A Love Story
The meeting of eyes across the crowded bar.
The quintessential moment in every rom-com.
Boy meets girl, everything falls in place.
The boy was from the city, wearing a leather jacket emblazoned with a lion on the back.
The girl was from a small town, wearing a sweater her grandma had knitted for her.
Their love was clear from the beginning.
They were destined to grow old together and have children.
The boy was bad, and she was the only one who could help him.
The girl was naive, new to the city.
They worked together as one, dark meets light.
She would always see the best in him, no matter what.
The bloodstains in the bathroom sink.`
Or the cabinet that she was never allowed to open.
She accepted him for what he was, maybe one day it would get better.
He loved her for her innocent nature.
So different than the girls he was used to.
She never drank, or cursed.
She was modest and never assumed the worst of anyone.
They worked together against the world.
Years went by, she lost some of her ignorance.
She prayed that the red and blue lights wouldn’t be coming for her.
That the bangs she heard at night were just fireworks.
He prayed that she never knew.
She knew that she was a secret.
That she would never meet his family.
She was his salvation, the only thing keeping him going.
He knew that one day he would have to get out of this life.
But he had nowhere to go.
He only had her.
Their acceptance was unspoken.
They knew that it would end soon.
With him in a body bag and her all in black.
The girl from the small town and the rebel from the city.
The whole universe in each others eyes.
Each kiss could be the last.
Each night could be the last time in each other's arms.
She traced his tattoos, swirls of black ink across his arms.
He memorized the feel of her lips against his.
Their time was draining away.
He became more comfortable around her.
Let his walls down.
Let her stich up his cuts, but never told her how:
How he got them, what he did.
She learned not to ask.
Every night she would sit in the dark bedroom.
Armed with whisky and a first aid kit,
Waiting for the slam of the door.
The heavy footsteps to the dreaded cabinet.
Then the footsteps would come into the bedroom.
She would be greeted with a kiss,
And he would hold her.
His escape from the horrors.
His hard shell would fall down, and she knew he was going to be okay.
She would fix him, wounds and soul.
He would stay awake and listen to her breathing.
He would hold her closer.
The unknown, weighing down on his shoulders.
He slept with a knife under the pillow.
He never told her, but she found it one day.
She knew of his unspeakable crimes, but never pushed it.
She knew that she was the only thing that kept him going.
She knew that he would give up his life for her.
Like the prince from the stories her mother read to her so long ago.
Who knew that her prince would be so broken.
Life wasn’t a fairytale, she was sure of that.
But she knew that love was real.
When she looked into his eyes, she saw home.
She was so far gone from that sweet girl from a small town.
He was still the bad boy from the city.
That never changed.
But he became more himself.
She only thing keeping him going during the day.
Knowing that she would be waiting for him.
And then something happened.
There was another one to worry about now.
A little girl, born on a warm summer day.
She looked just like her mother.
He knew that whatever happened, he would always protect them.
He had his family.
Hidden from all evils.
The little girl who smiled at him.
Who only saw him as wonderful.
Just as innocent as her mother was all those years ago.
Their house was full of love.
When he came home at night, he would hear her singing to their daughter.
Then she would come and stitch him up.
Just like all those years ago.
They were hopeful for their life.
Praying that they would grow old together.
He prayed that he could get out, someday.
Without sacrificing his life.
She prayed that she wouldn’t have to worry about the footsteps on the stairs.
That the sirens were farther away than they sounded.
She would hold their daughter tight when she worried.
She worried that their daughter would be left alone in the cruel world.
They would sit with their daughter and watch her.
So afraid that something would happen.
Because everything had gone so right, when would things go wrong.
Maybe they weren’t destined for death.
Maybe they would live forever.
But forever could be defined differently.
To her, forever was being held in his arms.
To him, forever was kissing her and seeing her smile from across the room.
Forever was short moments, but longheld memories.
Forever was staying alive in each other's minds.
The bad boy in the leather jacket and the small town girl with their little girl.
They were the ones that had it all.
But then one night it changed.
The foreboding knock on the front door.
She was armed with her daughter by her side.
The man in blue with a letter in his hand.
He held her as she broke.
They were supposed to be forever.
But his life got the best of him.
Three months later she got his last possessions.
That fateful leather jacket that still smelled like him.
The shirt he had worn, stained with blood.
She placed everything of his in their closet.
She only kept their memories close.
She would raise their little girl knowing who her daddy was.
Not all the bad things he had done, but how much he loved her mom.