Where it all began: in grade eleven, Daniel was moved to be seated beside me in Mr. Muccilli's French class (and Frank was seated in front of me, as usual). Admittedly, this wasn't when we first met. Daniel likes to tell the tale of how we were introduced to each other the previous year: he complimented me by saying I looked like I was in Grade 11, and I told him he looked like a "niner". But anyway, we really started talking in French class. Around the end of October, and after deciding that I "liked" him and all of my girlfriends were sick of hearing about it, they all pitched in to buy a ticket for him to the Halloween Dance. (I had my own ticket.) School dances weren't his scene. I went to all of them, and had never seen him at a single one. So I was surprised when my friend told me that when she had called him to give him the ticket and invite him to come that he agreed.
There was much more to that night, I know, but I mention this story for one very important and seemingly insignificant reason: he sang to me. Like every (every?) teenage girl, I fantasized about being serenaded, or at the very least, singing a duet with the boy of my dreams. That night, he and I were slow dancing through some fast song when he sang "Kiss The Girl" from The Little Mermaid into my ear, and then we kissed.
I was so impressed with Daniel from that evening. Daniel is by no means (no offense, Daniel) a singer, nor does he even like to sing for fun. He had the courage to step outside his comfort zone and do something that he really didn't want to do for me because he knew it would make me happy. It was better than any song anyone had ever sung to me.
Because of the sincerity and symbolism of it, this is one of the best gifts I have ever received. I knew then the way I know now that it wasn't something that he'd do for just anyone, and that is what made it special.
Perhaps it helped that I knew him well enough to know how special the effort truly was: it's hard to assess the meaningfulness of a gift when you aren't very well acquainted with the giver.