Almost twenty and yet she had never felt the pressure of someone else's lips flutter against her own. When she was little, she would lie in bed for hours upon end, imagining her first encounter with Prince Charming. She would be enveloped in that angelic pink dress and his eyes would sparkle like a shooting star against the blackness of night. When he stepped on her toes, scraping her glass slipper, scuffing her favorite shoe, sending her belongings tumbling to the floor, she rolled her eyes at him. Imperfection even followed her in her day dreams back then.
She rolled her eyes at him like he was nobody. She sighed a sigh of exasperation geared towards him as if he was just anybody. But he wasn't just anything. This is why she chewed furiously on her lower lip in his presence and nodded a nervous 'yes' when he asked to give her a call later.
Her lip turned red, then purple, as if the sun was setting against the backdrop of her silken face. She was worried he wouldn't call, crumple up the paper she had scrolled her pink pen across, and play best of three with the trash can. She worried he would forget about her.
He didn't. Her heart skipped beats when the phone began to ring. She straightened her hair, took a deep breath, shoving out the negativity inside her brain. She smiled in the mirror, blushing as if he was watching her. His voice warmed her entire being, touching that once-empty place that she had heard about and yet never had known existed.
Ten thousand minutes, seventy-nine phone calls, two hundred forty seven rings. Hours of laughter and tears. And then he had said it. Those words that had crushed her heart with the weight of the moon and pumped it up with sweetness to fill in the expanse of the sun. Her ears, her eyes, her heart, couldn't believe the simple words. She asked for him to repeat it. He said it again, “I'm gonna marry you one day.”
She took more deep breath, trying to remember who she was and what her life had been before this moment. She shoved out all the remaining negativity. She took another deep breath. Deep. Deeper, and deeper again, deeper than a knife wound, deeper than 10,000 leagues below the sea. And she exhaled for good, blowing out the twenty candles, the years of lonliness, missed dances, unpursued smiles, unheld hands, unpassionate hearts.
“I Love You,” he told her, and she was content, for she had just been kissed. He'd stood three feet away and kissed her heart with the gentleness of a freight train.