The moon is supplying just enough light. Nothing more.
He takes her hand and leads her over the rocky shore. The fall breeze is biting. They reach their destination. He helps her climb up on the big rock. He takes a seat beside her.
Lighthouses on either side of the harbour fight for attention. Waves quietly lap below their dangling feet.
Their arms are just barely touching.
“Have you ever met someone you thought was out of your league?” she asks, bringing him back.
“Nope,” he replies, after a beat.
“Not for a moment.”
“Interesting. Though that does sound like you.”
“I don’t really believe in leagues. Well. Except for… that dude. You’re way the fuck out of his league.”
“You don’t know him!”
“I know enough. He’s an ass.”
“Why?” she asks.
“I don’t know… Nature? Nurture?”
“No. Why do you say he’s an ass?”
“A lot of women like him.”
“And he likes a lot of women.”
“Maybe… Women like you too.”
“I’m flattered by it. He uses it. A guy like that? And you? On his best day, he wouldn’t even come close to deserving you on your very worst.”
“And what if I think he deserves me just fine?”
“You don’t. But if you did… Then you’d be grossly and criminally undervaluing yourself.”
A power boat makes it way towards the wharf on the south side of the harbour. One of three.
“It’s interesting how you talk to me,” she says finally.
“I tried showing. It didn’t take fully. Now it’s time to tell.”
“Here’s the thing–”
“I was wondering what the thing was.”
“The thing is that once you have the big love, that’s it. That’s the ballgame. The rest is just… details.”
“It takes more than that.”
“Flour is not the only ingredient in bread, but you can’t have bread without it. You just can’t. I’m not allowed gluten. Trust me on this. You absolutely need it.”
“God. A good boyfriend needs to be the voice of reason only when he has a reason. Otherwise he should be a cheerleader, a tear dryer, a dream supporter, a partner. A good boyfriend has to love you. Just love the shit out of you. They have to have a specific smile just for you. Their heart has to beat faster when you walk in the room. Hurting your feelings, even a tiny bit, has to crush them so badly that is is hard to breathe.”
“You feel like that?” she whispers.
“Yeah,” he says, lifting his feet to avoid them getting licked by the slightly enhanced waves caused by the boat’s wake.
“I mean, yes, that sounds amazing. But… I don’t know. Isn’t it kind of idealistic?”
“Why is that a bad thing? No. Seriously. Everyone is okay with working out to try to get closer to the ideal of ‘in shape.’ Everyone is okay with eating according to some diet to try to get to ‘healthy living.’ Everyone is trying to find the ideal job that pays the bills and leaves them fulfilled and able to travel and set their own hours and… Isn’t it just plain stupid not to be idealistic about our relationships. Shouldn’t we strive for the best? That person that absolutely owns your heart? Someone who will hold it in their hands and just die before letting anything happen to it?”
“You gotta be a romantic. Jesus. You gotta. Or you’re just missing out. I know you. You’re a romantic. My dear, life and relationships without true romance is like driving a 6-speed super car and never taking it out of first gear.”
“I get that–
“Listen, I’m yours. Let’s not beat around the bush. I’m yours. Always. And I’m not sure you fully get what that means. The world can be a cold and lonely place. Things will happen. You’ll get knocked down. But no matter what, I’ll be there. I’ll lift you up. I’ll dust you off. Is that not an amazing thing to you? Is that not one of the greatest feelings in the world? Day or night, you have someone getting your back. You’ll never be alone. Never.”
“Why are you saying all of this tonight?”
“Because you’re you, I’m me, and life is way too fucking short.”
“We get one ride through this thing. Just one. I don’t know about you, but on my deathbed, I want to know that I spent my days with someone who loved me huge and unconditionally. Someone who sees my weaknesses as their strengths. My first call. My last kiss. Someone who took my breath away, and gave me theirs. Someone who won’t always require explanations, but I’ll want to give them anyway. Because things won’t feel real until I share them. I want someone who feels a little invincible when they walk hand in hand beside me. I want… I want someone who will build me up and build me up, then catch me when I fall, kiss me softly, then start building again. Someone to celebrate victories with. Someone whose shoulder will support my head in defeat. Someone who gets me. Accepts me. Loves me for, and not in spite of. I think I deserve this. All of it. And more. I think I deserve someone so off their ass, and ridiculously, stupidly in love with me. And so do you. No matter what. I want that love. So badly. I want that. ”
“What do you want?”
The moon is supplying just enough light. Maybe a little more.