“Its been a good week… maybe the best of my life.”
Ethan nodded, warmly agreeing with my assessment, “We have had really good momentum between us, haven’t we?” he said as he wrapped his arms around my middle.
“I’m so happy,” I admitted, “Sometimes I wonder if anyone has ever been as happy as I am. After all, I am the only one lucky enough to have you. Everyone else is stuck with some other person. I feel kind of guilty about it.”
Ethan’s eyebrows begin to raise as a smile played at the corner of his mouth.
“Being with you makes me feel bad for the rest of humanity,” I added.
His smile broke open into a laugh, “You feel bad for the rest of humanity? Wow!”
“I know” I shrugged and snuggled in a little closer. “I can’t stay long, tonight” I added. “My brother needs help with something.”
“You didn’t have to come if you were busy.” Ethan said. Our getting together was unplanned and rather spontaneous.
I turned to look him in the eye. “I wanted to come,” I said, taking my time as I openly admired each detail of his face. My fingers traced the edges of his perfect bone structure before wandering up into his hair.
“Well, thanks for choosing to make me a priority,” he said, pulling me into a kiss “it means a lot.”
“Hmmm,” I hummed contentedly, not wanting to open my eyes as the effect of his kiss lingered, making me dizzy in the best way. “I don’t know if my love for you is truly selfless,” I finally said as I opened my eyes, “its never been tested. I am always so richly rewarded for choosing you.”
I could tell he wasn’t sure how to take this. I wasn’t sure how I meant it. It was just the truth. I truly hoped my love for him was selfless and that if a day came when loving him wouldn’t be rewarded like this that I would still do what was best for him. But the truth was, the theory of my love had never been tested. I could say one thing though with great confidence—I was sure that no matter how far I had to go to be him, how long I had to wait for him, or how scary the road looked ahead, he was always worth it.
We talked for awhile more, I had written an article for work that day which was inspired by a conversation Ethan and I had had a few days prior. We discussed it at length. Ethan liked it and that meant a lot to me. His was my favorite brain to work with, to bounce ideas off of, to discuss all my our best thoughts.
He would be starting a new semester the next day, teaching his film class. I was so excited for him. I loved the spark in his eye when he was trying to figure out how to get his class to engage more. I hoped those kids would open themselves up to the impact Ethan wanted to have in their lives.
It wasn’t long before it was time for me to go.
As I was preparing to leave, Ethan asked me, “how do you feel about marriage?”
“Like in general? Or to you specifically?” I asked.
“In general, but for us…specifically…I mean…I’m not proposing, I’m just trying to gage how you are feeling.”
“I’m happy, Ethan.” I was afraid all my talk about weddings the other day could have come off a little strong. He had been willing to elope… but still, I decided not to push it. I was terrified, terrified that he would propose, terrified that he wouldn’t. I tried to hide what a mess of fear I really was… “I am happy right where we are.”
“Okay,” he kissed me goodnight, “just checking… I love you.”
And just like that, with a simple peck and a familiar, “I love you too.” I drove off.
If I had known that would be the last time I would see him. I would have never left. I would have told him there was no fear in this world that could possibly keep me from loving him forever. I would have kissed him harder, held him longer, made sure he knew that I thought the world of him, that I was crazy about him. I would have told him exactly and specifically all the amazing ways he had changed my life and my heart and my mind, I would have told him everything and never let go… if I knew.
We would text later that night. I opened up then and admitted my wildly steep fears about marriage. While I was confident that I wanted to marry him, marriage in general was a terrifying concept to me. I told him I probably wouldn’t get over this fear without some severe intervention from God. Ethan promised he had been and would be battling this fear of mine along side me, through prayer and whatever else God would lead him in. I told him I was sorry that I couldn’t make it easier on him. To which he simply said, “God specializes in non-easy things.”
And then he called me “Love” and told me “goodnight” and I felt better about life, sure that I could face anything with this man beside me.