His stare, the clarity of his eyes shining through, is burned into my memory. The steady, concentrated gaze ensnared me; his whole being and energy seemed to pour from those eyes, and I froze, self-aware and mesmerized, small under the magnifying glass of a much greater person.
With such men, you tumble down the rabbit hole of their single-minded tunnel vision because you trust and feel safe in their confidence and absolute surety that you should be together. And so you fall, and you scrape your knees, and you fall again. You’re bleeding, but you don’t feel any pain. You keep on running beside him.
You float gently in the naiveté of his answers, his childlike inability to describe just what he feels in the face of something astonishing and never before experienced. You play pretend every time you meet, in places where it’s forbidden, because pretend is so much better than real. You venture into smoky, black forests and confront the scary monsters you locked up when you were a kid, because how could anything hurt you when you’re with him?
And so you keep on discovering and conquering like two brave warriors until you reach a crossroads and you don’t know why but you know you have to part. There, you recognize each other’s vulnerabilities and see them not as weak, unattractive, frightful things, but something to protect. Something precious. And for that, if nothing else, you love him.