Stories, Shortly

We made it a point to make it out to the beach about once or twice a week. Something relaxing to look forward to. As we walked side by side, I could feel the sun-warmed sand falling between my toes, the ocean mist spraying my tanned face, and the tight embrace of her hand laced in mine. I paused, taking a moment to savor all that I was feeling. She walked on, raising her hand behind her as I lifted mine, not wanting to let go, but instead, she twirled into me, and we danced a quiet, soft waltz in the sand. “What are you thinking about?”, she would always ask. “You.”, was my usual answer, but I stopped dancing and listened. After a brief silence, I responded,

“You know the moments inbetween the crashing of waves on the shore? Where the water rushes in, as far as it can, and then momentarily stops? Right there, in the seconds between the waves, is where my love waits for you. When you take notice of that moment, it lasts an eternity, as will my love ever last for you.”

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We drove up to the peaks again. Something about being so far away from civilization ignited both of our souls, so we packed food for an overnight car camping trip, brought the dog, and made our way up the mountains. We laid there, as she drew star charts, mapping out the cosmos. A symphony of crickets conducted by the night sky played as she hummed along, making points on her map. I studied her freckles, making my own star chart upon the pages of my heart. She looked up and caught me staring at her big, brown eyes. “You dork,” she poked playfully. “A sky full of stars and you’re staring at me?”

“Yeah,” I laughed softly.

“A sky full of stars and I’m staring at you.”

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We both agreed that should we ever be lucky enough to buy a house, it sure as hell better have a fireplace. And as luck would have it, ours did. The rains were heavy this time of year, and we sat there, bundled up on the couch, listening to the pitter-patter of rain on the porch. We laid there, our bodies a harmonious fusion of one another, legs and arms entwined in an endless dance. The hearth would pop and crackle, breaking us from our nap, and we would chuckle softly as we held each other tighter, not letting any warmth escape. For me, love was never an extravagant night out, or a caucaphonous fireworks show, though those do have their place. No, to me, love was simple. Love was having our hearts beat as one, to the rhythm of the fire, just as the universe had intended, all while the rains washed away the cruelties of the world.

Love was, and is, you.

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~LT

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