I had spent a great deal of time and trouble reinforcing the barriers of my heart, burning bridges beneath darkened skies to better protect the boundaries of this fragile, new hope. Each stone placed on the wall around my heart was put there with purpose, precisely placed to optimize the complete and total protection of me and what little sense of self I still retained.
My entire being was such a fragile little thing at that time, but none moreso than my heart. It was still beating, yes; it served its basic principle to sustain my life. But me – oh, I was a broken, little fool. I can admit that now. I’m pretty sure I had the word ‘fool’ tattooed on my forehead in bright red letters at some point, and I was none the wiser. When I thought I was ‘believing’ in someone and ‘helping,’ I was truly just ‘enabling.’
I had closed the door on my previous existence – closed it, locked it, dead-bolted it, duct-taped it along the seams and wrote ‘Don’t Look Back’ in black sharpie on it. I was holding on to whichever dreams I could remember. A strong breeze could leave my life in tatters, pieces of it scattered from one end of ‘Not Again’ to the other, but still I persisted. I worked. I took care of my boys. That was about it. It was a simple existence, but a safe one.
And then there was this day. I so loved the world of Middle Earth, and this online game had become a much-needed escape for me. But one day, there was this man, and he was kind. That was a new feeling, a nice one. Then there was this voice, and bless his heart – you know that country song with the lyrics, ‘you had me at hello’ – well, yea…I can kind of relate.
Those months of building walls…it was like they never even existed. I woke up one day, and boom – there he was, sitting there, in my heart, like he was meant to be there. He just fit…so perfectly, like I had created this little place just for him without even knowing it.
And here I was…flailing…spectacularly. After what I had just gone through, I didn’t want anyone to be important. I didn’t want to care for anyone ever again. I didn’t want to open myself up to be so badly hurt again. Even as wonderful as he seemed to be, I didn’t want him in there, and yet there he was.
It’s some strange twist of fate, I suppose – when I had found contentment with being just me, with facing things on my own, whatever powers that are out there, thought it would be appropriate to drop in the most perfect man ever created…just for me.
I may not have been looking for you. I may not have even wanted you there at the very beginning. I may have fought you with all the strength I had within me at first. And yet, still, you were there. It was like the walls didn’t exist for you. It was like I had left a forgotten bridge that only you knew about so you could just cross right over into my little world.
And you are still there, and I still sometimes flail.
Thank you for being you, and thank you for loving me.
“Once in awhile,
Right in the middle of an ordinary life,
Love gives us a fairy tale.”