Photo (c) Regina Wamba / Mae I Design
Ollie and Talia have always lived by two rules.
When the unthinkable happens Talia is left heartbroken and Ollie doesn’t know how to fix it. Suddenly this fun-loving couple finds themselves struggling to find the good in life that used to come so readily to the both of them.
A gift from a friend presents them with the chance to travel the world. Something they were both once eager to do.
Hopping on a plane.
Anything can happen…but can they find their way back to themselves?
I look at him questioningly, and he parts his legs, motioning me to sit in-between them. I climb over his leg and position myself with my back against his chest so he can rest his chin on top of my head. The sun sinks some more—it’s almost completely gone at this point.
“The only thing sure in this world is that the sun is going to set every evening and rise every morning. That’s it. Nothing else in this world is guaranteed.” He wraps his arms around my body, and I scoot forward a little bit so I can recline against him more.
“There’s one other thing,” I say, tilting my head back to look at him.
“That I love you.”
He chuckles and taps his finger against my nose. “How could I forget?” He lowers his head and his curls tickle my neck. “God, Tal,” he murmurs. “I could’ve lost you.”
My heart pangs. He doesn’t talk much about that day—I think it’s easier for the both of us to brush it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen. But it did and it left a scar on both of our hearts. I reach my arm up, curling it around his neck as my fingers thread into his hair.
“You didn’t,” I whisper. “I’m still here, and I’m not going anywhere.”
Ollie bites his lip, and it’s then that I see the tears pooling in his eyes. “I’ve never been more scared than that day I got the call you were in the hospital—and we’ve been through some pretty shitty stuff.” He tucks his head against my neck and I feel his body begin to shake. I untangle myself from his hold and turn around, sitting in his lap with my legs wrapped around his waist. I take his face between my hands and brush his shaggy hair from his eyes. My beautiful, funny, weird, and quirky boyfriend never cries.
Not when we lived on the streets.
Not when we went to bed with empty stomachs.
“Oliver,” I whisper, and his lips quirk at my use of his full name. “I’m not going anywhere.” My voice grows even softer. My eyes flick down to his lips and back. “The whole time I was lying on that floor in the restaurant, all I kept thinking was, ‘You can’t leave Ollie and the baby’. I fought to live for you. For both of you.” I brush my fingers over his cheek. He swallows thickly and a tear escapes from his eye, sliding down his cheek and onto my hand. I’ve never spoken to him about that time I spent in the restaurant playing dead from my gunshot wound. I think he’d like to pretend that I wasn’t aware of what was happening, but I knew. I knew. “I’m too stubborn to ever leave you, so I’m afraid you’re stuck with me for the long haul.”
He laughs then. “I like the sound of that.”
Pressing my forehead against his, I kiss him. I’ve kissed Ollie a thousand times since we’ve been together—more I’m sure—but every single time still feels new and different. I still get excited butterflies in my stomach, and that right there tells me I’m with the right person.
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