Danny and Sam
We'd like to say our story ends with "And they lived happily ever after."
Actually, we wouldn't. And more to the point, we can't.
Not that we haven't been happy. My life with Sam has had more happy moments than I could have ever imagined back on that ordinary day, in an ordinary middle school classroom, when the boy who just wanted to be normal was serving lunch detention, and the scary-looking girl with the shaved head walked into his life and taught him to reach beyond himself.
Or when he reached back to her when no one else would.
But our lives together have also had more scary moments than I could have imagined. More tense moments, more moments when I could have cheerfully strangled her...
Or I could have cheerfully strangled him...
And moments when we were both so stricken by grief, the only thing we could do was cling to each other.
That's the thing with life. There is no "ever after." No ride off into the sunset, where happiness is eternal, the skies are always blue, and the seas are always calm. Life is infinitely more complex than that, an intricate dance of dark and light, and that's what makes it beautiful. A life without that would be hopelessly bland.
And life with Sam could never be bland.
We could have missed it all, though. Our fears nearly kept us from even starting the journey. Danny's fears of screwing up and destroying what mattered most to him.
Sam's fears of opening up and losing what mattered most to her. Fears we thought we'd conquered with a ring and a kiss on a hilltop. But we were wrong. Those fears couldn't be conquered.
Just temporarily subdued. The ghosts that would always haunt us.
We had no idea, then, on that hilltop, what lay ahead.
Everything I could lose.
Everything I could destroy. And it would take more than a ring or a kiss to make it right.
But that's part of the dance, too. A dance we could only do together.
So, our story doesn't end with a "happily ever after," because our story hasn't ended. There are chapters that close, and new ones that begin, but the story continues. What began with a defining moment, like an explosion in a basement portal...
Or the first spark of something new at high school dance.
Or a kiss in the snow.
Or a ring offered as a promise to always come home.
What began in moments like these doesn't end so much as evolve.
While new defining moments become new beginnings, changing our direction yet again, and setting us on paths we'd never expected or never even knew existed.
Some of them better than we'd ever dared dream.
You can keep your "happily ever after." For us, there are still dances left to dance and stories left to tell. Some of them are his stories.
Some of them are hers.
But together, they become more than just his or hers. They become ours. And this whole ride we've been on together? I wouldn't change it for the world.
Not one little bit.