He has been to Hell and back; over and over.
More times than any one man should.
It is nothing. Nothing to him.
Death is nothing.
He has died over and over. A little boy who saw too much and felt too much. Who fell. Bruised and broken.
Head down on concrete. Shattered.
Gun down his neck, across his forehead. Purple and red. What could have happened next? I cannot bear to think of it. I wake up in the night sometimes drenched in cold sweat at the thought of that gun. The gun that shattered his nose and every bone in his face. The gun that could have ended his life.
There are so many scars on his body. So many scars on his heart.
So much is lost. He will never get back these memories. He will forget the beautiful experiences we have. I will be a stranger, sooner rather than later.
He survived. Again and again.
He changed me.
He saved me.
You have a purpose, I tell him. There is a greater plan for your life. You are a fighter. You are immeasurably strong.
What if, he asks, this is the plan?
You and me. Coffee dates in the car. Kissing in the pool. Long talks and quiet hikes. Cooking dinner together.
Laughing. So much laughing.
What if what I am meant for is this and this alone? This ordinary, beautiful life.
If so, that is okay. I know this.
Sometimes I think this too, I say. That maybe his purpose was to love me. To make me whole. To help me recognize who exactly I was meant to be.
I bite my tongue. It sounds so selfish. It sounds so vain.
Who am I, anyway? I am no one. I am insignificant. I never mattered before. I never knew my worth before him. Before he held up the big, beautiful mirror that is his heart and said, see? See how worthy it is? See how you were meant to fit with me? See how we are two souls made of the same magic?
I was only the remains of all who have loved and broken me. I was only this until I knew him.
He is quiet, as he often is.
Thank you, he says, for saving me.