Against all odds

I never really thought we were made for each other. He wasn’t destined to me from birth or had his heart perfectly designed to fit the one inside my chest. Once upon a time I used to try so desperately to believe in soulmates or meant to be or made for each other, and in a way it was always a game with myself, an attempt to convince myself of some sort of magic I didn’t believe in, a lie I want to be fooled into believing, or a fight I was destined to loose.

When I met him for the first time it all made sense. I have never been one to be too sure of anything; maybe I’m stupidly wrong and there are soulmates after all. I like to believe that in this world where magic exists, he is mine. But my mind has never really let me believe in much more than the eyes can see, and for a long time, that was a burden; deep down I wished I could see the world with rose-colored glasses. Then, of course, I met him. I saw dreams in reality and in the few things I was sure of. I knew that destiny, by its very definition I never really convinced myself to believe in, did not have to be true. The lack of destiny, in fact, was the most incredible thing there was. Finding each other was not some inevitable thing that would have happened no matter what, despite of each and every choice we made, regardless of who we became, despite who we had been. It was as unlikely as anything can be.

Being there with him, in every stupid little lovely moment we shared, was the consequence of every microscopic event that ever happened in life combined. The random and the planned and the obvious and the unbelievable, all a complicated mess that so impossibly and unbelievably led me to him, and vice versa. These tiny beautiful ugly things happened among millions of other possibilities of things that could happen, and had any of them been just  little different, I would be somewhere different now. We would maybe one afternoon sit across from each other in the subway, never lock eyes, and by the law of the lack of destiny never see each other again.

And yet here we were. It was amazing how something could be so literal and so simple and not at all magical but still extraordinary, still perfect. If my destiny had been someone else, if something had been different on the way here, I could have found someone just as perfect that made me just as happy, but that’s the catch: things were just this way. Because of no reason and no God, no destiny of fate, we were here. This is where I am. It was him, not any of the other people that could have been perfect for me had life shaped me into someone else. Every second of his life and every second of mine brought us together against all odds; they made us into people who were perfect for each other.

When I think about the afternoons when he quietly hid in my room after school, so many days that look just the same, his eyes are the picture I remember best. Sparkly and marvelous. Sometimes I fell asleep with the sunset no longer behind the window and the last thing I saw were the eyes, incomparable beauty, watching me until I drifted into dreams that weren’t as sweet as his lips. Our hearts beat on the same rhythm, the same pace, and we god really good at catching up with each other. As I grasped onto a last look within his eyes I didn’t think about soulmates or meant to be or destiny; I thought about his eyes.

When we walk around the beach and he holds my hands, I smile. It’s a habit and quite inevitable. We sit on the sand and talk about homework or about how fifty years ago we sat on the sand and talked about homework. We talk about forever and how nothing is forever and that’s okay because whenever it fades away, death or sooner, when we’re together it feels eternal, even if it ends tomorrow. When we ride our bikes he always stays a step behind me; he says he watches my hair flowing through the wind and just knows I’m smiling. He says he’s afraid I’ll fall. When we were just dating and my mom was alive she used to ask if I wasn’t ashamed of a man acting like I needed to be taken care of, and I always said no. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, things are very simple, and he just doesn’t want me to fall from my bike. When we stopped having the strength to ride bikes, we would walk around our neighborhood and people watch, see ourselves in the kids laughing in the brightness of the unknown, the teenagers who sometimes believe in forever too hardly, the young couples just moving in. He holds my hand, I smile.

When we go to sleep, we always whisper I love you under the covers, like a secret we needed to keep, between us. We read each other’s eyes in the dark, only the lights from the street, and when one of us would have to sneak out in the morning, I could feel the warmth of sleeping next to someone who so dearly loves you all day. We would still hide under the covers even when we didn’t have to anymore, because it felt like home and we were just us and that’s all we needed. No one had to leave quietly in the morning, but he still gave me a kiss I didn’t forget until I got home at night.

He has always held my hand in the movies. From our first date and kiss with the butterflies and silences that were supposed to be awkward but never were to our Thursday date nights after we got married all the way to our anniversary of 51 years and 2 months.

When he holds my hand I smile. Always have. He is home. He is living breathing luck, imperfect as I am, against all odds, a perfect fit.

I don’t believe in meant to be or soulmates, I don’t believe in any magic but the one we can see. I believe in first kisses, sneaking out late night, fights and makeups, hugs that feel like home, the keys to our first apartment, the cheap ring that was all he could afford, the sleepless nights, the goodbyes, the going back to the start, the sweet sad kisses that feel like approaching a last one. I believe in the home I find in his eyes, over and over again, every single night. Against all odds, it feels like he was made for me.

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