By the sea

He looked back and, instead of watching the flaming sun sink behind the cerulean waters, his gaze was captured by the fire in her eyes. And how they burnt his soul… She held his gaze for an eternity of a second and he felt her knowing eyes piercing through his soul, stripping bare the most intimate parts of his being. He was transparent to her as she was to him.

He never thought it possible for two beings to connect as such, transcending words and physicality. Their very existence was intertwined in the most unexpected of ways. Borders became hazy and he could no longer discern where his being ended and hers began…

The black sea of her eyes shifted and swayed, erupting waves in him until she looked away and the connection was severed. His eyes, now released of her dominion, were free to roam on her face, landing on the pink of her lips. The vision awoke in him a distant sweet remembrance of their velvety feel on his skin which still held on to the elusive smell of her proximity…

 

She blushed and her cheeks grew hot with the smoldering fire in her heart. The silence was heavy with unspoken words and undivulged passions. She shuddered at the touch of his hand, her heart beating faster than she thought possible. Her hand still carried the memory of a burning kiss seared onto her skin. She stared at his sinewy hands, wishing they were around her, then at his dark hair catching the light with every blow of the wind. She grew jealous of the light breeze and wished her fingers were ruffling his hair in its stead.

 

“Do you love me?”, she mused. Although knowing full well the answer to her question, she liked to state it, every once and again. Knowing is one thing but hearing it out loud melted her heart…

He smiled, aware of the purpose of the question, having played this game more than once before. “I do”, he replied simply.

A thought however seemed to cloud her mind and the answer did not appease her the way it normally did.

“How do you know you love me?”, she paused, “What is love?”.

The seriousness of the question caught him off guard, yet he smiled again…

“Your heart racing? Butterflies in your stomach? Physical attraction? Admiration? Understanding? What is it?”, she repeated.

He straightened up and faced her, a gleam of defiance in his eyes. “It is none of them. It is all of them. Physical attraction can exist without understanding and the opposite as well. You can admire someone but not love them. Your heart can race on a roller coaster and you can have butterflies in your stomach on your first day at school. This does not make you in love. In twenty years or so, I don’t think you’ll be having butterflies every time I’m back from work.”

The thought made her laugh then she looked at him, perplexed. If none of what she felt for him was love, then what was it? “It’s all of them together then”, she replied.

Amused, he continued, “All of them combined is not enough to explain what falling in love is. Some days you may not find me attractive nor very understanding. Sometimes I do things unworthy of admiration but does it make you love me any less?”. She shook her head.

“What is it then?”, she insisted, eager to hear what he had in store.

“It’s…”, he searched for words. “It’s a choice…”, she looked at him expectantly to continue.” It’s opening my eyes everyday to find you beside me, with our morning breath, messy hair and sleepy eyes.”, she laughed and he went on.“It’s knowing that in fifty years from now, with every wrinkle etched by age onto our faces, I will still believe you are beautiful. It’s hoping that our children will have your eyes and will inherit your mischief. It is wanting to share every moment with you, the good and the bad. It is wanting to be part of everything you go through, encouraging you in your success and carrying with you your pain. I relish in thinking that I would go through life having you by my side… Yes…”, he mused to himself rather than to her. “That’s the word I’ve been looking for: side by side, hand in hand, equals, companions... This is what falling in love with you means to me. My soul is no longer alone, it is part of something bigger. I am no longer just me, I am two people at once, although separate, different and distinct but fused at the deepest level. When the road seems dark for us and one can’t seem to handle the other, I will still be loving you. I can offer you no explanation because I have none… I simply believe in magic, in the mysterious inexplicable turn of things caused by destiny. I believe that Love is magic in our daily life and… loving you…”, he paused. “Oh loving you is a choice I will make over and over again, day after day, as long as you will have me.”, he stopped to catch his breath. He had blurted out everything he felt in one long messy monologue and wondered if she could work any meaning out of his unorganized blabber.

 

His words were received with silence. She gazed at him for a long time then took his hand in hers and, with a tear in her eye, stared back at the sea…

 

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