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I Am Strong
Even with salty tears resting in my eyes I knew that he looked undeniably more handsome than ever. Dressed in that camouflage uniform, green beret laying askew on his head, he stood tall and solemn as I watched him pin the last badge on his shirt. We caught each others gaze in the mirror and his big, caramel eyes looked almost painfully into mine.
“Remember?”, he said.
“No”, I said forcefully, “Not that word, not now.”
He didn’t listen to me. Of course, I should be used to that. He never has listened to me…but that’s one of the reasons I fell in love with him.
“You were walking in the rain, you’re auburn hair was twisted in wet coils and your mascara laying in smoky rings on your pale cheekbones. You had a giant obnoxiously yellow raincoat on. Your rain boots were squeaking on the sidewalk.--”
“Wait…”, I interrupted, “I don’t remember this…”
He sat next to me on our patchwork quilted bed. His arm wrapped around me naturally. “You will”, he said with a gentle smile on his face.
“A black cat crossed the road and you glanced at it accusingly.” He laughed softly. “You and you’re superstitions…”
This time I laughed, pressure releasing from my chest like air in a bursting balloon.
“You were preoccupied with watching the feline species you hate so much and you stepped into a puddle of mud about a foot deep--”
“What! I remember this day but how--”
“Just listen.” He grinned. “An archaic red truck pulled off the curb and drove slowly by. It was crammed full of a bunch of teenage boys. They whistled and laughed out the windows. They had stopped at the sidewalk just to watch you struggle with your big raincoat and pile of books. You heard their jeering and you quickly catapulted an apple you were eating at the moving vehicle. You were a good aim and you hit the window straight on. You wore an evil stare on you’re pretty pale face as they drove by. You straightened your coat and walked on with dignity, head held high…that’s when I fell in love with you and determined to meet and marry you.”
“You were there?” I said in amazement. “I can’t believe of all the things to remember that was it!”
He laughed, “It does seem odd at first doesn’t it…but I told you that story because I want you to know what made me fall in love with you. It was your strength. It was your courage. It was the way you stand up for yourself. It was your independence. And it was your stubborn self.”
I still felt confused but I looked up at him waiting for more.
“Because you have these characteristics“, he continued, “I know you will be ok. I know you will go on with a brave heart and strong mind. I feel love and encouragement in your strength”
Silence overwhelmed us and I turned my eyes slowly round the room. Our wedding picture hung slightly crooked on the wall above our dresser. It was taken just three months ago, a few weeks after our high school graduation. So young and so in love.
He held me in his toned, sinewy arms, rocking me softly back and forth…his baby. I would be strong for him.