The Autumn leaves fell in my hair as I sat on that old wooden bench. I dug my sneaker into the earth and said a silent prayer. As though by magic, I had my answer and one day you were there.
Just like the night we met and I learned how to barter with pickles. We talked at that table until the stars came out and we found Orion’s Belt. Then you hugged me for the first time and I was home. You were there.
When we sat in your truck and I told you who I used to be and who I am today. I hoped the darkness would hide my tears until I realized you were crying too. You held my face and told me everything would be okay and you were there.
When I crashed my go-cart into the wall and froze like a deer in headlights, you slowed down and lost the race. But you didn’t yell. You were there.
When I first learned how to climb and started to fall, you let go too and we laughed on the mat together even as other people stared. Neither of us cared. Nothing else mattered because you were there.
When we both played Baby Princess Peach in Mario Kart at Dave & Busters and I kicked your butt, you got your revenge (okay maybe several times) but you were there.
When I forgot to bend my knees on that cold snowy day, you may have laughed as you packed my wrist with snow but you told everyone else we would meet them later, just so you could teach me. You held my hands down the bunny hill and you were there.
When I freaked out at the amusement park when we went on the mini ski lift and closed my eyes and held on to you for dear life, you leaned in closer and rolled your eyes and sighed. But you were there.
When I stomped around while we hiked, you were the one who fixed my shoe and gave me a piggy back ride like I was a kid again. This was after I had cried about the same thing for the millionth time and yet you just you sat with me. You waited for me to breathe again and you were there.
And as I sat on that same bench beneath that tree and stared up at the pink spring blossoms, I realized just how many seasons of life had passed. I closed my eyes and said a different kind of prayer. I was no longer alone and just felt peace because when I opened my eyes you were there.
And one day, double doors will open and people will stand. The music will begin and we will walk that long isle together. I’ll probably trip over my feet once or twice. But your arm will be there to steady me as you remind me to breathe before you say “I do” and then let me go…and I will step forward to hold hands with someone new. But I will never forget that you were there.