A peaceful bliss had enveloped them in the first few weeks of being back together. Both took the time to know each other again, this time without hidden agendas, with no vicious competitions, only both of them sharing their life and enjoying the exciting new road ahead. But the reality they had been avoiding in the beginning seemed to approach rapidly and wake them from their blissful reverie. It was finally time to start living, to build a life together with whatever challenges that came their way. They knew it would mean that one of them would have to change their life dramatically.
Neither seemed to have the courage to make a decision and risk bursting their little bubble, so they waited until the right moment came, all the while ignoring the insistent call of the impending question that floated all around them. Who would it be?
It was only in an afternoon at the end of summer, when both sat in the outdoors of a restaurant enjoying a meal, that reality sank in. The sun shone brightly up in the shy and softly kissed her olive skin, while the breeze that announced the coming of autumn played with his curls. There was uncharacteristic silence between them, but it was intimate and comfortable, and when her eyes traveled from her plate up to meet his and a soft smile illuminated her face, he couldn't prevent the words of his resolve from falling through his lips and breaking the silence.
"I've always been seduced by the bright lights of the stages in the 42nd street." He stated as if to answer an unspoken question.
It was a simple statement in itself, but it conveyed everything that they had been avoiding, the ultimate decision of whom would change their life for the other. The meaning was heavy and enough to surprise her.
A moment later the brightest smile he had ever seen took form in her face and reached her eyes in the form of brilliant tears. She didn't have to speak; the smile that lasted for a lifetime and the very passionate love making that night was enough to convey all the gratitude she felt.
She smiled warmly at the memory from that summer day as her head rested in his bare chest in the stillness of their bedroom. While her fingertips drummed along his skin at the rise and fall of his chest, the first sun rays invaded the room and shone on the diamond star in her finger. The clear light captured her attention and she contemplated the past year in her life. Many questions came and went, but only one was persistent, one that frequently resided in the back of her mind, the one to which the answer was the most feared. She exhaled in frustration and her breath fanned softly across his chest.
"I can hear you thinking from here." He murmured in a sleepy voice.
In spite of her previous annoyance she smiled at his uncanny ability to read her body language, even when half asleep. His arms tightened around her body and he turned in her embrace to capture her lips in a tender kiss.
"What were you thinking about?" He asked.
Her eyes fell from his gaze and her fingers started to play absentmindedly with the curls at the base of his neck. She sighed again and remembered her vital premise, to be courageous enough to always be truthful to him.
"Are you happy?" She asked in a whisper. "Was it worth to marry me and change your life to be with me?"
He suddenly felt fully awake and wondered for how long those questions had plagued her mind. He couldn't bear the thought that she had been carrying such a heavy weight for a year, because if he knew her at all, he knew that from the moment he had made the decision she had been playing the "what if" scenarios in her mind.
Before answering he covered her lips with his own again and tried to convey all the reassurance he could. Her body relaxed under his touch, but still her heart beat frantically in her chest waiting for the answer.
"You are worth everything, Rachel." He said looking deep into her eyes. "And I'm here with you, doing what I love the most as well."
Her heart settled and her mind rested under his confession. She smiled fondly at him, invaded by a sudden rush of love for the man beside her. She never thought it was possible, that it was just something written in romantic stories, but every day she fell for him a little more.
Her arms encircled his neck and brought his lips close to hers again. His body moved once more and covered her naked one with all the care in the world.
"I couldn't have been happier anywhere else without you." He whispered close to her lips as his hand carefully caressed her expanding stomach.
"I'm happy too." She simply said while smiling brightly at him.
As his warm hand ran along her slightly round abdomen and felt the new life irradiate from it deep inside her, she realized she had finally achieved her most sacred dream. Not the one that involved bright spotlights and a spot for her in the center of a stage. No, that dream was inevitable and would be built for the rest of her life. This dream, the one she had dreamed in secret ever since she could remember, had always seemed unreachable. One where she would find a man that loved her for who she was, especially for her faults, that matched her every other dream, and understood her better than anyone else. A man with whom she would be able to share her life and build a family.
A year is nothing but a grain of sand in the great clock of time. In a year the wheel of life never stops. Lives are lost at every minute, while others draw their first breath. But in a year a tragic past can be overcome, even by a twist of faith, and a new future can be built from the scattered dreams that seemed would never happen. Her dream turned into reality and yet had just begun. It made her eager to know what the future would bring next, and she knew he felt exactly the same.