A Love Too Late

He hadn’t seen her since the day she left high school, since the day she sent him off with a kiss.
She was a year younger, they’d met his 8th grade year.
He’d seen her around, thought she was pretty.
She’d seen him around, and she was in love.
His face
Eyes
Smile
Voice
Presence
Talent
Humor
Charming nature
Drew her to him
Like a moth to a bug light.
She was fragile
The burdens of rejection placed on her shoulders.
She didn’t let it show.
He was strong
His insecurities forced him
To build his own self up.
She gathered her courage
Dug up her strength
And found her voice.
He laughed
His old demons spoke through his mouth
Hurt her, pushed her away
Until she felt worthless.
Years later
On his graduation day
She remembered a promise she’d made
And kissed him softly
He pulled away, shocked
Told her to leave him alone
That he never loved her
That he never would.
On that day
She gave up on him.

Now today he saw her again
Walking hand-in-hand with two little ones
A diamond ring on her finger.
Still, when she saw him, her face lit up
They chatted
Talked about life
Her husband
Her kids
The books she’d written
Her picture-perfect life
His cubicle job
His girlfriend
The life he said he’d never accept
He had wanted to be an actor
He hadn’t found the inspiration to try.
He looked at her
Eyes seeing what was always there
In a new light
She was beautiful
Bright
Funny
Bubbly
Lovely
Perfect
And he loved her.
He always had
He always will.
She left that day
So full of joy and promise
She left with his heart
And he gave her hers back.

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