I forgot to breathe.
Our eyes locked as soon as I opened the door to that crowded living room and I forgot to breathe.
He walked to me, arms opening to welcome and introduce the lifetime I already saw with each step he took
Seconds unfolding to decades as we moved, and danced, and kissed
I smelled the salt of his ocean and felt the sunlight of his island flood my face
I heard the first, broken screams of our son as he crashed to life in the operating room
I touched the sandy earth under my feet as we chased barefoot children with peppermint laughter and dinosaur tails around our back yard at a third birthday party
I felt his hands circle into my hair as he pulled my in for a kiss, the taste of him, ginger and sea salt and warm love flooding my mouth, as I fell helplessly in love with the man who crossed the room and I couldn’t breathe
And so I stood. Paralyzed. Breathless. Speechless.
And he crossed the room
And he reached me
And he said his name.
And I gasped a tiny thing that felt like a flood of feathers beating against my entire life
blue and white wings beating a Jay’s raucous bravado against my defeat
I lost a battle to remain a whole individual
A dying ember of the Independent feminist I thought I was
My fish needed his bicycle and I was enveloped in the lifetime that flooded when he touched my cheek and tilted my face into the light of our future together.
I forgot to breathe, and he’s been my oxygen for 20 years.
I forgot to breathe, and he saved my life.
I forgot to breathe
and he gave me his number.
So I spent the standard three-day wait before calling him in his bed, wrapped naked in his sheets.