She wondered if he really had any idea how much she loved him? She would like to think so. She often thought that if there were anyone in the entire world that understood her…COMPLETELY understood her it was him…and yet…did he really know? She tried to tell him often how much she cared….probably too much. She never meant to cheapen it by saying it too often. Each and every time she said it, it was because it was true…but he knew her…and he knew that each time she said it, it had been triggered by something…some thought or memory that had floated through her mind. But she could not help it even now….every time she REALLY stopped to think of it, she had to cry. And she knew he hated to see her cry. He would always try to console her. Even when he was mad at her, she could see the struggle in his heart. He wanted to stop whatever he was doing or saying and hold her. He never wanted to hurt her and if she was hurting he generally did everything within his power to try to “fix” it. And so, she knew when he saw her cry it was always disconcerting for him. But these were not the tears born from the pain of hurt, but the pain of love. She did not understand it. She did not know WHY it hurt to love him so, but it did. When she stopped to think of all they had been through to get where they were today, there was nothing else she could do but cry. There was NOTHING that she would not sacrifice or give up for him. She knew that she could feel that…she could say that…she could do that comfortably and easily, because there was nothing that he would ask of her that she could NOT give.
She hated that he had seen her in her most vulnerable state. It was the one thing she had hoped he would never see. She thought that perhaps someday it would be gone, that it would be healed and she would be whole. She had wanted it to be healed before he would ever have a chance to see it…but she was wrong. She hated it. She knew that it made her vulnerable and often left her confused. And although it had seemed to be lighter, it was still a heavy load to carry. There were times she wondered if it had truly gotten lighter or if she had simply forgotten how heavy it could really get. She knew that it had been eased by the knowledge of his love, but she also knew that she would have to face it…by herself…in the weeks to come. And the thought of that alone was enough to send a shiver down her spine. She tried not to think of it too much, but it seemed that it took up more and more of her time here of late. She knew she would have to be strong…but what if she was not strong enough? It was easy here in the arms of his embrace, to battle those demons, but what would she do when she was alone, separated from him? What would she do when she would have to go back to the place where it all began? How would she be able to keep a clear picture of things when there is no black and white and ALL there is the grey in between? Things get mixed and muddled and confused. It was only his love and the threat of her life that made it clear enough before. And even then it was hard. What would she do now when she would be gone from him…with no way to really keep in touch with him?
She would have to remember. She would have to feel him…as she had SO many times before. Except this time, it would be with the knowledge that he IS real, he IS her love and NOTHING had been able to come between them before. It would not do so now. She would have to remember the touch of his lips against hers, the feel of the back of his hand across her cheek. She would have to remember the smell of him fresh from the shower and the feel of his hair against her face. She would have to remember the way he looked as he slept peacefully next to her and the soft rhythmic sound of his breathing…the only thing that had been able to calm her. She could still hear it inside her head, it had been burned there forever. And she had no doubt that when things got rough or she was alone or afraid, she still be able to hear it…and feel him…and be calmed by it.
She would have to remember WHO she was and WHO’S she was. As of THIS DAY forward, no other man on this earth had any claim to her. She was free at last, to be totally, completely, his. It was the way she was born, it was the way she would die. NO ONE else could ever lay claim to her. This year would end the way it should be. And the new one would begin the way it should have always been….with them navigating through times and worlds and uncharted territories…together.
I am forever yours, my love….immer…D