I rarely find a person that takes life on in chunks. Most often it is the moments that we remember, a single instance of clarity. It is no different than my love and I. When I tell people that I fell in love with him on this first trip it was in a handful of moments when I realized it was more than just an attraction. We had been waiting a lifetime.
Like the moment we had our first real kiss in the middle of a seaside restaurant. I was in mid speech when he leaned in and kissed me. It was like you see in the movies or read in dime store novels. The world stood still and everyone around us faded away and I knew I was with THE ONE.
Or the moment when I realized he had contracted chicken pox but pushed forward anyway, lying to the nurse and saying he was not running a fever even as I watched him thrash about every night. Or when he sent me out for pizza because he couldn’t stand the sun on his skin but stayed home to prepare a table so that we could sit down and eat our pizza together as a couple rather than staying in bed as he should have.
Maybe it was the moment I watched him go to get his parents food to last in the open market, with the sun beating down, knowing he was in pain but insisting his mother and I remain in the air conditioned car. I watched his father and he walk side by side, his shoulders hunched and his walk hobbled with the pain. I think though, the moment I realized I loved this man was our final moments. He did not send me to the airport by taxi and we both knew I was leaving him with no money to take one home. He would have to walk over a mile to the closest bus and ride for over an hour to get home. He did not complain and insisted on carrying my luggage one more time. I leaned in for a kiss which he returned even as he flinched in pain from my touch.
I never get flowers from my love. Food maybe, back rubs, cuddles, but never any flowers. I don’t need them. I measure our love in only these moments. In all of these moments that have built a bridge between us and a story to tell our children one day. Perhaps even tell the world.