One Word Story
They stared at me expectantly, exasperatedly even.
“Tell us the story!”
There are few things I enjoy more than a good story.
I carried stacks of them up to my eyeballs home from the library as a little girl. I listened with rapt attention to the Vinyl Cafe on family road trips, I spent two years digging up and writing down the stories of a small town for their newspaper and few things impress me more than a skilled yarn-spinner. And of course, I’ve always told my own. In diaries and blogs, over crackling phonelines and breathlessly, animatedly in person.
I never leave the house without an army of words. I don’t know why they chose this moment, sitting across from two women who have known me nearly my whole life, to desert me, but suddenly I couldn’t grab ahold of enough to form a phrase, let alone a story to explain this.
At least not in a way that wouldn’t make it seem as though I’d lost my usually sane and just-cynical-enough-thank-you grasp on reality.
But I suppose there was nothing for it.
We didn’t fall in love, there was no graceful feather spiral to earth. No gradual realization or quiet awakening or any logical thing to hold on to.
We were shot out of cannons directly at it. One blinding flash of confetti and we were there.
Time and space and my resolution never to be in a long-distance relationship again be damned.
He loved words as much as I did and we spent hours upon hours on Skype, saying them to each other, writing them to each other. Telling each other stories, guts sore from laughing, jaws stiff from grinning and hearts just crazy alight from marvelling until he got on a plane and flew to me barely two months after we met.
I was able to hold out a whopping two weeks after he left to get on a plane myself.
We took a walk on Granville Island and huddled under an umbrella, eating bagels, and watching toddlers chase pigeons in the rain.
He pulled a little velvet box from his pocket.
And suddenly, there was only one word.