We walked back from the market, he carrying the tote full of herbs and cheese and ice cream, me pulling off bits of baguette – one for him, one for me. I realized that I had dreamed of this moment for much of my life, and it didn’t matter that we weren’t in Paris.
There was fire, and screaming, and fear and wind. I opened my eyes from the nightmare and he was waiting for me with open arms.
All at once, I realized that after over a year of traveling the world, they would be home in just a few days. I imagined I might break her bones with the force of my hug, and in thinking of all the things we would say and do, I stayed awake all night.
It was 4:00 a.m., and the four of us were huddled around a table of dominoes, laughing and sipping on cocktails that I had shaken. We had no idea that the night had come and gone.
I sat at the table outside, listening to someone discussing illicit drugs, and someone else talking about the seasonality of watermelon. Someone said, “Crystal, make me another cocktail,” and I laughed and headed to the kitchen.
He was showing me the new tomato plants, the peppers, the last of the carrots, still covered with soil. I bent down and picked up a snail as it shriveled back into its shell, feeling like I had found gold.
He said, “You’re excellent at helping other people be their best selves. What if you had someone to help you? Who would you be?” I am still reeling.
The song came on, and he asked me to dance. In pajamas and slippers, with my head on his shoulder, I was in heaven.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful week.♥