May 17, 2016... It was one of those moments that feels like yesterday for eternity. And I wish it were. Yesterday. Because then there would still be time.
His hands were shaking. He was so nervous, it was adorable. I don’t mean that in a sense of emasculating him. Truly! It’s a compliment in the highest regard, at least coming from me. I almost said precious, but I feel as if that is even worse.
His left hand, several visible calluses already giving me hints at the answers behind such an enigmatic situation, was tapping endlessly against the wooden table tucked perfectly in the booth highlighted in warm ambience at the back corner. I was sure he wasn’t embarrassed to meet me. I’m sure it was only precautionary to be hidden so deep within the restaurant. Then again, hostesses often choose such details. There was no way they were in on this together, was there? No, I was only being foolish. I was doing this as a favor to Moriene. But then again, so was he.
Considering all, he had no idea what to expect. Moriene had said I was beautiful, but what does that mean to anyone these days? Beauty is only a surface layer perception to some, and a layers deep journey for others. So, really, calling me beautiful allows no easement of the mind, especially considering I’m her seemingly desperate, single friend. So, truly, she could simply be calling me beautiful because he wouldn’t have said yes otherwise and I’m her friend which means she has no choice but to be an exceptional wingman after all the times I have laid everything on the line for her.
His right hand is shaking on his thigh as it wriggles up and down anxiously. Am I that nerve racking? I’m sure some women would find that flattering, but honestly, all I feel is mounting insecurity. Why is he so nervous? Why is he hiding in the corner? Why did I ever agree to do this? From here he does look rather welcoming and beautiful in a masculine sense, again I do not mean to cause any feelings of emasculation in my unthought through commentary. But what are questions worth if you never discover the answers behind their looming, yet simultaneously revolting presence? So I indulge, head first diving in to seek out answers. After all, it was only one night of my life, right? What’s the harm?
He stands up as I approach, still shaking, visibly attempting to pull himself together as I pull out my “It’s nice to meet you,” smile. He throws out his hand abruptly to greet me, no words, just a thrusted hand, a sudden firmness demanding his attention.
“Hi.” It was the last thing I expected; for one word, one syllable, one shake, one voice, one person, to stop me in my tracks, to take my breath away. It was crazy, really, that in that moment I knew. That once upon a time, once upon that completely magical and entirely unexpected night, I lost my heart to the man of my dreams, lost my breath at the introduction of his voice, lost myself to the power of love. And now, now I am losing him to the power of other forces. Forces stronger than midnight’s whim. It’s been years since that night. Years that we have built a life together. Years that we have laughed at our awkward first moments. Years that we have paced down tree limb canopy covered pathways to beautiful destinations that deepened the unbelievable perfection of him and I. Years of sharing stories and discovering the answers. Years of uncovering little quirks and laughing at the seemingly miniscule things that highlighted our world. Years of stressing over bills, but smiling in the midst of the temptation of deprivation because we had each other, as cheesy as it sounds, it was nothing but lived out redefined factualities. That anything can be beautiful. That no secret is too daunting to discover. That no amount of yearsa is too long with the right one. It’s been years since that perfect night. Years of love. Years of happiness. Years of invincibility. But Fate is a foolish mistress and a dangerous game. She will play into your hands until things are too smooth, suddenly she’s bored and embodied by an impulse to “spice things up.” And just like that, because Fate got bored, I watched him slip from my fingers, strive for another final breath in my arms as I once lost my breath in his, all those nights ago, all because Fate got bored. Oh, Fate, a cruel and painful mistress. Why must you corrupt such pure passion? Why not cast out impurity as your middle name? If I could change my name, so might you. Spare me, Fate. Spare him. After all, was it not your own love of passion and drama and impossible coincidence that ordained that night, all those years ago? Don’t abandon me, Fate. You have been so good to me so far. Don’t sever our long-lived companionship now. I beg of you, mistress, forgive me if I have failed you by falling too hard, but do not strip everything from me. For he is my key to happiness. Would you really deprive me of my happiness?
But she had long since made up her mind. She wasn’t horrid or putrid. She was hurt and betrayed. And with the power to react with a certain harshness, the depth of which she herself did not even understand, she struck him down. Her answer was yes. And so, as he swallowed his final breath, nothing but piercing love defining his gaze, happiness was ripped from me, and Fate was forever locked away as a vicious mistress.
My hands were shaking. I was so nervous, she really was beautiful. I had no idea what to expect when Morience told me she wanted me to meet her beautiful friend. But beautiful seemed to be the most possibly modest adjective she could think to use, as the face that stood several yards away from me, was beyond beautiful. She was an angel. It’s cheesy perhaps, but it’s true. Suddenly, I felt so unprepared. It’d been two years since Elane left me. My heart was still in pieces, even though I told everyone I was fine, healed, over it. I still felt as if I remained in pieces. And it only left me more terrified that this girl was making her way towards me now. Was I ready? Should I run? What do I say? I should find a way out. I’m not ready. But, suddenly she’s right there. Right in front of me. Standing, a simple smile spreading across her face, raising up the silver stars in her eyes from their prior hidden state. She was daunting. She was too much. But, she was already here, so what could I do but say,
“Hi,” and suddenly her simplicity turned to intrigue and her intrigue turned to my relaxation and my relaxation turned to relation over the mutual sense of uncomfortability of this moment and relation turned to something more. What at that moment I didn’t have a word to describe. But, now, years later I know the word was one that crafted the pathway to love. A love made for Hallmark alone, but yet was in my arms. But love so profound and so unscathed, cannot live they say. And as Fate would have it, that was so. And so, out of nowhere, walking down our usual canopy covered pathway to meet the girl of my dreams for our last night of wedding preparations, I felt my head collide with the ground and every part of me begin to shake out of my control. The shaking stopped when she wrapped me in her arms, tears slipping from her starcrossed eyes to my failing figure. It was true, I loved her with all I was, and I prayed I would stay. I prayed to my Father in Heaven, but He had a different plan for me, and I knew I must respect that. I loved her with all I was, but it was time to be with my Heavenly Father. My story was over now, it seemed. But I knew He would take care of her and she would go on. So, with my final breaths I said what I had said all those years ago on that night,
“I’m so glad I met you,” and because it had been years since that night I finished with the only words left to be said, “and I love you. Now, go, I love you, but I am leaving, so please be free.” Another tear cascaded from her puffy, perfectly rosey cheeks.
“I love you too. Go in peace, I’ll always love you, but I will be free.” And at that, I felt her body almost relax as she scooped up my body, growing more and more limp, and she pressed her lips to my forehead, and I felt everything in me let go. And I watched the sunset decorate God’s great sky. And I saw Him reach out his hand to me as I fell from one world to greet the next, praying for my love as I floated away. I knew we would meet again, because God would not forsake her. And that was the end of our story, making way for the beautiful beginning of a new one, in some restaurant somewhere, two people destined for each other are meeting and falling, as I am floating and she is crying and the world is spinning and people are living and life goes on.