I'm adding a new "segment" to NRWC called "Words on Wednesdays". These are stories that I've personally written and wanted a space to put them. These stories are not to be reprinted, retold, or placed anywhere without my consent. Thank you.
"She held his hand that evening like she had so many times before. Gliding her thumb back and forth on his, as though she was soothing him. She was only soothing herself. This, she thought, this is where I want to be. I want to stay in this moment. This moment means I'm alive.
He broke her out of her thoughts by turning the radio up ever so slightly. The movement deliberate, as all of his movements were. He never did anything that wasn't thought out, planned out or figured out. He was the planner. She the dreamer.
The silence between them wasn't anything new. The quieter he got, the less she felt the need to speak to fill it. He surprised her by saying, "I think all music brings us closer to God." He wasn't saying it to her or to anyone - but she tentatively challenged him anyway, "Not all music is about God. Or even for Him. Why do you think it brings us any closer?"
It was then that he turned towards her. His face was the same as it always was - serene. He never felt the burning feeling of anger or embarrassment, the droopiness of sadness. He was always one thing. He said, "can't you feel that right now?" He let go of her hand and stretched his out in front of him. Closing his eyes he said being out here was the closest he ever felt to God. The closest he wanted to be.
They never talked about church or God or faith. It wasn't something they agreed on. She swam in faith. Faith in God, faith in her family, faith in the love sitting next to her with his arms stretched out. She loved him despite his unwillingness to believe in anything more than the Yankees sweeping the World Series and winning the bull riding championships in a few days.
"Can't you feel it?" he said again and again under his breath. She felt the pull to not speak, for fear that he would never connect this close again. She only watched him.
When he finally opened his eyes and put his arms down, the lantern next to them flickered. The flicker jolted something in her heart. She felt it. Whatever he thought he felt, she knew in that moment to be faith. She brought her eyes from the lantern and said, "I do.."
In that moment he smiled. It was nothing more than the corners of his mouth moving up ever so slightly, but it was there.
The song ended. The moment between songs felt like a lifetime, she thought. And with a lifetime of music before them, she reached for his hand once again - feeling everything in that moment that people spend their whole lives searching for."