C told me as we huddled around our mimosas. We were talking about love, as we do, about the new boy who's found a side door into C's heart. About the whirlwind that happens when two people align just right and it doesn't feel like a whirlwind at all, until you go to talk about it. I love the giddiness splashed across his face, the audible smile as he whispers his story into my ear. It's only been a week and a half, he says, but that's enough to know. He's never been wrong about that feeling. However long it lasts, however far it goes, that feeling is always right.
Five weeks ago that feeling came at me out of nowhere. It's only happened to me a few times, though I've looked for it everywhere. Sometimes I've fooled myself into thinking I felt it, but it's only when it's there that I know you can't make it up. It's there or it isn't. And it's there.
Sometimes I think of C as my lighthouse. In the moments when our stories run parallel he stands onshore and radiates as I gasp into the waves. A year ago we'd just stepped out of relationships gone south and were remembering how to love ourselves alone. Six months later we were each nearly ready to try again, standing at the water's edge with toes extended; we were smitten and testing, I was not quite trusting. When I started to flounder, I looked up and saw him in the distance, flashing steady.
Now I've made my way back onto land and we're tumbling down the rabbit hole of new relationships, marveling at the little things we never knew to miss. A hand extended, breakfast left warming in the oven, an accidental integration of lives. I look over at my new sweetheart; his back is turned, and I hope C reads the meaning in my glance. C keeps talking. He's found something that makes me ache with warm sweetness. I see threads of my own story stitched through his.
C, my beacon, is falling in love.
I am, too.