And there it was. A pinprick thought. She pushed her chair back, put down her fork, exhaled shakily. Stared at the television, with it’s muted men in combat uniforms, now a procession, now cut to a politician, now a coffin, now a flag and weeping parents.
Not hers, but.
She loves this man.
Then her mind jumps forward, way, way, illogically forward to ten years in the future, as the widow of a deceased soldier, forming a group on base for other widows, organising now-solo parents, campaigning for veterans rights, and…
Being efficient in her grief.
She looks away from the tv, eyes tracing through the net curtains, out of the cheap motel glass and aluminium windows to the parking lot, minature garden, weathervane. This is a possibility. This is a possibility.
She asks herself the question: does she want to let herself fall in love with a man where this is a possibility?
And then: Is this even a question?
From the soft half-moon cup of your breasts, gentle waist curve (made for stroking), to the strong line of your hips, you are perfect.
A masterpiece of biology, breathing, beating, moving, eating, you work so magically.
You are strong, with defined shoulders, muscles growing under skin, high bum, powerful legs, defined calfs, you move like you were made to, lifting and cycling and swimming and hiking and running and jumping and stretching and pushing and dancing.
And being. Alone in your bed at night you softly stroke your belly, the skin on the inside of your wrists, holding your own small, soft, slender hands, listening to yourself breathe so quietly, so gently, you’re amazed at how tender you can be.
And in the morning the first thing you see is your beautiful face, all blue eyes, cheekbones and freckles, bow lips and the cutest little nose, eyebrows arched so softly, framing your perfect, unique face and you breathe to yourself:
I love you deeply
I love you forever
You are perfect.