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this is for you.

“Have you ever been in love”?

A strange question to ask a stranger.

 

“Not for a long time” she told him.

 

He asked her why. Asked if this, not loving, had been her choice.

For a moment, she wanted to tell him yes. But his eyes asked for truth and she had outgrown her need for lies.

 

“No.”

 

She told him few things move her more than the elusive love.

Spoke to him of subtleties of heart that come only when one gives theirs away. Told him of the way one comes to know the intricacies of a Lover’s hands, the rhythm of their breath when they sleep, the way two bodies become sacred when hearts are stripped of the pretense of strength.

 

“There is something about being vulnerable to another, letting someone see those parts that even you don’t hold dear. Something about letting them love you anyway. Discovering new parts of your self along the way. Parts that didn’t seem to exist before the one you would come to call Love came in.”

 

She doesn’t think to ask him if he’s ever been in love.

 

She doesn’t need to.

 

He smiles with the innocence of a man who knows little of suffering.

 

When he smiles she forgets she has ever suffered a moment.

 

He tells her she looks like a woman who loves.

 

She asks him what he means.

 

He’s not sure.

 

“There is just something about you.

The way you hold your hands or, or the way you move.”

 

“I hadn’t noticed.”

 

“But it is there.”

 

She can only nod, averting her eyes.

 

He wants to know her stories. Parts of her that live inside, little things she can’t afford to say.

 

She tells him stories written in her search not for truth but for what is true. Tells him stories inscribed on her heart in moments when the weight of the world became too much. Moments before she learned to be free.

 

His eyes are closed.

 

“I see you”, he says. Touches her hand.

 

Her eyes are open.

 

She looks, watches his hand on hers wonders if he can feel the truth.

 

If he knows that she is frightened.

 

If she knows that he is, too.

 

Tells her he wants to try.

 

That he doesn’t understand but that he sees her and he wants to try.

 

She thinks of the way she has grown weary of trying. Remembers when she said she was tired of crying of longing, for something she fails to define.

 

She opens her heart, scar tissue tattered. Well loved.

 

Shows it to him, trembling.

 

Says,

 

“this for you. It’s been broken a few times but I’ve done my best.

 

And it still works.

 

Please, be gentle.”