|At Last! Flesh of My Flesh
Author: Ann Elizabeth PM
Sometimes the dreams we have are a little strange. What's stranger still is those who choose to write about them and then elaborate in a somewhat sappy and definitely heart-thrilling romance.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Words: 7,110 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 04-10-06 - id: 2150664
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This started out as a dream…but then turned into a story. It seemed pretty good…so I kept it and decided to post it. As usual, another love story. I hope it's enjoyable.
Today he got up in an exhilarated mood. It was almost like jet-lag, the feeling of coming back to camp after so long. He was consumed with his life and where God was leading him, nowadays. It was time to slow down. He wasn't exactly a counselor this time…but he wasn't exactly a guest either. He had grown enough to want to help with the kids and the adults, but he didn't come back just to do that. There was some part of his heart he left behind here. He'd left it somewhere hidden, like a dog to his bone, and he wondered if he could still find where it was. Or maybe someone else would.
Walking out of the hotel-style doors into the hall, he was aware of how dark it still seemed outside and how everyone, even counselors were asleep at this time of morning. That was perfect for him. He'd slip on down to the dock and have a few moments with God. He slid the glass doors open with a whoosh and went straight ahead to the doors leading out toward the dock. He went past the sanctuary, down the stairs, and to the left, past the worship building. He couldn't wait to be back there again. He used to be in the band, but even in the audience, God was moving powerfully. It was amazing to see those faces at the beginning, the faces of nonchalance and confusion, not quite knowing what to do, turn into faces of longing and of worship towards the end as they come to know God in an intimate and powerful way.
The summer sun was cool this morning, having to reach its rays through dew and mist. But it shined brilliantly, hitting the smooth surface of the water with a softness which only God could pull off. In an overwhelming feeling known deep within the heart of every child, the sun was both bright and warm, but cool and inviting, giving him an unusual sense of energy. As he walked down the road, he didn't see someone at the dock until his bared feet were nearly touching the wood. It was a girl, couldn't be more than seventeen, her legs crossed in an Indian-style sit, holding a fishing pole with one hand, her finger on the line, and bracing her weight on the other hand in a sprawl, as if basking in the sun. He didn't much think his memory failed him, though it often did from time to time, but he was sure he remembered…a girl, up this early, alone, fishing, was a rare sight indeed, and he wasn't just being sexist. Girls, when they got up early, they didn't get up early the first day, that was rare, in and of itself. And once awake, they hung out with their comrades or wrote in their journals, or something…something other than fishing!
He almost didn't want to approach her, she looked so comfortable, and he warred with himself about what to do; after all, he had gotten up this morning to praise God. With his heart the way it was feeling about one entity of the female race, whoever she may be, he wasn't sure he could handle it and still keep his mind where it should be. Finally, he decided he'd be friendly. God knew his intention, it wasn't like he planned to meet this girl here, though it oddly felt like it. The image of God, his heart alone could see, was smiling within him. What thing had He planned?
She had her back to him, a midsized girl and pale as if she hadn't gotten any sun before the summer. She wore Capri pants that came down past her knees and a modest tank. A judgmental part of him already thought highly of her because of her dress. She was dressed for comfort, but also dressed for God. Only a girl after God's own heart would dress this way, knowing, or at least suspecting, she would be alone this morning. Her arms, he could see, weren't scrawny in the least, but well-muscled. Her neckline showed off her delicate collar bone, a cross necklace charm hanging just above the hem. Her short, shoulder-blade-length brown hair was up in a ponytail. She didn't seem to notice him, and he took advantage of that, rolling his feet, treading softly, so as not to make any noise on the wood and not to make the dock tell of his coming. At where she sat and how, she would feel him coming in the vibration of the wood and the rippling of the water if he wasn't careful. As he reached her, she didn't turn her head in surprise, as he thought she would, she only continued to smile out at the water as he took a seat beside her. He bent his legs, placed his feet apart, and rested his elbows on his knees, looking from the spot that she stared at, to her face so full of wonder and amusement.
"Hi," he almost whispered, not wanting to break the magic of the morning. She sat up straighter in excitement and put her fingers to her thin lips. After a few moments of observation, (for God had taught him that staying silent, watching and listening was a good thing), he found that her finger at the base of her line had tightened slightly and the end of her pole gave a jerk every few seconds. She was about to catch a fish. In a moment, her fishing rod bowed completely and she gave a great jerk, reeling in quickly. But the time it took her to reel, she wasn't down far. It was a cool morning, most bottom dwelling fish would have been toward the surface at this time of day. Yet, she didn't use a bobber. He thought it odd that he noticed that particular detail, but was saved from his absurd thoughts as a shining fish, no bigger than his hand, came wriggling out of the water. As she carefully pulled her rod in to grasp the fish, she said, "If only fishing men were that easy," in a light tone. "Come with Me and I will make you fishers of men," came to his mind, and he laughed, not so gently, breaking the morning silence. She was absolutely right. Often times, the things God asked him to do were so frustrating, the sinful part of him always present wanted to give up. Not everyone listened to truth, especially coming from a fellow who had the capability of being dishonest.
She looked over at him and there it was, the surprise she hadn't felt at his coming and sitting down beside her. His smile faded a bit. It was a mix of astonishment and fear in her eyes. Not a fear that had one shaking in their boots, but a fear which came in the aftermath of something wonderful and terrible at the same time, like a thunderstorm or a near death experience. "What?" he asked, remnants of merriment, now edged with concern, still in his voice.
She tore her eyes away to grasp the dangling fish closely, showing great patience and gentleness as she carefully wrapped her hand around it, flattening the spiked edges of its dorsal fins. If, by chance, the fish wriggled again, as instinct beckoned it to do, she would be safe from his fins and he, the fish, would be safe—the sooner she got this hook out of him and into the water, the less havoc she would wreak in his life. She gave thanks to God that the hook was cleanly in his lip and not swallowed. It broke here heart, to kill a fish, and she certainly didn't want to do it here.
He just watched her, take the fish off, splash him back in the water, and reach in her tackle for a new worm. She bated it quickly and put the hidden hook back in the water. With her finger secured on the line, she looked at him again, this time with a smile. "Sorry," she said quietly, almost ashamedly. "I just…know who you are, but I've never met you before."
It was a strange thing for her to say and the second it came out of her mouth she looked as if she wished she'd never said it. She set her jaw in cruel amusement, scolding herself no doubt, and looked out toward the water. He crossed his legs as she did, placing his hands in front of him, fingers laced together. He cleared his throat, "I didn't know anyone would be here."
She looked at him quickly in alarm. "No, that's ok." She laughed at herself and rolled her eyes before looking back at the water. "It's not like I own the dock or anything. You have ever right to be here," she said, nodding emphatically. The waited in silence for a long moment before she continued. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"
He looked at the water. Because of the sun, it was as if the sky, the earth, and the water had no end, only blended into one another in only a slight change of texture. God's canvas showed a clear blue sky edged with a bright orange-yellow from behind the trees to their left. "Yeah," he said, praising God for all His beauty. Suddenly, he found a new perspective. He didn't know exactly how to place it, only that it had something to do with God, of course, and His gift of fellowship. "So…" he paused, not knowing if he should even go there, as it created an awkward moment before and was sure to again. But his curiosity was burning. "How do you know me if we've never met before."
She laughed. "It's so complicated. I…well, I've heard a lot about you."
He was intrigued and showed that intrigue in an almost surreptitious grin. "Oh really?" he asked. It did wonders to lighten the mood. She laughed at his face as well as the tone of his voice. She doubted he'd be offended at all, if what she thought of him was correct. She already felt like she knew him, but now that she'd actually met him, she felt the suppressed feeling again in spades. It was not only the feeling of knowing him, but the feeling of not knowing him enough that got her attention. She'd be a fool if she said she knew him, but she still couldn't help feeling that she'd pegged his character pretty well. But she reminded herself that humans were surprising creatures.
"Well," she continued, "We share common friends." And they've told me all about you, she thought.
"Okay?" he stated, as if to say, "And that tells me, what exactly?"
She explained the whole thing to him, being sure to guard the heart of both the friends whom they shared. There was a lot of history, a lot of stubbornness, and a lot of miscommunication that only she knew the depths of. She was the outsider looking in, you might say. It wasn't that she knew more, just that she could see what they couldn't. When he'd heard their names, his eyebrows went up in surprise. Suddenly a wave of questions entered his mind and reverberated off of his heart. One of the girls he'd heard from quite regularly until a few months ago, and the other he hadn't heard from in years. He'd wondered about his last letter to her, wanting to call her, and suddenly felt remorse now for not doing so. When she had finished, he asked, "How are they?"
Her face was gleeful. "Oh, they're great, both enjoying their summer break from college. They're on different roads, but all of us still keep in touch."
They're on different roads. Somehow, that statement bothered him. "And who are you?"
She looked at him blankly before she realized in all her talk about her friends, she'd forgotten to introduce herself. "Oh my gosh!" she said with astonishment, introducing herself with a handshake. "I'm Amy."
"I'm Jake," he said, "but I guess you already knew that." They both laughed. He found himself examining her laugh. It was reined, most definitely, but what little he heard of it rang true. He knew absolutely nothing about her, he realized. It was a weird time to realize such a thing, he knew, but he realized it and got to his feet. She followed him with her eyes, squinting up at him. "I've got to go," he said, looking down at his feet. He had to get his Bible and his journal and his shoes, before breakfast and morning worship. "I'll probably see you later, but if you talk to Kelly and Sarah, tell them I said hello."
His back was turned to her when she said, as if stating the time, or the weather, "They're here. They'll be very excited to see you."
He turned and looked at her in amazement. His friendship with them was definitely put on the back burner for a while in his life. He was older than they were, though that played a minimal role in it all, but God had a different road for him to take, new things to learn. He didn't give much thought to seeing them again, but now that he did, it was like a stone at the bottom of his stomach. He now saw that it was a time in his life where God took him down somewhere new, somewhere where scary outweighed the exciting and joyous at times. He was not looking forward to seeing his two good friends, for fear of what it might bring, but felt himself wishing that his gut instinct and heart-felt thankfulness was true. Maybe God had sent reinforcements…a girl no more than…wait a minute!
"How old are you, Amy?"
Her head jerked once, only once, as if bewildered by his statement. As he stood there thinking she had reeled in her line, the worm long-since nibbled down to nothing in her distraction, and was now repacking her very small tackle. She was crouched on the tip of her toes, hunched over her work. She straightened, balancing herself with her elbows on her knees. "Twenty," she declared, giving him no other explanation.
That must mean that they were about the same age, he thought, referring to his two long-lost friends. It was so long ago that he'd met them, and they were only fifteen at the time. Was it really five years ago? "Wow."
She smiled at him a charming smile. "I know," she said, reading the expression on his face at it suddenly lit up with realization.
He turned toward her further. "Are you three here with your youth group?" he asked, squinting his eyes in an air of confusion. Again she read his thoughts. They were a little too old to be in a youth group, weren't they? She thought about that a long moment. For some years, God had led her away from her youth group, toward a new church. During her first few years of college, she had attended that church regularly, still feeling as if First Baptist was family. Her and her old youth counselor had gotten together and they were asked to help chaperone for their latest trip to Camp. The three girls were thrilled, to say the very least. As a closer comparison, they were ecstatic, to be able to come back to Camp, and not necessarily as a youth, which would put them quite a few steps back in their spiritual growth, but to learn as a counselor, as an adult would. They had said yes instantly, and saved up their money collectively so that they could attend.
"Yeah, but we're counselors this year," she said with a giggle. His heart gave a little jump, as he knew that they were going to be sharing classes with him and things of that nature. He was here alone, as part of the Camp staff again for the summer. He'd called up a buddy of his, telling him of God's prompting him to attend Camp this year. He couldn't be in the band again, obviously, but he didn't want to just attend. Laziness was a bad habit, but one well realized at his age. Laziness just didn't cut it in his life, as an adult and as a Christian. He had opted to help out at Camp, but he still wanted to attend, feeling less called to teach and minister, but to learn and grow. He ended the conversation kind of awkwardly, considering he didn't know quite how to describe the feeling God was giving him, but he knew God and he knew God knew what He was doing.
"Ok," was all he said, as he was reluctant to leave, but knowing he must. "Well," he put up his hand in a half wave, half salute. "See you around then, I guess."
Taking her things up to her room and setting them down, the left as unnoticed as she had entered as the girls she was placed in the room with were getting ready for breakfast and morning worship. The carpet felt wonderful on her bare feet, especially after she'd had to walk over quickly-warming asphalt to get here. She'd caught one fish, one fish all morning, leaving before any of the guys started to fish. It was a wonder more boys weren't out there, for the nice morning it was. Thinking back, she supposed that was a God-thing. Crossing the hall a ways, she knocked on Sarah's door. When her friend answered, in her pajamas and wiping her face from just brushing her teeth, Amy pulled her out and down the hall. "What is going on!" she exclaimed in a half-hearted protest at being pulled. Something about Amy's face made her worried enough to follow, but that didn't mean she wasn't paranoid.
After setting down in a chair, urging Sarah to sit down across from her, she let out in almost a squeal what was aching at her to tell. "Jake is here."
"Yes," she said, bringing her voice down again. In almost a continuous breath, she told Sarah every detail. After her tale, both were silent. "Should we tell Kelly?"
Sarah's lips tightened as she asked herself the same question. "No," she finally said, knowing her friend all too well. Kelly was a tad bit attached to Jake…or, at least, she used to be. It was hard to judge her reaction now.
"That's what I was thinking," said Amy, not wanting to make the decision herself, but already having made the decision in her heart. She knew it would be better, that was, if at some random moment she saw him instead of being told and then actually thinking and stewing over what she would say or do. She worried about those things. Who didn't, under the circumstances?
After collaborating a few moments more, the girls went back to their corresponding rooms to get ready as the others were, making a pact to not say a word about the man Kelly chose to rid herself of. It was nothing he'd done wrong, but everything that she felt for him that was distracting her from being where she needed to be with God. Amy never agreed about the way Kelly did this. She felt he should have been given the love and caring enough to know that she wasn't going to contact him for all these years instead of the friendship just dwindling away, but she couldn't have guessed what God had planned and she trusted Him more than she trusted herself. She knew that He would bring Kelly to counsel much gentler and much more understandable than she ever could. She had dealt with that fact and moved on, still keeping in the back of her mind, the friendship she used to hear so often about.
The moment Kelly saw him was predictable. A mere moment of freaking out, followed by the cover of maturity which she had learned over the years. It didn't change the fact that she was totally flipped about him being in the same Dining Hall as him after so long, but it changed her reaction considerably. Kelly wasn't seventeen anymore. Meeting him again after all these years reminded her of the feelings she once had for him, but helped her, also, to give that relationship more so to God, than dwell on it. So, you see, her reaction was predictable, but Amy and Sarah didn't give much thought to predicting such an outcome.
I could go on to tell of that moment in detail, but I didn't dream that far. I skipped over to a moment when both youth and counselors were given a time to "do whatever." That's where my dream picks up next. And this isn't all adream, you know. Only the beginning, before Sarah and Kelly even enter the picture, was a dream. But now it turns into the vision, not of a dreamer, but of a writer, between which there is a very small, but real, difference. Dreams can become real, but images from a writers mind of mostly made up and were more than likely not to come true.
They had met again and talked different times, all of which were in the presence of a friend or fellow-counselors. He'd prayed about his relationships more than ever now that he was finding his friends and making new ones. He also prayed about her, for she stirred such feeling within him. It wasn't necessarily a romantic feeling and it definitely was not a lustful feeling, though he did think her attractive if he'd taken the time to sit down and think about it, which he didn't, but it was more of a longing to be a closer friend with her than anything else. That was something quite similar to the way he'd felt when he'd first gotten saved and that alarmed him enough to "act natural" and keep his distance.
But as he saw her sitting alone in the corner of a chair, writing in a book he suspected was her journal, he followed the overwhelming urge to go and talk to her. He had that feeling now whenever he met someone from the past. Sarah and Kelly along with lots of his other friends, some of which he didn't even remember he knew. He sat down, not on the couch beside her, but in a chair beside the couch. Her recognition of him could hardly be seen to one who wasn't looking. It was not a nod or a word or a raising of the eyebrows. It was more of an eye flicker, but still, that isn't even quite right. Maybe just an atmospheric change. Nonetheless, he knew that she knew that he was there, so he waited quietly, turning a glance at her writing.
He almost laughed because he couldn't make out what it said from this far away. Her handwriting was so tiny! The journal itself was pink, the pale yellow pages widely ruled and spiral bound together. As she finished a line, she dotted her period fiercely, as one pleased with her work, shut the book and looked up at him with a smile.
"How do you write so small!?" he asked, making her laugh.
Everyone said that. She did write uncommonly small, but she could read it and she knew God could read it, and that was the important thing. Shoot, God could even read it before she put it down on paper, for everything she wrote in that pink book was from her heart. She shrugged, "I'm slightly and non-clinically obsessive compulsive. I like everything to be neat, so I write neat. I have the ability to be messy, especially when I'm in a hurry, as I have the ability to be spontaneous; I just choose not to do so, on a regular basis." She had rehearsed this so many times with others that she rattled it off, without thinking that there was no need to say more.
So she's a neat person, he thought. He could see that by the way her hair was always pulled back in either a ponytail or a bun, and given the texture of the ponytail itself, she slicked back untamed tendrils in some way. Hairspray maybe. He thought about this and then recoiled. What was he doing, thinking like a girl? This was ridiculous. He was a very observant person, but never this observant. "What are you writing?" (And let me take the time to point out the amazing ability humans have of thinking one thing and saying something totally different).
She felt kind of embarrassed still from her admittance of her non-clinical, non-proven-medically, obsessive compulsiveness (in other words, her tendency to be a perfectionist). She didn't think it could get much worse on the embarrassment scale, so she said, in truth, "It's a book of letters to my husband."
His eyebrows raised and his brow furrowed as they did so, "You're married?" His gaze instantly flew to her left hand, which held on its ring finger a shining silver band. He didn't make a habit of checking for such a token, so first he scolded himself for not checking, then he scolded himself for scolding himself because it wasn't like he was a love-hungry teenager. Let's be mature, he told himself.
She shook her head and giggled, halting his thoughts in their tracks. "No, my future husband." She took the band off and held it out to him. He took it and she leaned toward him, pointing inside it. On the inside was engraved "At last! Flesh of my flesh" quoting Adam's impassioned words of thanks to God for giving him the gift of Eve. It took Jake a moment to realize that it was a promise ring, cleverly crafted aside from the commercial promise rings you find in any Christian store these days.
As he was silent, she spoke softly. "I bought it when I graduated high school. I took an actual silver wedding band and had it engraved as a promise ring. Not on the outside, but on the inside. I thought, what is a promise such as that if not a promise of a pure marriage. So I got a pure-marriage ring. This ring is silver but my wedding band will be gold, as God purifies and forges a marriage as gold. It cost me a pretty penny, but it's worth it. A marriage such as God intended it is priceless."
"Wow," he said again, for the second time after he'd met her. There was another hitch in his stomach.
She blushed and looked down. "It's kind of silly," she stated and then brushed the statement away as he handed the ring back to her. He thought of putting it on her finger, but that brought on an emotion which went way beyond respect, and so he sent a prayer up to God to help him.
In the fifteen minutes it took for that interlude, her friends came and got her to go get ice-cream, inviting him along too. He went and couldn't stop smiling as the he and the girls got into a very Godly discussion. It was somewhat political, but each was sharing their feelings about God, sharing their trials, and fellowshipping in a beautiful way. The joy in his heart was overflowing as he realized he had his friendship rekindled and matured with Sarah and Kelly. It was a different friendship, but it was one that was quickly running deep. What perplexed him was this new relationship he had with Amy.
There my vision fades again. Now, since I'm the author and I know the character, I know that he has already shared his first kiss and she…well she has waiting longingly and definitely not easily, for her first kiss. She wants to save it for marriage, you see. Well, I want her to save it for marriage too, but I'm getting quite a bit different image. My writer's vision is this…
They have the same hair color, the same God, and the same values. Well, the hair color is irrelevant, but the same God and same values gives them a foundation on which they can learn and respect and accept and begin to love each others differences. After the summer at Camp ends and eventually summer ends, Amy and Jake stay in touch, via phone and e-mail, learning about each other. Every now and then, Jake would say, "We should get together and do something." Of course, when he said "we," he meant him, her, one of his friends, and one or two of her friends, for he had too much respect for her (that and he felt it was the wrong time in both of their lives) to ask her to go out with just himself. "On a date," if you will. So Jake would say that and they'd plan it out and they would hang out for a day, every so often, when everyone didn't have to work. Those days were few and far between, because not everyone had the same days off of work. But if you added up those days out of the two years, you'd get about 6 months. It was in the middle of her Senior year in college…if you've kept up with the math, she was 22 and he was 28. 28 seems a little farfetched, because I was toward the end of elementary school when my mother turned 30 and here Jake was, wasn't married, didn't have kids. But if you wait for the right person and you wait long enough…God blesses you, age doesn't really matter, only that he was well into his career and she was a year or so into starting hers, a semester away from being through with her education.
Like I said (and don't slaughter me, you readers, for this is where my vision is running with me, I simply follow), she wants to wait for "the right person" a.k.a. marriage before she shares her first kiss. I'm a horrible romantic, and being that as it may…
Her cell phone rang while she was going through some pictures. She was bent over her battered wooden table, matting a picture she had recently taken. She had matted pictures all over her walls, and some still on the walls of friends and family. If you counted the number of pictures a photographer takes from the time he starts out to the time he dies, they will amount to the number of starts in the sky, or very, very close to that number.
So she was matting a picture and he called her. His heart was pounding when she picked up the phone and it began to pound as they made light conversation. He'd talked to Kelly too, having been told by her about her crush on him. They were great friends now, God having led them back to each other. He sought her counsel second (the first being his own friend), wanting her to be okay with what he was about to do as well as seek advice about how to go about it. Her response, to his irritation, was "Just do it!" which was the same thing God was telling him to do and it was the same thing that his friend told him to do as well. God had spoken to him many times about this and the answer was still the same. It was like Moses and the burning bush where He says to Moses, "I will give you the words to say."
Their light conversation ended and he took the plunge. "We should get together and do something," he said, as was customary every so often. On a random phone call, he'd say that to her, and she wasn't at all surprised for Kelly, excitedly and wisely, told no one but Sarah, and they both kept their promise not to warn their friend even the slightest bit. She just went with it.
"I don't know everybody's got something going on, I think. I'm off work this weekend, but I don't think anyone else is."
He wasn't off work this weekend, but he decided he'd call in sick. This was important to him, you see. "Well, I was thinking maybe just you and me." He realized, for the importance that it was, he was going about it the wrong way. He was making it sound like just another evening outing, when he was trying to make it an actual dating situation. He wanted to do this for real. He amended his tone as she listened intently on the other end. He couldn't hear or see her reaction, which made things ten times as frightening as they actually were. "I mean…well, what I mean is, like, on a date, maybe? You know, a nice restaurant, absolutely no fast food. A dinner, a movie, that sort of thing, for, oh, I don't know, every time we can get away to see each other?"
Uh-oh, he thought. Now he had made it sound too important. Like, maybe he was proposing marriage. Well, deep down, he wanted to, but that wasn't exactly the right thing to do, now was it. He winced, but he couldn't very well take the words back now.
"You mean like…on a date?"
He had already said "on a date," so he began to get impatient before he realized that she hadn't dated anyone (she'd told him) in six years. Shoot, he hadn't dated anyone in nearly twice that long. You could expect some confusion and awkwardness after that long. Don't get me wrong, being single is a wonderful thing. God needs some people to be single longer than others. Jake then realized the right words to say, the words which unbeknownst to him, she was waiting on.
"Yeah…can I, like, court you? Date you, court you, I don't know, but…I just feel like you've become more than just a friend to me…"
There was dead silence on the other end, but he knew she hadn't hung up on him because he could still here the fuzzy sound you hear when the line is picked up, the same sound your mother heard when she caught you picking up the other end of the telephone on a private conversation. Yeah, and you thought she was psychic. Anyway, what he didn't know is that she had covered the phone with a towel and was praying and crying and praying…asking God, for one, for Jake to be patient to wait until she got done praying, and for two, it had been so long since she'd trusted her heart to someone in a deep relationship and she felt that she could but she definitely for all the world couldn't do it without God. So tears were streaming down her face when she got that little jump in here heart and that warm feeling in her stomach. She got her voice under control and said yes in the most enthusiastic way.
Vision blurring again, hopping over to the next part of the story…
They had been dating/courting for nearly four months now. Looking back, it wasn't as long as she'd had expected it to be…but she'd gotten her true desire of being married to a very good friend instead of someone she'd "just dated." It was a complicated wish that she'd asked God for, to have this guy show up out of the blue but not want to date her until they were good friends…absence makes the heart grow fonder, stuff like that. She knew if it were to come true then she needed to be patient as she waited…and wait she did, until—God knowing what was in her heart of hearts—her wish was granted. So here she was, courting a man (a mature man, not an immature boy) whose voice had deepened considerably with age, whom she loved with all her heart. Soon he proposed and her silver promise ring which she still keeps on a chain around her neck to this day, was replaced with a gold wedding band. She hadn't envisioned gold as her wedding band either, because she liked platinum and silver way better than gold…but it wasn't a golden gold (a.k.a. "yellow gold"), but a white gold band, which he got for her because he knew she'd like it. You're thinking, "Duh, why didn't she think of white gold all along," and that's because when she thought of her wedding and her engagement and her rings, she was a senior in high school. It just didn't occur.
Her first kiss was not on her wedding day, how she had half-wanted and thoroughly expected it to be. I say only half-wanted because the other, weaker half of her really wanted her first kiss way before that. But anyway, they were engaged, on a date, he was walking her to the door of her apartment and she was looking down at her engagement ring, and the promise ring which she had already placed around her neck (he bought her a very delicate chain, which he said, knowing her aversion for impractical, yet pretty, delicate chains "if it breaks, I'll buy you a new one, so don't say a word"…it made her smile, because she was already crying, having been just asked to marry him). Breaking one of the rules of their engagement (for they wanted a modest one) he hugged her and held her in that hug, truly holding her as a husband would hold his wife, though they weren't married yet. It was just that she'd gotten such a sad look on her face when she looked down at her ring. It wasn't sad exactly, he knew. It was frightened. Here she was, twenty-four years old and about to be married. He was nearly 30, for crying out loud. It seemed to her, all a little distant and all happening too fast. But when he held her, she was comforted and knew that if he knew that what she wanted most was to be held and broke their "rules" (for he did know and that's why he did it) just for that need, then it was all going to be ok. What she desired most, behind living for God, was a mature marriage. One that lasted happily until they died.
And so, he loosened his hold on her, tipping her chin with his fingers, causing her to look up at him. In that transition from being sad and being held, a tear had fallen, leaving a stain of its path in its wake. He leaned forward and kissed her softly in permission. It was a permission kiss, because to be truly kissed, means more than just, like, a second or two. It means a kiss with feeling, with passion, (not necessarily a French kiss, but one that lasts beyond the connection of lips). She leaned toward him, giving her permission…and thus they shared their kiss. A magical kiss, albeit a little clumsy on her part.
My vision fades and finally fades away, as all of you that know my writing, know that they lived happily ever after, through all the tears and the stress…and it's nearly four in the morning and I have to find a disk to save this to, because I want to keep this. Some love stories I end up throwing out because they indulge lust instead of love. This one is a love story…and so…I shall keep it. Yes, yes, the ending is kind of bland, lacking pizazz and what have you...but that kiss is the point at which all romantics around the world must, in unison, sigh.