by Megan Ybos
We lay awake one night in our shared bedroom. The house creaks in the quiet of the late night, but we don’t notice. No, we’re too busy giggling like girls having a sleepover at some silly meme your friend sent you. Our eyes meet over the glow of your phone and I watch your face relax. Your eyes mist over with emotion.
“I love this,” you whisper “I could do this forever”
I can’t help but giggle, “Read stupid memes?”
“No silly. Love you. I could love you forever”
And I smile a smile that’s all to myself because I have a secret. Though life has tried to paint you in darkness, there’s a golden, glowing light that shines through the cracks. Your fingertips glow with it as you softly caress me. It pours from a crack over your chest where I know your heart beats, and it shines behind your bright blue eyes as you gaze into mine. You can’t see it and I don’t think you remember, but I know I’ll love you forever because I already have. Through space and time and so many lives, I’ve chased that light just so I could hold you like this again.
I have loved you across battlefields where rich men hid like rats behind high walls. Meanwhile, we lesser creatures fought and died for them to keep power. As the chaos of battle reigned around me, I caught sight of that glow and couldn’t
help but stop and gape. You were a point of radiance amidst the smoke and falling bodies. I forgot my purpose as I ran, near flying over the blood-soaked grass, my arms outstretched, fingers clawing, desperate to reach you, to touch that light. Still, fate had other plans. Pain blossomed in my gut as I fell. You didn’t see me. You turned and kept pressing on, your luster fading away in the mist. I remember staring up at the sky as my world went dark, swearing I’d search forever to find that light again.
Before that, I can recall cobblestone streets that were so hard on my small feet. Hiding in alleys and dark corners; I would steal anything to keep my stomach from cramping with unending hunger. The world showed me no mercy, but you did. The light stretched from your fingertips as you knelt before me and handed me a piece of bread. I was too young then to understand what that brilliance could mean. I was too scared and untrusting to let you cast your glow upon me. I wish I had followed you through the maze of streets, chasing that light like a beacon of hope. Instead, my world went dark while curled amidst the trash with an aching belly. I vowed, if given the chance, I’d search for that light again.
Then I remember the hospital where no amount of cleaning could wash away the smell of death. Over time, I grew numb to the chorus of coughing, the rattling wheezes, the sweet but acrid smell of decay and bodily fluids. That night it was quiet as I walked between the beds, checking to see who
were still with us. You cut through the fog of my mind, desperately reaching out to grab my arm and make me see. Your face was so pale and gaunt, but I could just see a glimmer of light shining from your eyes. My work now abandoned, I sat vigil and told you stories. I even made you laugh as we both waited for Death’s arrival. When that beautiful light left your eyes, I finally let the tears flow free, a cough stinging my chest as I clutched your now cold hand. I wouldn’t be far behind you, but I was at peace with that; it meant I wouldn’t have to wait long to search for that golden glow again.
Once I came back as a caterpillar, transformed into a moth, and I was so drawn by your light that I couldn’t help but land upon your shoulder. You couldn’t have known who I was as you brushed me away, but that rejection ended me. Still, I couldn’t wait to come back. Some call me an old soul and don’t realize how right they are. I have lived a thousand lifetimes. I have been a princess, a pauper, a traveler, a seamstress, a cobbler, a baker, a candlestick maker, and so many more. However, none of those titles mean as much to me as the title of yours. A badge I coveted from the moment I met you and now wear proudly.
Have you ever had a full night’s rest and then sat outside to watch the sunrise? You’re whole and rested, but groggy. You don’t really wake up until the light touches your face. That’s what meeting you was like. I thought my life full and comfortable until I walked into that restaurant and saw you
shining. A sun peaking over the horizon as you smiled at me and complimented my nerdy shirt, gold glimmering on your lips. I felt it then, in the depths of my soul that I would follow you anywhere just to be in the presence of that glow. I know I could love you forever because I already have. My light. My life. My sunshine soul.
About the Author
Megan Ybos, 29, of Slidell writes a love letter in the form of prose.