There are moments, she decided, when your past and your future collide and it feels like an accident. There is broken glass and screeching tired and screaming and your right hand shakes as you try to hold the pen between your fingers.
There are moments when there is no truth left in you to be spoken, and that is when you need to speak the truth most.
The words slipped from her lips like turpentine, running like naked hooligans up and down the aisles before she had a chance to capture them, smooth down their cowlicks and straighten their collars. They simply existed without her knowledge, tumbling out of her mouth one after another like small towheaded children rolling down a grassy hill in June.
And while she rambled on, all the while feeling this intersection between who you have been and who you want to be, he watched her. His eyes were unwavering, despite how many times she looked to see if he had shifted his glance, or flinched, cringed at the sight of her horror and her wonder being birthed into existence.
To find your truth, sometimes you have to get on all fours in the ashes and dig through them, sifting through the rubble with bare hands. It is messy, and there are things pulled from the ground that you would rather have stayed unearthed, but this is how you grow. You speak your shame, illuminating it as it bursts into being. And by speaking the words aloud, they lose some of their power.
He watched her, hands curled around his coffee cup, and the way his eyes penetrated her being unnerved her. It was like the moment before the crash, when you are trying to brace yourself for impact. She kept waiting for the fallout, the one that always followed. She was waiting for him to condemn her, like she had done to herself all these years. She was looking for justification but he wasn’t giving her any.
She hadn’t known unconditional, unwavering love until she looked into his eyes. He had listened to her story, untamed and wild, and chosen not to look away. And she could feel it, the quiet roar within her starting to grow louder
Do you not know how strong my love for you is?
We are each given a story, a truth. It is raw and unedited, sometimes messy, sometimes reckless. Sometimes your heart is wearing so many scars it looks like someone has taken a paintbrush to it, because there have been too many times you have tried to paint over the broken places, finding love in places where it doesn’t belong.
Her heart was wind worn, falling apart at the seams. There are marks from all the staples and tape and glue she tried to use to hold herself together, one for every man she romanced in attempts to numb the pain and she wears them like notches on a bedpost.
And as she sat alone, reflecting on the way He had looked at her, chosen her, put his claim on a bruised and bleeding heart, whispering this one is mine over the girl who has called herself unlovable, her body shook with the emotion that was coursing through her veins.
You don’t get to choose your story, she decided, but you do get to make peace with it. You get to say “This is not how the story will end.”
You get to make that choice to learn from the past, not change it, and use it to move you towards a better future.
Despite the tears on her cheeks, there was a hopefulness in her heart that hadn’t been there for a really long time. It was the beginnings of something, a small tender shoot that, if cared for, would grow into a beautiful flower.
It was there, waiting for her if she would only try.
And despite the words in her head and the words on the page, she heard the silent roar leak out of her mouth: Do you not know how strong my love is?