To be delivered to Tom Dowler on the morning of February 21st, 2004.
This is you. Tom from the future. From the year 2014. We have jetpacks and self-tying shoes now.
Only joking. We have neither of those. Bummer, huh?
I’m writing to you because today is a really important day. This afternoon you’re going to be walking through Clapham and Rik is going to call. You know that girl he’s been seeing, Lizzie? It’s her birthday party tonight and all her friends are going to be there and he wants you to come along for moral support. Don’t be a dick and complain you’re too tired. It’s Rik. Just be there for him.
And go because you’re going to meet someone there. Actually not just someone. The someone.
Rik is going to describe her as Lizzie’s hot, American, newly single flatmate. You’ll come to know her as Melissa.
Right away you’ll know there’s something there.
At first you may just notice the legs (and no, your eyes in the dim lighting of The Player do not deceive you, those legs really are that good), and you’ll cast moody glances at her for a while before Rik introduces you.
But once you start talking you’ll realize something’s up. It will be quite unlike anything you’ve ever experienced or ever will. Chemistry. Friendship. Lust. Synergy. Connection.
She’s the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. 3 years from now, you’ll marry her, then you’ll move to Boston together, inherit a dog, mistakenly buy a house, start a business, become totally awesome together….
But this letter isn’t about telling you what’s going to happen.
I just wanted to remind you to cherish Melissa from this day forward. Every day.
Things won’t always be peachy. She’ll hurt you. You’ll hurt her. You’ll fight. You’ll bicker. The longer you’re together, the quicker you’ll get over these quarrels and the funnier you’ll find them, but they’ll still happen.
And through it all you need to cherish her. Because she isn’t just the best thing to have happened to you up to this point, she’s the best thing that will ever happen to you. The best thing that could ever conceivably happen to you.
She’s smart. Really smart. She sometimes likes to play it goofy like she’s just a helpless dolt who doesn’t know anything, but she really knows far more than she lets on. You may be book smart, but she’s heart smart and that counts for a whole heap more when the final counting is done.
You’ll spot right away that she’s beautiful, and my goodness she just gets better with age. She doesn’t have it yet, but by the time you’re married 7 years she has this poise to her. This I know just how awesome I am swagger and it’s sexy as hell.
She’s going to push you and challenge you and expect great things of you, and you should thank her for every second of it because she’ll help you become a better man than you ever thought possible. This is her power, this is her gift. Cherish it.
She doesn’t really think she’s funny, but no-one will ever make you laugh like she does. And you’ll laugh and then she’ll ask why you’re laughing because she doesn’t think she’s funny. But she is. Savor that laughter, it’s essential.
She’s an artist and it’s on you to encourage her and help her believe at every turn. Don’t let her doubt herself. Believe in her and she’ll know you’re sincere.
She’s fancy. She’s into all sorts of obscure music and art and inspiring quotes. Step up your game. A lot. Deserve her love.
She’s going to love you fiercely. Be fierce back. Hug her when she doesn’t want it and get good at giving shoulder rubs. Deserve her. Cherish her.
Be the best man you can be for your own sake, but enjoy that it makes her smile and makes you worthy of that smile. Hold her when she’s scared. Reassure her when she doubts, no matter how many times you’ve done it or how ridiculous you think her doubt is.
Enjoy her victories as if they were your own, but celebrate that they’re all her.
Take on her defeats. They’re yours too.
Give her wings to fly and trust that they’ll always bring her back to you. Encourage her adventure and deserve to be her home.
She’s the best thing that will ever happen to you.
The evening of February 21st, 2004. Yes, we both smoked when we met, and yes you could still smoke inside then.