You put your arms around me and I close my eyes. It was with you, unintentionally, where I’d learned to trust again. Where I’d told myself that it was okay to let go of a past that was only tying me to what no longer was. It was okay to breathe deeply. It was okay to show someone my heart and believe that person wasn’t out to destroy me. Because you aren’t. And even though I hardly know you, I know this.
You put your arms around me and my heart is like an old heater humming to life again. I can feel the dust blowing away in the warm air, can feel the engine push full throttle, beats wild and rapid once again. For the first time in so long, I feel a pulse pounding through every cell in my body. And I remember how it feels to be alive.
You put your arms around me and I take a deep breath. Because suddenly I feel grounded to this moment. To the earth beneath my feet, to the stars dancing across the night sky, to the people around me who don’t know my name, and yet are still connected in our shared breath, our hands, our laughter filling the air. I breathe and let myself relax, let myself lean into you. Without fear.
You put your arms around me, and I am silent. My mind rushing ten thousand miles an hour, imaging streets where we will dance by the light of the moon, alleyways where we’ll run like children holding hands, restaurants where you’ll order expensive dishes and we’ll share the same fork, beaches where we’ll dip our toes and splash the saltwater onto our sun kissed skin. A future, unburdened, unbound.
You put your arms around me and I feel safe. Because for the first time, I’m no longer searching for someone to fill, to fix. You are not perfect, but you carry yourself with strength and intelligence, and I don’t have to be afraid. You stand next to me, beside me. We share the weight of the world on our shoulders, and when I falter, you don’t stand back. You let me be strong, but not strong enough so that I don’t need you. You don’t suffocate me, stifle me. You let me dance and run and taste freedom, but you never leave my side. You’re free too, and hand in hand we spin.
You put your arms around me and I am finally loved how I need to be loved.