b ~ (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair)

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A Year in the Life/ Light

March~ You are amazed each and every morning, as the sunlight streams in through the window. It’s been a year and he’s still beside you, now quietly snoring as you take in his sleeping form. With his head resting on the pillow, he’s content to still be dreaming. He’s the first one you see in the morning and the last one you see before you close your eyes.

April~ Work is still fun, there are always books to be shelved, and rows of toys to be straightened. As a trainer you are responsible for knowing the store down to the smallest detail. If a customer asks for a mini flashlight that they want to buy for their son who is headed off to a camping trip, you take them straight to the section without hesitation. As you listen to the request, you start to wonder if having your own reading light might make late night reading at home a little less bothersome.

May~ Every year you wait for your birthday, this year promises to be extra special. You have always seen it as a day to celebrate and reflect. And this one has been good from beginning to end—filled with unexpected, sweet surprises. As twilight approaches the sun begins to set, casting a purpley, hazy glow over the sky, capturing your thoughts in amber.

June~ This is the month of the solstice. Daylight seemingly lasts forever, it feels like evening will never come. It’s still so bright when you come home to get ready for your friends. There’s a big sandwich all ready to eat while everyone sits around the television to watch and sing along with Grease. (Somehow the one you love best has never seen it, and you feel it is your personal duty to right this wrong.)

July~ A wedding to remember. Everything is perfect, except it is so warm the ceiling fans are running, which makes the candles in the centerpieces burn very quickly. No one really notices, so why worry. The day is a blur of laughing, kissing, dancing, hugging and picture-taking. At the end you both dash out of the hall, leaving under an arch of sparklers—on your way to your own happily ever after.

August~ You honeymoon in Toronto, staying in his sister’s apartment. You spend some time in Niagara Falls and make the trip back through Buffalo– determined to stop for authentic wings. You bring home a paddle that neither of you actually plans to use, it is so beautifully made. Instead it will hang over the doorway. Most days you find yourself thinking about your time in Canada and what it was like to discover a new city. The sound of the falls still fills your ears as you remember the way the colored spotlights put on a show.

September~Walking the dog through the neighborhood each night, the starlight never ceases to capture your attention. You wonder if it is the same yet different than so many other places in the world. Will you stay here, buy a home, raise a family? Where will this new life lead you? The dog is happy to listen to your thoughts.

October~ This year Halloween is warm. Porchlights shine from most of the houses up and down the street. The kids you hear playing on the playground during the day have put on their best disguises in the hopes of filling their bags with goodies. You wish you both were dressed, but you’re still glad to be a part of it all.

November~ Life has changed dramatically. Now you are driving home whenever you can. You’ve made the trip across Pennsylvania so many times you could almost do it in your sleep. The headlights cut the fog, showing you the way, though there is only time for a quick weekend visit and then back to apartment, the new job and all of the responsibilities.

December~ So that you won’t be alone, your friends come down to stay for Christmas day. They take you into the city and treat you to lunch, dinner, and dessert at three different restaurants. Your time together is filled with unexpected surprises: window shopping, empty parking spaces as far as the eye can see, driving through the streets and hitting all the green traffic lights. It feels glorious, like a movie, a road trip with three friends let loose in New York.

January~ Finally you are reunited after a too long separation. In the new apartment, the fairylights still surround the picture window that frames a view of the city. It is New Year’s Eve and there are fireworks being shot off that you can see from your hall window if you crane your neck. It feels like a true celebration, as if your heart was exploding, making figures in the sky.

February~ Each night is spent in bed the room lit only by the lamplight. In the attic apartment of an old house lamps are a necessity. You lay exhausted after a long day’s work; up at four to take the train into the city to be there at six. Quietly you discuss the antics of the customers and coworkers. As it often does, conversation turns to names and gender. Speculation, intuition. What will he or she look like? Eye color, hair color?   And then a name is suggested and somehow it sticks. You survey the tiny room and wonder how a baby will ever fit amidst the boxes and the books.

Now seventeen years later it’s difficult to imagine that life. But on a Saturday night you make your way, first to dinner then onto a movie. Unfortunately the line is too long, so you opt instead for a walk to the gelato counter. You sit holding hands and the memories of your first days together flood you like high tide. You each eat the sweet dessert at the slowest pace possible, savoring each spoonful. As you stand to leave, you grab those same spoons—one pink, one blue—souvenirs from the land of Just You Two.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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