The doorbell rang.
It was a sound she had heard many times before, signaling the start of countless different experiences.
A package was waiting. A neighbor was selling something. Guests were arriving. None of it had ever amounted to anything, really, just the minutia of ordinary life.
This time though, the sound wasn’t heard; it was felt. Its weight and shape absorbed through her thirsty skin.
She understood—in the same way that she understood air and music and light and breath—that their future was woven in the layers of the song it was singing; images of their life together twinkled inside each note.
Had it already happened?
The first kiss—hazy, drunken exploration; his chin hairs urgently chaffing the outer corners of her mouth. Tunnels of exploding colors, tenderly, softly, linking together, again and again.
The rooms where they lived their lives expanding, enveloping them inside an electric current.
Dirty wine glasses, sticky with indulgence and pleasure, crowding their kitchen countertops.
The notes he left around the house in his scratchy, slanted handwriting, his slippery green soap smiling at her as she showered.
The clothes in their closet hanging side by side, delighting in one another’s company.
Silent, breathtaking ways they would be reminded of the other as they moved throughout their separate days; the soft, lazy words of bedtime, her supple edges melting his sharp ones.
The victories and losses of each day, defined by tiny sacrifices and leaps of bravery.
As she ran for the door, the images began to float away, becoming more elusive with each step.
Her mind felt hot; her breath, seized by the terror of the disappearing images, felt stuck inside her lungs.
Suddenly, gloriously, the doorbell rang again.
Exhaling, she was once again released into its melodies, which patiently awaited her reply.