Incipient

Incipient

(Adjective) Beginning to develop or exist

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It’s the way he found her in the labyrinth of her own vulnerability. She was stranded in the twisted curves of dead-end insecurities as she felt around the darkness on her hands and knees just trying to find the parts of herself that the past had stripped. She hid herself in questions, and hid the questions in smiles. Smiles, in fact, so deceiving that one would think her heart had never known a state of brokenness, and certainly must be far from that state in the moment.

He saw her smile, and he knew. He knew there were rips behind it deep into the tissue of her heart, and he knew that he could fit in these jagged wounds perfectly, and so he dared to. Once there, not only did the wounds mend back into the smooth surface her soul once was, but he began to monopolize, taking over even the deepest and tightest of grips her past once held of her.

The night had fallen way too fast in the sky above them. They hid from the last few bites of the finally fading Indiana winter in the heated Buick. He sat behind the wheel and she curled in a corner against the passenger side door. They tossed questions, answers, and discussions back and forth about love, and religion, and life, and any other subject that may cross the forever-wandering minds of second semester college freshmen.

The last conversation seemed to find an easing point after a few good minutes of rhetorical answers. They both let the silence set in as their vastly different minds began to turn in their vastly different ways.

His breath finally broke the silence, and she turned to look at him. He was still looking out the window. “This is the last one,” he said. He waited another few seconds for the question to be fully formed in his head, “What are we?”

“Happy.” She replied almost instantly, as if she had been anticipating the question for years.

His head jerked in her direction and his eyes grew a little wider as he seemed to release a build up of breaths in a single laugh, “Okay, I get it! No more questions,” he half joked.

“You’re my happy.” She added before aimlessly looking back out the window.

At the time he didn’t understand how rare it was for anyone to be her anything that wasn’t a birthright. She was a girl so afraid of being anchored, of being hurt, of being dependent, that no one in her short 19 years of life had ever been her happy.

He was her boyfriend less than a week later.


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