June will always be extra special to me. The twenty-third day, specifically. The day when heaven sent an angel destined to hold my hand and my heart forever. The day you were born.
Soft sunlight, streaming through the dark green leaves of the tree above us, touch her hair and I am instantly jealous. I lay my hand over her light brown crown, its ray instead hitting me with the morning warmth.
Before I met you, I was just. . . living. Took everyday as it came. Relationships went and passed me by, leaving me discontented and disillusioned. I found myself unconsciously, whimsically saying a silent prayer to an unseen God wishing for someone that will sweep me off my feet and make me forget everything except her.
Be careful what you wish for, they say — you might just get it.
All around us, birds chirp in harmony, singing their own version of praise, welcoming the coming of a new day and glorifying the magnificence of creation, whatever label of season it is named in various parts of the world. The mild, fragrant scent of flowers chant with them invisibly, harmoniously.
She sleeps so peacefully on a bed of lush grass, oblivious to the busy workings of nature around her: the blooming flowers, the hovering bees and butterflies, the gentle sound of the waterfall’s soft cascading waters down to the man-made lagoon.
I still remember the first time I laid eyes on you. You were trying to recover from a blunder in delivering your lines, but then you turned your head and saw me looking at you intently. Wanting to hide your embarrassment, you flashed your dazzling smile at me. And I was irrevocably smitten.
Even at rest, her face looks radiant, pinkish skin flushed with love’s glow. Her eyes are closed, which just shows off the allure of her long, thick eyelashes. Her straight, perfect nose quietly hums her sweet breath. And her lips. . . those intoxicating pair of pillowy lips, which taste like sweet red wine, infused with flavors of cotton candy and apples.
How could I forget the first time I tasted your lips? It was your twenty-first birthday, a sunny day in June. I pressed my lips to yours, a fleeting moment of heaven that left me with shaky knees. It was the first of many kisses that differed in intensity, length, and scope . . . but all equally unforgettable.
Without thinking, my thumb carefully traces her lips’ contours, reveling in the feel of every soft crevice. She stirs. I hold my breath. I would have wanted to stay like this forever, watching her sleep. But a part of me is also eager to see her open her big, brown eyes and be drowned in their bewitching depths.
The first time I looked deep into your eyes, I was captivated. Mesmerized. Your eyes haunted me from then on. I saw it everywhere, day and night, even with my eyes closed, and I impatiently waited for the next time I will behold them once again. They were like glimmering, glowing lamps of light, illuminating my life, bringing brightness and colour to my once monochromatic world.
She smiles before she opens her eyes. “That was . . .”
“Arousing?” I amusedly ask.
Her eyes flies open, twinkling with laughter. “I was going to say rousing.”
“Good morning, beautiful.” I hold her hand wearing her wedding ring, kissing it gently, my eyes never leaving hers.
“I love you,” she says.
“I love you more,” I reply, cupping her face as my mouth meet hers for a long, sensual kiss.
Smiling after, I ask, “Do you want to have breakfast now?”
“Can we stay here a little bit? It’s so relaxing here. I can’t believe I dozed off after our morning walk.”
“I knew you’d love it here. That’s why I bought this property before our wedding. This is our home, our nest.”
“And it’s perfect. The flowers, the grass, the trees, the birds. . .” her voice trails off, for no additional words are necessary to describe the breathtaking beauty that is right before our eyes.
Like the petals of a flower, our love slowly, gradually blossomed to its fullness, yet not without the proverbial birthing pains associated with that inexplicable, incomprehensible, wonderful feeling of the dizzying, swirling, turbulent ride called falling in love. It bloomed when we stripped off all our fears and apprehensions of what was and what could, and allowed our true feelings to emerge from within ourselves for it to flourish.
You told me you’re moody and imperfect. I told you, so am I, I can take it. Sometimes with amusement, sometimes not. Other times I feel frustrated to see you crawl inside your own world, shutting me out. But the prize I got every time I drew you out constantly challenged and revitalized me. We fought; we kissed and made up. We talked, we laughed, we cried, we dreamed. And we survived.
You told me to wait till you’re ready. I did. There were times I grew anxious and impatient. A few times I was threatened by other men who wanted to enter into your heart too. Although it hurt like hell and I was green with jealousy, I held on. And one day, you surprised me when you said you’re ready. As simple as that. You were ready to commit yourself to me. You were ready to be mine.
Our love grew as the days and months passed by, nurtured by trust, cultivated by hope, and watered by a generous sprinkling of our common faith. A love that we persistently fought for against all odds. And we emerged triumphant.
The wedding last year was nothing short of magical. Everything was perfect. So perfect and so spiritually solemn that we both cried as we sealed our union with a kiss.
It was June again. You just turned 24 last week. I found myself looking forward to discovering, exploring, and loving every bit and piece of you: your mind, your heart, your body. . . even if it takes a lifetime. Because as long as we’re together, I will not be daunted by the uncertainty of the future, or even the forecast of storms or strong winds, or the heat of the blazing sun.
Nothing else mattered. . . except us.
“Sweetheart?” she speaks. “Help me up, please?”
I stand and do as she says.
I shoot her a worrying look, “Are you okay?”
“I. . . I think so. My back hurts. . . a little.”
“From the way you look, it’s not just a little pain. Is that normal?” I frown.
She forces a smile.
“I’m sure it’s nothing. Let’s eat, I’m famished.”
“Okay, if you say so.”
But I can’t shake off the uneasy feeling I have.
All of a sudden, she gasps out loud.
I tense. “What? Why? What’s the matter?”
I feet panic crawling into my voice as I saw her horrified face.
“I. . . I’m afraid. . .this time. . .”
“What is it? Please, tell me.” The panic inside me escapes out of my mouth.
“I. . . I think. . . my waters just broke.”
“What? What waters? That waters? Oh God, what do we do? What shall I do? Don’t walk! Don’t speak! Don’t freakin’ move! Stay there. I’ll go get help! Or do we go together? Shit! Shit! I can’t think clearly!”
I blabber and mutter and turn around, not knowing what to do. Well, I do, actually. I’ve attended lots of birthing classes with her. But it is different when you’re faced with the real thing!
She grasps my arm, and I can tell she’s in pain by how tightly she held on to me. But she still smiles, although forcefully, and speaks, haltingly, in between breaths. She is striving to be strong for both of us.
“Sweetheart, first. . . you must calm down. Breathe in. . . breathe out.”
“Okay. . . okay.” I follow her example.
“Then, slowly. . . carry me in your arms. . . and let’s go to the hospital,” she says, in between gasps.
“Right. Right. So here we go,” as I swoop her up, pregnant belly and all, into my arms.
Snuggling her face on my neck, she whispers to my ear, “Carefully, now. Our daughter will be here shortly.”
I can tell the month of June was about to be extra meaningful to me. To us.