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The Ending and Beginning
The grass was wet and cold under our feet as we bridged the top of the hill, shoes still in hand. We were both breathless and flushed with laughter. The smile on my face wouldn’t fade no matter how hard I tried to relax, and the warm feeling that had found its way under the chill of the night was so natural and comforting that I forgot to be cold. With a few more strides we found ourselves gazing over to the other side where a blanket of grass fell down below us and stopped short at a small park with a gazebo and more greenery beyond it. The sky had darkened to a deep blue with a brilliant crescent moon hanging amidst a crystal circlet of a million tiny stars.
“Wow.” I whispered softly, completely mesmerized by the sight before me. I glanced over at Aaron, his eyes were wide and an impressed grin spread thinly across his face. The moonlight escaped from behind a cloud and blanketed the hill in a cold light, it pooled on his face and my heart skipped a beat. He looked over at me and his grin widened, his eyes caught mine and held them there. He reached down slowly, finding my hand and spreading his fingers under mine, his palm was cool and soft against mine and I was suddenly starting to feel rather dizzy. With his eyes still locked on mine he started speaking softly.
“Remember our list of things to do in our month together?”
“Yes. Why?” I responded softly
“Because I think we forgot one…”
“Dance in the moonlight.” He said with a grin and that sparkle in his eyes that I had already come to love. I smiled back and he squeezed my hand, pulling me farther out on the top of the hill. After placing my other hand gently on his shoulder and feeling his fingers wrap around my waist, we were suddenly dancing under the smiling eyes of the stars, whirling and spinning to the strumming music of our burning hearts. Each step made my head spin more and more, until I was sure it was all a dream and I would drown in my dancing emotions and wake up back were everything started, and yet the dream continued and the dark night slowly crept along.
Finally it ended and we stood there silently, both hands still joined just gazing at each other smiling slightly and breathing loudly. Overwhelmed by the spinning in my head and heart, I dropped his hands and lay down in the cool grass, gazing up at the stars and trying to catch my breath, he came down beside me and for a moment we waited in silence, completely content. After a while I felt him move next to me and I turned to see him staring straight at me, he smiled brightly his eyes bearing stars of their own. He reached out pulling me closer, I laid my head on his chest and he reached his arm around my shoulders. His closeness intoxicated me and I closed my eyes breathing in his warmth and feeling his steady heart beat under me. With his other hand he grabbed a strand of my hair twisting it between his fingers. I smiled to myself, and suddenly realized that I had never let anyone get this close to me since my father left, a wave of shame crashed over me followed by a leaden weight that crushed my spirit.
“Aaron?” I said quietly, looking back at the stars.
“Yes?” He said with a gentleness that made me close my eyes again.
“ I really don’t want to leave.” I said my voice cracking slightly. He pulled me closer hugging me towards him and closing his eyes as if I had hurt him. My heart fluttered with bitter-sweet pain at how deeply my pain effected him. He continued stroking my hair and holding me close.
“I’m not sure I can let you.” He said his voice barely a whisper. “I wish I could protect you from all of this, you’ve been through too much already.” His voice rose slightly at the end. My chest constricted. I can’t cry. Not here. The silence surrounded us. I breathed it in and then let it out, and in those two breaths I found a courage I didn’t know I had, and for the first time since my life fell apart I put my heart completely in someone else’s hands.
“I love you.” I whispered. In response he sat up and his fingers found their way to my cheek. He turned me towards him and kissed me full on my burning lips with a gentle passion that made me lose myself completely. We pulled out and then fell into a tight embrace.
“I love you too.” He whispered back. I made my decision then: I wasn’t going to leave.
All stories have endings I suppose, and here is where this one ends. Not because there was nothing following that beautiful, incredible moment, but because you should learn to believe that even after the pages stop a story continues far beyond the “ever after”. You see even after that night, even after many more nights following that one, even after the story of him and I was measured in years I was still too afraid to ever frame our story with “forever” because I was taught in my life before him that there is no such thing, that our story would end no matter how much I loved him, or wanted to let him be there for me. He found a way to change me though and even if our story does have an ending I have to believe that stories are only written because they were meant to be. So as our story continues and comes to a stop on this page. I will give it the ending he would have wanted.
And they lived happily ever after the ever after.