i watch him as he speaks - his hands moving awkwardly as he tries to find the words to say. his eyes shine and my heart's pulse quickens at the realization they shine for me. i know he's probably nervous. i look for the overt signs of anxiousness but see none. his breath comes easy and his speech is smooth. i listen to the story from his side - the funny parts and the frustrating moments crash into my memory from a different perspective and i can't help but smile. i remember. i remember the cracked upholstery of his car, the embarrassment of spilled soda staining lobby couches, his hands gripping the steering wheel and turning white as i explained what the last boy did to me. i remember it all. and hearing my story come from someone else's mouth is absolutely surreal but beautiful.
i realize then, my story has become his story. we are forever intertwined through His gift of love and hope and redemption.
he glances at me and i catch the clue. my turn. i pick up where he left off and continue to share - this time from my own memories. we continue like this for an hour and a half - like a symphony complete with moments for rest and crescendos. every time he speaks, my heart grows. every time he catches my eye, i can't help but smile. every time i share, i fight the strength of emotion.
we finish and climb down the stairs, making our way to our seats. he places his arm around me and pulls me close.
"i love you." he whispers in my ear - his breath caressing my cheek. i wipe the tears of gratitude and glance his way, memories still playing against the screen shot of my mind.
i grab his hand and give it a squeeze, our fingers laced together like the formation of our story. he smiles at me and i whisper, "i love you too."