Music poured out of the windows of the house, mixed with cheers and laughter. This was seconds before the light came. The house was a light blue, with white doorframes and window sills. It was a warm family home. The toys in the yard had been picked up that afternoon, during the mad rush of preparations for the party. The kids had been washed, and there had been quite a few arguments about what exactly was going to happen.
“I don’t want that, yellow is icky!” Audrey yelled.
Sarah sighed. Of course it was icky, she thought, James likes yellow now.
Sarah had two children, a boy and a girl, with her husband Austin. Audrey had always been full of herself for the older child. She wanted James to listen to everything she had to say, and he did, but mainly because he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. She would regale him with stories of the Grown-Ups world, and explain to him why daddy wore a tie. “Because the boss likes pretty colors.” But if he ever tried to mimic her, she threw a tantrum.
Like now.
“Audrey, you have to pick something to wear. Our friends don’t want to see Tweety.”
Audrey’s face suddenly wrinkled up. Oh no, Sarah thought, not now.
“But I love Tweety!” And she did. Half of the stuff she owned was Tweety, including the underwear she now wore.
“And Tweety is yellow, isn’t he?”
Audrey looked up, “Yeah.”
“Then put this dress on and I’ll get James to change.”
She walked out of the room, glad to have averted another disaster. James would be okay with it. He was okay with everything. He was the polar opposite of his sister. She was blonde, brown eyed, bossy and very talkative. James was blue eyed, brown haired, quiet and laid back. He did what he was told, and liked to listen. They were both smart kids, but Sarah knew that James had something special inside him.
“James, honey, how about the red shirt?”
He looked up at her from his legos. He had built another castle. She was always fascinated at how much time he’d spend on these. Every time he’d finish one, he’d promptly take it apart, and start on a new one. She had helped from time to time, and she was always surprised at the intricacy. Each castle had different wings, different rooms, each with it’s purpose. His new fantasy was hidden passages. She knew that any smaller than average hall or opening was a secret passageway to escape when the ‘bad guys came.’
He picked himself up, and walked over to her raising his hands up. She lifted the shirt off of him, and replaced it with the red one, and let him get back to playing.


When he opened his eyes, she was gone. In a blink, he was alone again. He loved her. He would find her.
He had met her through a mutual friend. She was just out of a bad relationship, and so was he. They talked for a while, amazed at how well they meshed. Surely this was more than friendship.
But they took it slow. He knew she wasn't like the rest of them. She was pure. To hurt this creature would have stained his soul.
So he treated her like a queen. He listened to her stories, shared his, became her friend. And she trapped his heart. The more time he spent talking to her, the more he wanted to reach out and hold her. To feel her close. To press his lips to hers.
But it wasn't time yet. There was a greater plan involved. They shared one night that would stick in their minds forever. It wasn't anything special on the outside. They hung out at a diner, then took a walk through his neighborhood. They laid down in the street, to stare at the stars and clouds overhead, listening to the sounds of the night. He felt so close to her. Would this not be the perfect moment? Was this the time? But he chickened out, and it wasn't to be yet.
The next day, she went into the hospital. He worried, spending all day staring at his desk. Was she okay? What was wrong? Would he be able to see her?
He finally got through that afternoon. She was okay, not in much pain, but she was doped up. They didn't know what was wrong yet, but they were going to run some tests the next day.
Sleep did not come that night. It lay just out of his reach. He would drift off to the happy memories they shared, only to remember that those sacred times might now be in jepardy. He rose readily when morning came. Anything to keep him out of his own hell.
That afternoon, he called her father, and asked if he could visit her in the hospital. Once granted permission, he was relieved, but still more scared. He knew she was scared, and he had to keep a strong face for her, but could he do it? He didn't know what to expect, but he prepared for the worst. His preparation, it turned out, was just what he needed.
He stepped in the room that day, and never expected anything like what he saw. She was beautiful. She was lovely, even through the pain, the trauma of this place. And he saw his admiration reflected in her face. They were in love.
He spent every spare second with her in that room, keeping her happy. Anything to see her smile. They'd watch movies, they'd laugh, talk, walk around. Through her pain, they grew closer.
She quickly dropped her fear of showing pain in front of him. He came to realize when she was in pain, and what helped her through it. He'd distract her, talk her through it without even mentioning it. Needles and IVs were forgotten for silly jokes and long laughs.
And she got better. They sent her home, and he visited her there until she was strong enough to go out. He took her to a movie, a comedy, and they laughed together.
Then he slid his hand under hers. She didn't flinch, didn't tense up, but moved her arm to make room for his on the armrest. Their hands fit like two pieces of a puzzle. They walked out of the theatre holding hands, and he had never felt so proud of the girl on his arm.
That night, as he hugged her goodbye, he looked down into her eyes, and they were reaching for him. His soul reached out, and in a moment they would never forget, their lips locked.
As they tried later to describe it, words failed. Entire languages failed. It was like nothing they'd ever known. But each kiss afterwards carried the same love, the same awesome touch. When he asked her to marry him, she was surprised, but didn't hesitate. As the ring slid onto her finger, he felt his future coming into focus, and he was even more enamored by her than he had been before.
The first chapter of their life written, they joined hands and walked the path to their future together.


I saw her once, and my world was changed.
She warmed my heart, she was a light in the dark world. Her beautiful eyes, elegant body, great smile. It all hit me like a ton of bricks.
I am in the dark now without her.
I left her. You bet I regret it.
I walked away from her at an airport. I never knew the pain would be this intense. I never knew I would cry at night over the tears she had left on the shoulder of my tshirt while we waited for my plane to come.
I cried over the gentle touch of her hand on my face as I slept on her couch, head in her lap.
I cried over her smell, a smell that comforted me, even when I was troubled.
I cry today over the sound of her laughter, and the way her face used to light up when that smile came out.
I cry because she's not next to me.

But I know she's out there, waiting for me, as I wait for her. I cry as I praise God for creating such a creature. I cry as I see the light in my dark world. A faint light. Her light. It comes from the East, and if I close my eyes, I can imagine that scent, the smell of comfort in this harsh desert landscape. I feel the warmth of her touch, the soft feel of her skin. The tickle of her hair as it slid down my forehead, over my face, down my neck.
I cry as I miss her kisses, her touches.
I cry as I think about the long walks and the longer nights spent together.

But I smile as I see our future together.