Lillie and Eli were set in stone.
Trees were carved, forever etched with shaky hands and pocketknives.
Eli had green eyes, and Lillie had brown. When Lillie was young
enough to fit under coffee tables she dreamt of eyes. Hazel eyes.
When Lillie was old enough to shop at Victoria's Secret she saw
Eli's green gems with her own brown shining through to create
unimaginable depths of color. Eli only ever had a crush on Julie
Caldwell, and she moved to Ottawa. He realized how much he was using
Julie to fill the void of love he had in his life when he didn't
miss her, and instead wondered why anybody would move from Chicago to
Ottawa. Lillie was in the park one unusually warm autumn day sitting
on a red plaid blanket with pad Thai in a Ziploc container to finish
her American Lit homework with fresher air than that stuck in the
walls of her home when Eli spotted her. He wandered over slowly, a
smile on his lips. Lillie was humming Bohemian Rhapsody, he realized,
and decided to sing along.
"Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very fright-en-ing!" He concluded with a grin and looked for the fascinating girl's reaction. She laughed. He did too. She noticed the retainer on his upper teeth. He saw the way her hair curled differently by her right eye than her left shoulder. Sparks flew. Dogs barked. The whole world collapsed in a fiery inferno of true, inflammatorily passionate love.
"Lillie. With an i-e."
"May I join you? I have some piling Trig homework and a poppyseed muffin."
"Poppyseed?" Lillie smiles.
"Did you know it's like a drug? You can get addicted to it." Lillie ponders.
"Like love?" Eli blushes.
3 years, 4 months later. It's New Year's Eve, and
these two love struck idiots are huddled together under a barren,
snow-covered tree waiting for the year to change. Eli gets a call
from a friend informing him there's one minute left, according to
loud TV on in the background. Lillie starts counting down from
fifty-nine. Forty-five. Thirty-seven. Twenty-three. Sixteen. Nine.
Eli takes the box out of his pocket. Lillie closes her eyes. Four.
Their breath intermingles in the December air. Two. One. Lillie feels
Eli's hot breath on her tongue and the tingle of something cool on
her finger. Somewhere in the distance, joyous screams and laughter
can be heard. Lillie's head spins as she opens her eyes and sees
Eli on one knee. Goosebumps ensue.
"Lillie. Marry me."
months later, Lillie and Eli are exchanging vows. They say to each
"You are my poppyseed."
Nine months later,
Noella is born.
And she has hazel eyes.