hold his wallet now since he doesn’t keep it on a chain anymore. He still likes to hang to the side so he can watch the drummer but we don’t mind standing a bit further back from the stage. The one thing that has never changed is that look he gives me right before he jumps into the mosh pit. His eyes are wide and excited but he first looks back to make sure I am ok. He looks back to make sure I know where he is and he knows where I am. He gives me this look and it’s the face of my seventeen-year-old Jared holding my hand and promising me the world. In our 15 years together that look has never changed.