You close your eyes, and the ground disappears.
You’re flying. You’re leaving everything behind and riding the sound of the ocean, letting the last dregs of sunlight be your wings before the day dips into the horizon. Goodbyes were never your strongest suit, but you smile through the tears anyway. It’s going to be fine, you think. We’re okay, he says just then—and you worry that he might have claimed too much of you, because he knows, and you wonder whose fault that is (or if it’s something you ought to blame anyone for to begin with). But the breeze creates goosebumps up along your arm and his hand around yours is warm, his eyes reassuring, and you conclude it’s not so bad when it’s to someone like him that you belong with. You smile up at him. He laces his fingers through yours.
You’ve always feared drowning, but you don’t mind so much when it’s in the hazel of his eyes. You’ve always avoided the dark, but you embrace it when it eats you up, when it leaves everything but your emerald eyes reflected on his glasses and his chapped lips on your shivering neck. You welcome it when it’s you and him, when you’re mere silhouettes against the car light. Lithe, but not very precise. Unpredictable but expected. Waves lap in and out of the shore, and his fingers dig in your skin as pleasantly as your feet bury themselves in the cold sand, your toes curling and your heart soaring.
He mumbles he loves you, and you tell him yes, with a chuckle, yes you know. You love him, too. (More than you ever thought you would anyone.)
You wonder if it’s a classic or a cliche, this. You wonder if the messages in the bottle would ever get read, or if goodbyes ever run out. It’s going to hurt later, maybe, but you know that when things get desperate you will remember now—black and red; dark, swirling blue and yellow, blinding light—you will always go back to how certain you are that he’s worth it (and more).
You wonder if your numbered heartbeats would be enough for your trip to the end of eternity and back…
But he kisses you again, and you can feel his lopsided smile against your lips, and you just know that this is it. You’re here now. The beginning or the end you have yet to figure out, but you feel okay, and he’s the one, and this is forever.