I open my eyes and close them again. All I can see is her auburn hair and the sparkle in her honey brown eyes. It has almost been a month and I can only keep thinking about her. After what seems like hours, I drag myself out of bed and stumble across the room to pick up her diary from amongst the other things on her once neat table, which is now covered by a thin layer of dust. I collapse on the floor, clasping her diary tight, and open it, tracing a hand on her sweet, clean cursive handwriting, one I had teased her so often about. I close my eyes and slowly slip years into the past.
‘She’ had been Eva, the one true love of my life. We had a love, kind of straight out of a fairy-tale. Two high school sweethearts, engaged soon after school, managed to struggle through college and the agony of several jobs, sometimes more than one at a time. With some years of hard work, we finally were able to settle down and get married in something of a comfortable life. She was one of a kind and I mean that in the best possible way. Eva liked strolls on full moon nights and star-gazing and sometimes on weekend nights would drag me out with herself, walk a mile or two under the heavens talking about all sorts of crazy. She was my kind of crazy and I adored her. From her slightly crooked nose to her very gorgeous smile, the way she bit her lip when she was absorbed in a book, to her hair, which she wore long but could never control either, Eva was every little bit of beauty I had never found before.
After proposing to her in a dream-like state, in the October of 2003, we had gotten engaged and waited until the our lives were more stable to finally get married. I had gone to college at the University of Illinois on a scholarship program, majoring in journalism and media sciences, graduating magna cum laude and was offered a reputable job at the Chicago News. It had taken 2 whole years after our engagement but it was worth it, since it allowed me to rest back with a good pay and plan my upcoming wedding.
Even now that I look back, I understand how tricky those days had been, since Eva, studying arts at the College of creative arts, in Detroit, meant that we were a good whole 300 or so miles away, and in a long distance relationship since traveling 10+ hours every day wasn’t an option for either of us. But we made it work. We loved each other and love is like that, it builds patience which would never waver, and loyalties which would never be doubted.
On 22nd November 2005 we had finally gotten married. 2 weeks after Eva’s graduation, in a small ceremony at a friend’s Lake house a little outside of town. They say a person is usually too busy to enjoy their own wedding. I agree. I was too busy looking at Eva to really focus on anything else that was happening around me.
Eva did not have a big family. Or in fact, any family. Her father had abandoned her when she was still a baby and I can vividly remember the day when she had asked my dad to walk her down the aisle. He had teared up in a happy smile and hugged her. But nothing could have prepared me for when she did walk down the aisle, clutching my father’s hand, looking absolutely stunning in that white, silver gown and it took all of my strength to keep the moisture from my eyes but I think a few tears managed to slip the lower lash line and there I was. In love. Like I had always been. And then the priest asked me if I took her to be my wife, and I thought about all the days we had spent, huddled under the stars, walking in the park and cooking together day after day for years, all I could do was smile and say ‘I do’. Hadn’t I already done, years ago?
There had been delicious food catered by my father’s own catering business and an instrumental cake, topped not with a bride and groom, but two decorative swans with their heads tucked down and their necks forming a beautiful heart. Our friends had been ecstatic and the celebrations had been never ending. Later, we had pooled in the money we have been saving from our jobs all life and had spent a blissful couple of weeks in the Bahamas, away from everything a glorious honeymoon on the white sands and boundless ocean. Everything had been perfect.
I open my eyes now and they take a few minutes to adjust to the dim light of room.. I look down at her diary in my hand, open at a random page. Her collection a lifetime of poetry. Saturday nights were dedicated to lessons of passion and one of her most enjoyable hobbies, as she disconnected from the world and disappeared in the study for hours on end. Her work was damn fine and she would sometimes read it out to me and I would clutch my heart, not able to believe, that the girl I love is beauty and brains, all wrapped up in a perfect little package. Poetry nights left a gleam in her eyes and a skip in her step and I loved those nights and the romantic poet in her.
‘And when the clock chimes 12 today, I will not run away
My happily ever after has always been right here with you’