Eight years ago, a 23 year old Mr. Lady had recently had a beautiful baby boy. She quit her craptastic job for a while to stay home with him, and then decided to take a little part-time gig at the diner down the street.

Eight years ago, an almost 20 year old Jessica lost her 16 year old brother in a particularly nasty DUI accident, killing only him but seriously maiming the three other drunk passengers in the car. She took a week off, Christmas week, the week of her birthday, from the diner she worked at to go bury her brother.

A week after I started working at that diner, I met Jessica. Her first morning back, she came in, Robert Plant hair, huge black circles under her eyes, terrible skin, dirty clothes, wreaking of cigarettes and pot, and for the first time ever I laid eyes on her. She was beautiful.

Um, when they talk about love at first sight, they ain't kidding.

It took us all of an hour to fall head over heels, truly madly deeply in love. We spent most every day together from that one out. The first time she held my baby boy in her arms, she knew and I knew and we knew that we were in for life.

Dearest, beloved, adored Jessica, happy 28th birthday. Every little single thing that I am that is good comes from you. You taught me who I am. You taught me that who I am is just fine. You love me, especial. I write silly haiku because of you, I listen to way too much rap for a white girl because of you, I play the guitar (badly) because of you. I dance when no one is looking, I drink too much coffee and smoke like a chimney (isn't that the line of some song?), I keep a bottle of glitter in my makeup bag, I always know exactly how far I am from Durango, I read a little Dutch, I speak a little Spanish, I wear baggie jeans, I paint, I draw, I sing, I kill fish, I know the theme to Jem, and what all the words to Megadeath songs are, all for you.

There is nothing in this world that has happened to me that has been more important than the day I met you. You defined me, you saw a hole in the center of me and you hugged and kissed and danced it away. You sang songs to my very pregnant belly, you love my children more than almost anything is this world, you stun and amaze me with your mind and your body and your soul.

I think I might marry you someday.

Oh, wait, I can't. In nine short weeks you will stand under the full moon on a beach in Costa Rica and with starlit eyes become a bride. That means that in nine short weeks I will stand, with teary eyes and a sweet suntan and become a bridesmaid.

I hope he knows that I will steal you from him someday.