All it took was one look. One look at the joy and the sheer happiness that one tiny creature could bring. She watched from afar, embraced in the sidelines and the shadows, just observing. Her best friend, someone who had been with her through absolutely everything, now a loving and adoring mother. She watched as the sleeping baby girl was passed from father to mother, and nestled beneath her mother’s chin. Seeing the smile on her best friend’s face, seeing the love in her eyes, the tears of pure happiness, it was all just too much.
From out of nowhere feelings of happiness and feelings of pure longing came barreling into her, like a bowling ball rolling down the lane headed straight for the pins. She could feel the tears threatening to spill, her vision already beginning to blur around the edges. Kindly excusing herself she took one look at the man behind her and left through the bedroom door, down the cluttered hallway and finally out the front door, nearly falling flat on her face as she ran down the stairs. Finding the nearest tree, a small thing adorned in a cloak of royal purple, she leaned against it trying to find the breath that she had somehow lost. She tried her hardest to control her racing heart and the tears falling freely down her face, but everything was unsuccessful. She squeezed her eyes shut and focused on breathing deeply through her nose and out through her mouth, aiming to trick her mind into going into a state of meditation to calm her racing nerves. She thought she was alone, that everyone was still inside, welcoming the baby home, but before long she found herself being gently pulled from the tree and nestled into a hard chest.
“You scared me running out like that.”
She opened her eyes and leaned her head back on the man’s shoulder. “I’m sorry love,” she said. “Just got a bit too crowded in there you know.”
She knew he wouldn’t buy it but tried anyway; anything to keep her from succumbing to the scariest truth that had haunted her waking moments and kept her up at night, praying for something so sweet, and so pure, something she had sworn to herself she would never again deserve. The man’s arms tightened slightly for a moment before loosening. He wouldn’t push it, knowing that she would tell him what was weighing on her mind all in due time. And he was always right.
She sighed, sniffling and wiping at the shed tears that had found a home in the sides of her eyes and pulled away.
Turning, she looked right at him, at the man who she had known for so little time, the man who had awakened her, freed her.
“What is it sweet?”
She loved it when he called her that. It made her feel warm and light inside, like everything was sunshine and daises. Like she was dancing in a melting rainbow. Like it was raining and that rain drenched her clear to the marrow of her bones. Taking a deep shuddering breath she asked the question that had been weighing on her mind for the longest time. “Do you believe in love at first sight?” The words were whispered, mellow and calm so unlike her speeding heart beat. Out of habit, she cringed slightly, afraid of what he would say, afraid that he would call her a silly little child. Afraid that he would shake his head is disappointment, turn away from her, and walk away forever, like every other person she had been with before. Yet all he did was smile that smile that always melted her heart, lean his head to the side in that funny way of his, and gently pull her back into his arms.
“Of course I do. I wouldn’t be standing here, only weeks after knowing you, positively, absolutely, madly in love with you if I didn’t.” She returned his smile and he ran his thumb under her eyes wiping at the tears as she resumed speaking.
“I told myself I would never be fit enough to be a mother, that the fear of becoming my mother, of making her choices, it all would keep me from wanting to have a baby myself one day. That I would never again allow myself to get close enough to anyone for that chance to arise.” Shy, an introvert, she always looked away when confessing her feelings to someone, afraid of their reaction, afraid that by staring into their eyes for too long she would find something she didn’t want to. Yet as she spoke the words she stared right back into his blue eyes. “And now, that’s all changing. Now I lay awake at night day-dreaming about the day you and I start a family together.”
He smiled, his blue eyes seeming to bore into her very soul, setting her skin aflame with the same energy that his breath on the back of her neck did. Her shyness kicking into overdrive she looked away, and studied his chest for lack of anything better to turn her attention towards. Every word she had said scared her, turned her bones to mush and her mind, such a fragile thing, began to jump around. The gut tightening, chest clenching feeling she always seemed to get every time she thought about the moment he would realize he could do better, overtook her body as the two of them stood there practically embracing. Only when he leaned forward and kissed the shell of her ear, did the feeling of fear leave her body.
“How many times to I have to tell you sweet,” He whispered. “I’m not going anywhere. For reasons you love to argue, I love you and if it’s a family you want sometime in the future, with me that is, then I guess when that day comes I will be right by your side.” His words were so strong, so steady; they brought her to meet his gaze once more. It was in those blue eyes that she allowed herself to lose control, to forget her fears and all her worries and just be.
Always chastised and criticized for letting her heart soar, for letting love in, for believing in a tale as old as time, for believing in love at first sight, once lost, she allowed herself to be found. Awakened from a deep sleep and pulled from the very pit she had once dug herself. She allowed herself to placed so high, her only fear was falling. But even then, she knew, he would catch her.