She looked up to me with her big brown eyes. I couldn’t help but smile behind the book I was pretending to read.
“Tell me something.” She said with a smile on the corners of her lips.
“Tell you what?” I replied as I closed I Sat By The River Piedra and Wept, and looked back.
“Anything.” She was teasing me, I decided.
“I love you.” I said and planted a careful kiss on her cheek. My reply sounded like a question than an answer.
“I know that already.” She said looking at the blue heavens.
“And how do you know?” I teased back. The smell of her hair that lingered on my nostrils was like an anxiolytic drug.
“I just do.” She answered. Even though I couldn’t see her face, I somehow knew that she was smiling.
“Do you love me?” I asked. I knew the answer of course. I just wanted to hear it again. Even the excitement of hearing the words from her lips made it sound like a chuckle.
“I do, I think.” she said.
“You think?!” I retorted. And she laughed. It was contagious. I started laughing too.
And then there was silence, absolute that I could hear my self breathe. I could feel her slow breathing on my chest. The place overwhelmed us again, consumed by the majesty of the moment that seemed to hover.
“Of course I do. I don’t seem to care about my thoughts anymore.” She suddenly said, so softly that it was more like a whisper. I found myself standing on the moon. I wrapped my arms around her, my hands on hers, locking her in an embrace that says that I wouldn’t let go. We we’re so close and yet I was missing her so much. But standing on the verge of something I couldn’t stop was a worse torment.
“I know.” I whispered back fighting the urge to turn her head and kiss her.
“How do you know?” She asked, our fingers intertwined, playing with each other mimicking our united souls. “That I love you?”
“I just do.” We both heaved our deepest breath and sighed. “I never think. Not anymore.” She just replied with a careful smile and a look obviously screaming ‘I told you so.’
We both fell silent again. She took a piece of yellow paper from her pocket. After a few moments, she stood up, offered me her hand, and gave me a smile that rivaled the beauty of the sun that shone that day. I gave my hand willingly, just the way I was surrendering my heart.
We suddenly found ourselves standing by the river adorned by smooth rocks and pebbles, our faces reflected on the current’s steady stream. Her right hand was holding mine, and on the other was the yellow paper she creatively folded into a swan. It was art that crossed our paths and it was also art that witnessed the end.
“Have faith in your heart, Ron, for I trust in it.” She said with eyes filled with longing and sadness and hope and tears.
“I will. I will miss you.” I said with a broken voice and a broken heart. I couldn’t stop myself anymore. I pulled her towards me and kissed her like I have never kissed before. I should, for I never loved this way; not this much.
Then, she carefully placed the paper swan on the cascading water. With hands holding each other, we watched as it went, freely surrendering itself to the currents that would carry it to the sea, with it, our hopes, and dreams, and prayers, and love that would someday pave the path to the endless road we’re on…