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Idle thoughts and infinite worlds

Have you ever heard of the many-worlds theory? In 1957, a scientist named Hugh Everett III asked a question:

What if space and time are arranged so that every possible outcome exists somewhere?

Imagine. You flip a coin. While it is up in the air, two logical outcomes co-exist: heads or tails. The moment it lands, only one potential is fulfilled, say heads. What happens to the other potential?

Everett posits that the universe splits in two, creating a reality where the coin lands on tails, and takes it from there, building an alternate history where the only different thing, at first, is the outcome of a coin toss.

Just imagine. An infinite number of worlds where every possibility is realized, someplace, sometime.

This made me think about you (as if I needed an excuse to think about you).

In one universe, we never would have met. We would have  gone through our lives, perfectly content to not have each other, happy with whoever else is there.

In another, we would have broken each other’s hearts. You and I would’ve been granted a chance, until we lose it somehow.

And somewhere, in a magical corner of space and time, we would have found each other heart-whole before anyone else, and you would have been my first love, and I would have been yours, with no one to come between us.

Yet here I am, and here you are. In this world, we found each other with histories, with scars. We found each other at the end of a long road littered with mistakes, with faith severely shaken.

But the important thing is that we found each other. The important thing is that here you are, and here I am, and by some miracle of grace, we are together. No matter how broken this world is, no matter how imperfect, I will take it over any paradise that doesn’t include you. In any world in any universe, I bless the path that leads to you.

Sharing a Hammock One Lazy Sunday Afternoon

My love
you are
everything that a home should be
safe and warm
strong and secure
steadfast and sure.

As I lie tightly enfolded
awake while you sleep
my fingertips trace your back
trailing down the curve of your spine
and back up to your shoulder blades
back and forth
in lazy patterns
every inch of my fortress
memorized.

I write on your skin,
Mahal kita
because I do
I love you
and did you know
that even sleeping
you can take my breath away?

See you someday, love.

See you when the waiting is over.

See you when I can wake up next to you, try to get out of bed, and decide that coffee can wait for just five more minutes of listening to your heartbeat.

See you when we can spend long evenings doing nothing more important than discussing muffins vs. cupcakes or the admirable qualities of cats.

See you when I can watch the subtle little changes that life causes in you from day to day, when I can take delight in all the tiny, inconsequential details that make you who you are. Like the kinds of smiles you have, or the way your voice gets rougher when you’re already half-asleep.

See you when I can cry on your shoulder and know the powerful comfort of your simple presence and strength.

See you when I can hug the frustration right out of you, or find the right words to say, or simply take care of you after you’ve had one of those days when everything goes wrong.

See you when I don’t just get to hear your laughter, but see it and feel it rumbling through your body into mine.

See you when time and space no longer separate us, when I can write my love on your skin instead of on a white, empty screen far removed from your warmth.

When today is difficult, or painful, or just plain sad, I always try to remember one thing.

I’ll see you someday.

Until someday, love.

To my future husband, about a secret longing

By the time you read this knowing it’s for you, you already have my heart, along with the promise that it is yours to keep for the rest of our lives. Now there’s something I need to tell you, a seldom-spoken truth about the heart I gave that hopefully won’t change your mind.

I need you to pursue me.

There. Writing it, I sort of cringe in front of my computer. I try to find words that are less needy, less emotional, less vulnerable. It sounds so…unfeminist. But as much as I believe in a woman’s worth apart from a man’s opinion, there it is, the bare, unvarnished truth of my heart: I need you not just to love me, but to long for me.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not merely being longed for that I crave. There have been other pursuits in the past, other promises that I haven’t accepted because I was waiting for you to show up. But when you came…I stopped running. It’s  kind of ironic that the man I cannot turn away from is the one whose pursuit I most desire.

May I tell you something else? Sometimes, I don’t really believe I deserve it. On the darkest days, I wonder if you can ever look at me and see someone you would seek to the ends of the earth, someone worth fighting for, someone captivating and absolutely irreplaceable. And I’m very much afraid that if the answer is no,  or a devastatingly careless shrug, my love for you and my self-doubt would conspire to make me accept it. I would make excuses on your behalf, clinging to the assurance you gave while you were still trying to win me, convincing myself that it’s enough. I would dismiss my need as overly romantic and unreasonable, all the while quietly wondering if you’re only staying because I ask so little of you. And day by day, my heart would gradually shrink, drying up and shriveling on the part that your yearning used to fill.

So please. When we are spending our lives together, never stop wanting me.

Miss me when I’m gone. Really miss me.

Listen when I talk, even if it doesn’t seem important to you, even when it’s hard to understand. That’s how I’ll know you’re still discovering me, that you’re still interested, and not indifferent.

Don’t let me be the only one who asks for quality time. Your time, those moments when we can just delight in each other, is the “I love you” I most understand.

Kiss me like you mean it. Let’s promise never to let ourselves get out of practice.

I want our bed to eventually sag in the middle, because that’s where we always end up, instinctively drawing close even in our sleep. There’s nothing sadder in a marriage, I think, than a bed where the occupants never cross the boundary between his side and hers.

Whatever you do, just tell me. Tell me in a way that feels more than just a habit. Tell me with your voice and your eyes and your hands.  Tell me with the way you seek my gaze across a crowd. Tell me with the way you touch me when we wake up. Tell me you want me, desire me, that you would choose me again if we both lived twice.

Because there’s one last thing I want to confess, my darling: that’s exactly how I feel about you. You see, I’ve been longing for you all my life. Even before we met, even when my faith wavered that you would come, I’ve been longing for you. And the truth is, love, I simply don’t know how to stop.

*****

Just like last weekInspiration Monday has again given me exactly the push I needed to get out what I wanted to write. This week, the prompts I heeded were “you only live twice” and “single but taken”.  Thanks, InMon!

I feel like there should be fireworks, really.

My favorite thing
about the way
you look at me, babe
is that now and then
I catch it
that little hint of wonder
and a bit of disbelief, too
that you found me
that I’m real
we’re real
and I’m yours.

I want to run to the mirror
and check
if there’s something there
something changed
something special
that makes you look at me
just like that
like I’m precious.
and utterly unique.
and you’ll never
never ever
let me go.
What is it, babe?
There must be something.

But nothing’s different.
Still the same old
chin and cheeks and nose
familiar and ordinary.
But wait—
Wait
My smile is new.
It’s changed
like I’ve won the lottery
without buying a ticket
(imagine that!)
and in my eyes,
that same disbelief
that same giddy wonder
that you found me.
You finally found me.
My darling
my sweetest love
I could spend my whole life
just looking at you.

*****

I wrote this for Carry On Tuesday, in response to the These are a few of my favourite things prompt taken from one of my most favorite movies, The Sound  of Music. The challenge is open all week. Join us!

Goodbye Girl

“Why are you giving me a feather?” she asked.

“Not just any feather, that’s a phoenix feather.” When she laughed, he hastened to explain. “It’s disguised like it’s from a boring old chicken, but that’s a phoenix feather, trust me.”

“Okay,” she agreed easily. Her imagination was capable. Besides, it was the first conversation they’d had in weeks, and she wanted to keep talking. She missed him. The razor-sharp loss of their easy friendship pierced her chest, but she ignored it. “Why are you giving me a phoenix feather?”

“Because I’m letting you walk away from me.”

Just like that, the tears in her throat rushed into her eyes. She knew it, had known that it would come to this, but had childishly kept wishing they could go back to the way they’d been for four years: high school friends, misfits fitting in perfectly together. Then he admitted his love, asking her to stay in the town she’d wanted to escape all her life.

His apology was in the hand brushing her tears away. The first touch between them in three weeks, five days, and 18 hours. Since when had she started counting the times he touched her?

“You know I’m in love with you,” he said gently. “But I’m no longer asking you to stay, or holding you back. I’m letting you go. We’ll let each other go.  Completely.”

“But…but,” she was really crying now,  sobbing like a child, knowing she was being hideously unfair, but too stricken to stop. “I don’t want to lose you. I don’t, Jay, I can’t. Please….”

He gripped her hand, crushing the feather, betraying how she was tearing him apart. But dammit, she loved him, too. She loved him, enough to hurt them both, but not enough to stay. The selfishness of it silenced her, while a dim, pathetic part of her mind registered his hands touching hers. That’s twice today.

“That’s where this phoenix feather comes in,” he soothed, smoothing it out on her palm. “You’ll return someday, or maybe I’ll find you. When the things we want no longer stand between us, we’ll start again.”

“A new beginning from the ashes?” It should’ve been corny, but she couldn’t laugh.

“Yes. Someday.”

“Don’t hate me.” Her greatest fear slipped out, and the look on his face told her he heard.

Oh, baby. Never,” he cried, pulling her close. “We have someday,” he promised, but the only important thing was that he was finally holding her, and his arms were tight, so tight that it was suddenly alright, it was perfect, but just for a moment, just enough to remember until someday. So she held on, carefully holding the feather, and believed him.

I wrote this in response to the “phoenixRed Writing Hood prompt from Write on Edge. It’s my first time to join this challenge, and the prompt was just too perfect to resist. This is a fictionalized account following the 450-word limit, but there really was a boy, a promise, and a feather that even now is tucked inside my wallet. It’s been almost ten years, and the promise has been kept, perhaps not in the manner of a Hollywood happy ending, but it’s our story, and we like our ever after the way it turned out. 🙂

This is how I plan to love you for the rest of my life

Just so you know, this is what happens when you have my heart.

You would never doubt it.

I wouldn’t let you.

Be more mysterious, I’ve been told, by magazines and blogs and sleepover confidants. It’s a mistake to let him know everything that you feel. Men like the chase, like competition, to keep from getting bored. So make him jealous, they wink and nudge. Play hard to get.

But how hard to get can I be, babe, when I’m already yours?

How jealous can I make you when the very thought of you doubting your place in my life feels unbearably wrong?

There will be no games between us. No manipulations, no pretenses, no lies.

You will know that you hold my heart. You will know that I would never want anyone else.

You will know that I love you.

See, I plan on telling you every day.

First thing when I wake up, whispered against your skin.

Last thing at night, for you to take into your dreams.

When you are tired and frustrated and sad.

When you are so lighthearted you start singing songs whether you know the lyrics or not.

When you make me laugh.

When you save me from cockroaches and nightmares and panic attacks.

When I am proud of you.

When you can’t believe that I am proud of you (especially then).

When we need to fix something wrong, so you’ll know that whatever it is, it won’t change how I feel.

When I’m asking for coffee kisses.

When you’re asking for a back rub.

When I welcome you home or kiss you goodbye.

When you look like you need a hug, or even when you don’t but I just want to give you one anyway.

I will keep telling you, babe, in whispers, in exclamations, in laughter, in letters, in touches, in looks.  I will tell you until it sinks into your skin, flows with your blood, and joins in the beating of your heart. Until my love for you becomes part of who you are, and who you will be, for as long as your heart beats, and mine.

I will tell you, always.

And every time I do, I will mean it more than the last time I said it. Every “I love you” will carry the weight of all the “I love you’s” before, and the promise of more to come.

That promise will always be fulfilled.

I will always love you.

And I will always let you know.