SongFic: Then by Brad Paisley

Names are my own. I do not own the song Then.

I remember, trying not to stare the night that I first met you

You had me mesmerized

And three weeks later, in the front porch light

Taking forty-five minutes to kiss goodnight

I hadn't told you yet

But I thought I loved you then

The words rang in my ears and I couldn't help but smile at how similar it was to my own situation. I met Sonia in August of '99, it was a Saturday. She was 20 and I was 23. We met at a friend's rehearsal dinner. My best friend and her best friend were both getting married; Chloe and Joe. I couldn't help but stare at Sonia, she was so beautiful, and she still is. Her blonde curly hair fell so perfectly over her shoulders and she had barley any makeup on, which was perfect. I loved when a girl was content with her natural beauty. We sat across from each other that night and she was one of the only people I talked to for the entire dinner. She had devoured down her dinner but had been embarrassed.

"I had part of an apple for lunch, I'm starving." She had said between bites.

"Why didn't you finish it?" I asked.

"I had to go, I was in a hurry."

"But an apple is something that you could take with you," I had teased.

"But not the peanut butter!"

"Technically you could…"

"Yeah but it would be kind of hard to walk around with one of those huge jars of chunky peanut butter!"

"True." I smiled at the memory. We had talked about so much, yet so random of things. We talked about music and seemed to love the same things. Taylor Swift had come on and I started to sing along silently with it, thinking no one was looking, even though she was. She started to laugh.

"What?" I asked.

"You just looked kind of funny," She said, giggling.

"Well, most of the time guys can get away with stuff like that. I guess I'll have to be careful around you." Her smile was so beautiful, it made everything seem to be better.

"I went to her concert when I was a teenager."

"That's awesome…" I had said seriously, making her laugh.

"What kind of music do you like?"

"I really like Parachute," Before I could go on she cut in.

"I love them! They rock!" She got all excited. "What else?"

"I really like Matchbox Twenty, Three Days Sonia. My aunt always makes me listen to all her girly music."

"That's cute. I love those bands." That's when the song Forget You by Cee Lo Green came on. At the same time we had said, "I love this song!" There was an awkward silence and then I broke it.

"You know the real name of that song, right?"

"Yeah…" She said, giggling; she did that a lot.

We were together the whole weekend; hanging out and getting to know each other. It might've been the best weekend of my life at that time.

And now you're my whole life

Now you're my whole world

I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl

Like a river meets the sea

Stronger than it's ever been

We've come so far since that day

And I thought I loved you then

2 years later

We had left that weekend not saying goodbye. I had wondered then if it wasn't meant to be, and now I realize that we both regretted that time greatly. We had searched the huge venue of the wedding; hoping to find each other, to say goodbye. But every time either of us saw the other we were on opposite sides and the crowd was trying to keep us apart. I found out only weeks ago that she had cried on the plane, as she left us. Of course I didn't cry, I'm a guy, but I was upset. I had thought she was the one. Weeks later I was running in the morning when my phone vibrated.

It said; "Found out you live in Post Falls. I'm here, wanna get together? – Sonia." I read it over and over again. Sonia was here? Why? I leaned against a tree and tried to quickly reply to the text.

"Sure, what is your schedule like?" I replied. I sat down on the ground and leaned against the tree, waiting for the reply from the girl I had secretly fallen in love with in three short days.

"Tonight; busy. Rest of the weekend; free." My heart started to beat quickly.

"Lunch, tomorrow? 12:30 at…"

"APPLEBEES!" She made me smile.

"Sounds good," I replied. The rest of the day seemed to go by so slowly. I did what I did almost every day. Noon finally came and I headed to Applebees, a little nervous to be honest. No, scratch that, a LOT nervous. Our lunch was great. It was like we could never run out of things to say, and we both admitted that that was our week spot. I paid for lunch and we walked outside. She was driving a dark blue 4 door Rubicon Jeep and I was driving a Ford pickup. I walked her to her car and was hesitant about what to do next.

"So…would you like to have dinner tomorrow before you leave?" I asked. I've never been nervous around girls around now.

"Yeah. Definitely." She replied. I said goodbye and that next day was just like every other minute I had spent with Sonia. All we could do was laugh the whole time. All I could do was think of how much I wish everyday could be like this. I drove her back to her hotel and as I started to walk away she told me to wait. I looked at her confused.

"I have a confession…" You said.

"Ok…" I replied cautiously.

"I…wasn't here for work…like I told you."

"Why were you here?" She looked down at her feet and rubbed her hands back and forth like she did when she was nervous.

"I was here…because I wanted to see you." It was like she couldn't look at me. I was so happy to hear her say that. I just kind of laughed. "Kind of stupid, huh?" She said nervously.

"Not at all." I said confidently. When I said it I saw the surprise on her face. I stepped closer and put my hand on the back of her neck. I kissed her lips for a couple seconds and the feel of her hands in mine made my heart flutter. When I pulled away she leaned her forehead against mine.

"How will this work? I live 7 hours away." She says and I can hear the sadness in her voice. I shook my head no.

"We'll make it work…I promise." I made this promise knowing it would. I kissed her forehead and she hugged me.

"I don't want to let go…again." We sat on a bench for almost an hour before I finally told her to go to sleep.

And I remember, taking you back to right where I first met you,

You were so surprised

There were people around, but I didn't care

Got down on one knee right there once again,

I thought I loved you then

And now you're my whole life

Now you're my whole world

I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl

Like a river meets the sea,

Stronger than it's ever been

We've come so far since that day

And I thought I loved you then

That night I took you to a restaurant, your favorite restaurant. My hands were shaking like I couldn't believe. It had been 7 years since that night where we had both admitted how we felt. We had had so many wonderful times. We had experienced so many things and gone on so many dates. I met her parents, she met mine and our families both loved each other. I couldn't even begin to tell you all that we have done together. I moved to McCall to be with her 6 months after that night. Many of my friends and my family tried to convince me it was too soon but I knew that it was the right thing and that I would be happy anywhere as long as I was with Sonia. I picked you up at 8 o'clock that night and we had a perfect table. We looked over the lake that was right in town, as the sun set behind the mountains. I ordered a Roy Rogers and you ordered a Shirley Temple. I started my little speech after we got our drinks. I couldn't stand sitting through the meal wondering what would happen.

"Sonia…" I started. You set your drink down and looks at me with raised eyebrows as if to say, "Yes?"

"I told you I loved you 6 years ago, and I could've told you that night that we had dinner in Post Falls. I never knew that I could love someone this much." I tell her this like I am not leading up to anything. She is smiling at me like I am the sweetest person in the world. "I tell you everything, I tell you more than I would anyone, even my mother! You're my best friend and I can't live without you." I get down on one knee and pull a simple diamond ring with white cold out of my pocket. It's in a red box.

"Oh my goodness." You whisper as you smile. I love that you never cover your smile like some girls do, I want to see every smile that you give me. I love that you says goodness instead of god.

I noticed that the whole restaurant is looking now and I hope that this is ok with you. Tears start to form in your eyes, happy tears.

"Sonia Carlo…will you marry me?" Your head shakes up and down and you pull me up off the ground. You have the biggest smile on your face and I love that I have that affect on you.

"Yes…" You whisper in my ear as you wrap your arms around my neck. People start to clap and we sit back down at our table. We order our dinner and continue the rest of our night. Our hands are locked together and they never separate for the rest of the night. The smiles never leaves our faces.

"I love you." I tell her as we eat.

"I love you, too." You said softly and I loved the way it sounded. The sparkle in her eyes, the smile on her face, I don't see how someone could be this perfect.

I could just see you, with a baby on the way

And I could just see you, when your hair is turning gray

What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more

But I've said that before

And now you're my whole life

Now you're my whole world

I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl

We'll look back someday, at this moment that we're in

And I'll look at you and say

And I thought I loved you then

And I thought I loved you then

Today you are 7 months pregnant. We've been married 7 years, and there is a little tiny baby boy inside of you. There is a nursery right next to our room that is painted blue, with horses on one wall. There is cherry wood furniture and toys and tons of clothes in the closet and in the drawers. This will be the most spoiled, most loved little boy in the world. When you told me 6 months ago that you were pregnant we were both so happy. We sat on the couch with you in my arms, and again, I couldn't believe how much I loved you then.

"I love you Nick Valentino."

"I love you Sonia Alelxander." I say this every day and it is like every day I love you more and more. I continue to tell you how much I love you but I don't think you'll ever understand how much. I love you. I love you. I love you.