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Reflected Love

Story ID:3451
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Writers Conference:$500 2007 Family Memories Writing Project
Location:Fort Lee NJ USA
Year:2008
Person:Me
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Reflected Love

I tapped her on the shoulder. “Would you like to dance?”

She looked up at me – big brown eyes – beautiful eyes. “Excuse me?”

I leaned closer to be overheard above the loud music. “Would you like to dance?”
I asked again.

“OK!” She smiled at me. I took her hand, helped her up, and led her to the
crowded dance floor.

As we danced, I looked into those eyes. There was something about them –
something in them. Was it softness? “You have beautiful eyes.” I blurted out.

“What?” She leaned closer.

“I said your eyes. They’re beautiful.”

She blushed. “Thank you.”

During the following months, I got to look into those eyes every day. The softness
of them captured my heart. A year later, I got to see them look into mine as she said, “I
will.”
They sparkled when we made love. I fell into them. They closed in pain as she
gave birth to our first child. They looked up at me, as she held our tiny daughter in her arms
in the recovery room and did the same three years later with our second child – a
son.
I saw something similar in my young children’s eyes. I’d come home from work.
They’d run toward me for hugs and kisses. I’d hold them at arm’s length and they’d
stare at me. Their eyes sparkled. Like a spell, I fell into those eyes and what I saw in
them.

****************************

Georgia looked across the table of a candle lit dinner. The flickering candle
reflected in those two brown pools. I fell in love again. Her warm hand held mine as
we walked or talked and when she turned to me, there was that look in her eyes again.

Years passed. When she smiled, lines formed at the corner of those eyes that
captured my heart long ago. They were the lines of age, wisdom, and life. The eyes still
held me in their power. I was older, but still didn’t quite know what it was I was seeing.
I just knew it was magic.

Twenty years later, I thought about those last couple of years of our life. The
thing I worshiped all those years faded. Her illness took over. The last time they stared
into mine, I saw only fear. She lay on a hospital gurney. Pain racked her body. Her eyes
closed, as a nurse attempted to insert a catheter. A few short hours later, she was on life
support.

Those eyes would never look at me again.

***********************

We’d met in an online support group. She was coming to meet me in person.
I stood near the departure gate, anxiously awaiting her arrival. My heart fluttered in my
chest. “Is this right?” I asked myself, as I paced the floor. We only knew each other
through the internet and the phone.

The monitor hanging from the ceiling said her flight was at the gate. People
walked toward me. Men, women, children, but I didn’t see her. I stopped pacing and
watched closely. Did I miss her? Is she wandering the airport lost? I knew what she
looked like. I’d seen her picture. I couldn’t have missed her.

She stepped through the gates, “Michael?” She asked when she saw me.

“Ginny? There you are!” I walked up and hugged her. “I’m so glad you’re here.
This is the moment I’ve been dreaming of for so long.” I held her tight in my arms.
“You’re here. I finally get to hold you.”

“I’m here, Michael.” She buried her face against my chest. “I’m here, baby.”

We pulled back. She looked up at me. “I’m really here.” She said. Her green eyes
sparkled. They were beautiful. There was a sense of déjà vu. My heart fell into those
eyes. I was powerless.

I cooked for her that night. She sat in the kitchen, offered help, but listened when
I said, “No! This is your first time here. Like I said I would, I’m cooking for you.”

She stood. I refilled her wine glass, but took it from her hand. I set it on the table.
The sweet-and-sour beef stew simmered on the stove. It filled the room with a wonderful
aroma. My son was in his room. It was just the two of us. “Thank you.” I said and
wrapped my arms around her.

“For what?” she asked, melting into my arms.

I buried my face in her hair. “For taking the chance.” I paused and enjoyed the
feel of her. “Thank you for trusting me enough to make this trip.”

“Michael,” She pulled back and looked up at me. Her green eyes softer than
anything I’d ever seen. “I didn’t take a chance. I knew. I’m home.”

Since that time, I have seen those eyes and what they contain every day. When I
leave for work, I pause at the bottom of the stairs, and look up. Ginny stands staring at
me. “Be careful, Baby. I love you.”

“I will, Baby. I’ll call you when I get to work. I love you more.”

“No!” She yells at me. “It’s my day. I love ‘YOU’ more!”

I laugh. “You’re right. I love you too.”

At the end of the day, I pull the car into the garage, get out, and open the door
leading to the stairs and to the kitchen. At the top of the stairs, where I last saw her,
stands Ginny.

“Hi, Baby.” She smiles down at me.

I look up. “There’s my little girl.” I smile. “Yeah! There she is – my little girl.”
The troubles of my day melt away. I am home – with her. I haul my tired body, my work
bag, and whatever groceries we need that day up the stairs.

She takes the bags from my hands, sets them down, and waits for my arms to hold
her. We kiss. She looks up at me. I look down at her. Her eyes make my heart pound.
And there was my answer. What I saw in their eyes all those years, was the love I felt for
them reflected back at me.

Michael T. Smith