Serendipity: (n) Finding something good without looking for it.
There was a heartbreaking moment of clarity that brought me to my knees, when suddenly I realized—it’s you.
It wasn’t because of sweet answers that suddenly spilled from our lips, washing away all of the memories from the times when we only wanted to see half of what was there. Nor was it because anything changed—except maybe that we finally had.
In reality, it was just a few hours of time bending in half long enough for us to find our way to each other.
This time it wasn’t because either of us were pretending to be the people we thought we should be, and it wasn’t about who was playing the game better.
It simply became a moment when we both were fully present and had let our walls down enough to see each other.
I thought I knew what I wanted and needed in a partner—until I met you.
You were nothing I ever thought I’d want, yet somehow you ended up becoming precisely the kind of man that I need.
You were a surprise—one that I wasn’t prepared for.
I had known that there was some sort of connection between the two of us, some undercurrent of energy that goes beyond what the logical mind can explain, and for a while that was enough for me to know.
And then life changed in the million and one ways that it tends to—and suddenly, without warning, I found myself in love with you.
Sure, maybe the signs were all there, but even if that was so, I was still the last one to know.
This love felt different than the feelings I knew I possessed toward you long ago. Lifetimes before, you had asked if I loved you, and I said yes—but now I know that there is a difference in loving someone versus being in love with someone.
Ironically, as I try to think back and remember when I first knew I had fallen in love with you, I can’t actually remember when it happened. Perhaps it was when you brought a flood of memories back with the single touch of my wrist, or maybe it was when I saw my youngest grab your hand and mine in her small little hands for a walk together.
It might have been in the way that I saw you with your own child, so tender and sure that my heart broke open so widely for you, I don’t think it will ever close.
But still, I don’t remember falling in love with you…only that somewhere between the dance of autumn leaves and the new ripe buds of spring, I suddenly discovered this well of love within myself with depths that now seem unfathomable.
Now, I realize that it’s always been you.
Even as I walked away from you and found other men to distract me from the way your dark eyes would burn into mine—I see now that I still never really left your gaze.
Although I have said bitter and harsh words to you, I know now that I never meant any of them. It was just that you always had a way of triggering me and challenging my choice to live a life that was expected of me, instead of one that I wanted.
And through it all, I never really expected it to be you—in fact, in some ways I was hoping that it wasn’t.
But as we were discussing stars and fireflies, I was simply and honestly taken aback when I realized and suddenly thought: “Oh, it is you.”
However, I don’t really know what all this means—and the reality is that in the end, it may ultimately mean nothing.
As strongly as I felt that moment of clarity when I was by your side and in your arms—I don’t know if you had the same experience or not.
Perhaps there was nothing truly special in anything that happened that evening or in the way the lights created a golden curtain as my hair fell around your face when we kissed.
It’s possible that our fingertips were spelling out lust against our bare skin rather than love—and afterward, I became anxious about that: what if you experienced the evening in a completely different way than I did?
Until I realized—it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter if you felt that tingling of love start ringing in your chest as my body was pressed against yours, nor does it matter if you regret what happened or not.
Because before the evening was over, I was already thinking that even if all we had was this night—and this moment of fireflies in a secret, enchanted forest—then I will still be eternally grateful for it.
I was grateful for you for showing up for me in the way that you did.
I was grateful to be in your arms and by your side with nothing—not even ourselves—standing in the way this time.
And it was then that I truly realized that not only is it you—but it always has been.
You are the love that I never saw coming, the one that I tried to run away from and close my eyes to because I was scared of what you would ultimately mean to my life and how it would have to change if you met me here in this place where anything is possible.
I was terrified by the woman I would have to become in order to be the one that you needed as well—that is, until I realized that I never had to do anything, other than just be myself.
Because that is the woman that you are most enamored by—the messy me who shines the brightest in the darkness of truth after my walls have come crashing down.
I don’t know what the future will hold, and I don’t know when or if you will ever really figure out what place it is that I occupy within your heart, but the thing is that I trust in the magical way that life works out.
I truly believe that if you are the one who is meant to stand by my side, then one way or another, you will find your way here to me.
And just maybe, if or when that time comes, I’ll find out that it’s me—and that it always has been too.
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Author: Kate Rose
Editors: Yoli Ramazzina; Emily Bartran