“Don’t ever do something that stupid again Gabriel Everson,” she domonished after he tested the strength of the ground lining the cliff adjacent to them.
“Why not Lyd?” He questioned, a smile pulling up at the corners of his lips and sending wrinkles up his cheeks.
“Because,” she cried incredulously, “It isn’t safe! You’ll fall.”
He matched his stride to hers, “What would you do if I did fall?”
“Don’t even joke about something like that.”
“No really,” his voice lost its playful tone and he stepped in front of her forcing her to stop and look up at him rather than at her worn converse dirtied by the hiking trail.
“I don’t know,” she stuttered and looked up at him, “Why are you asking?”
His face grew warm and he looked past her at the grassy embankment they’d hiked. His tongue ran over his bottom lip. He opened his mouth but promptly closed it.
“Give me a second.” His hands forced their way into the pockets of his denim jeans.
A breeze blew through from the mountains and picked up her autumn colored hair.
He watched a strand fly across her face and how she determinedly tucked it back behind her freckled ear. She was surprised by the expression he wore when he started speaking.
“Lydia, “I’m in love with you.”
His eyes carried a look of tenderness that wrapped around her like a blanket on a cold day. The world was held in suspension, surrounding them and she pulled at the ends of her hair, unable to look away.
“I’ve loved you since that moment in freshman year when you read that poem in English class and you let me read through your poetry notebook. And when we laughed after you spilled coffee all over me that one day I knew that I’d never laugh with anyone else like that. I’ve known you since second grade, there’s not going to be anyone else. There never can be… Lydia…” His eyes as blue as the sky sparkled with excitement and he snatched her small white hands in his large tan ones.
The moment his hands touched hers, the way they had a thousand times before, the world exploded. She was sure, surer than she was of any textbook fact, that she could not live without him – without his smiles, his teasing, his insight into life, his humble wisdom, his caring chastisements, his love for the Lord, his dimples, his unheard of dislike of chocolate chip ice-cream and love for mint chip, his love for her.
He watched her eyes flicker, movie screens of emotion. One foot stepped in front of the other and he was only inches from her. “Lyd please say something.” The words stuck in his throat and rasped out like there was peanut butter coating the back of his mouth, “I need you. Life with you… I can’t imagine anything better.”
He dropped one of her hands and pointed at the side of the mountain, “We could live there, in the pine trees and wildflowers just like you’ve always wanted. I’ll build you bookshelves and you can write and ramble about Bronte, and Tolstoy, and Dickens, and Keats, and Hugo, and Conrad, and Cather all day to me. I promise I’ll listen. And… and we’ll have babies, and they’ll grow up on mountain air, chocolate cookies, and love.”
Tears pushed at her eyes and fell onto her cheeks. With his free hand he reached up and brushed them away.
“Gab… I… I love you. There’s never been a moment when I haven’t loved you,” her voice broke, “I only want you.”
His chest filled and he barely suppressed a shout of joy.
“Really?” His grip on her hands loosened and he reached up and cupped her face. “I’ve never heard anything more beautiful Lyd.” A grin spread across his face and into his eyes. With a quick and fierce motion her leaned down placed his lips on hers. Joy burst like fireworks in both their hearts and made its way from heart, to toes, to lips.
Hope you guys enjoyed that! I just had this little idea and wanted to write it down. It’s not part of any story or anything, just a little vignette.
(Pictures from Pinterest.)