Second Chances by Kelli Beth

Tonight was date night. We enjoyed an early dinner and a movie. Driving to the theatre we drove by this accident. The motorcyclist was on the road feet from us as we were diverted around, covered by a yellow tarp, his damaged helmet next to his body. The car in front of us was dawdling, but I couldn’t wait to get by and try to get the image from my head.

We went to see Yesterday. The story of a girl and a boy. The girl fell for the boy in a school talent show and for a mere decade suffered in silent love. It felt very familiar.

The premise isn’t why I loved it. The music is still magic and finding a love story to accompany it was a home run.

Then there’s the romance in our seats. Back row, double couch, and us. I snuggled a little and we found a comfortable way to be close and just hold hands.

Holding hands. On a date. In public. With the man I’ve loved for 39 years. He’s a handyman. His hands are rough and masculine. My hand was easily encompassed by his for the entire evening.

Throughout the love story on screen, I was aware of how comforting his hand around mine is. I glanced at his profile in the darkened theater a couple of times, somehow my love goggles had began to be repaired. I still saw his flaws through the remaking cracks of pain, but I saw his beauty again. The soul I love.

Holding his hand for those couple of hours gave me back my connection to him. My brain however wasn’t (isn’t?) convinced.

Trusting him with my heart again is so easy, getting over my fear of being hurt even worse… not so easy. Back and forth, my brain vs my heart. I think my heart has the ultimate power play though. Even as I write about Kelli Beth’s first actual date (smile smile smile) I’m thinking about John Doe. His life was cut short, was there a woman in his life wondering about forgiving some ultimately stupid thing? This thought is why my eyes kept drifting from the screen to his dark profile.

I know I love him. I know that when I look at him the world disappears. What does he see when he looks at me? I KNOW he loves me.

Looking back at myself 39 years ago I remember two things that I wanted to be true more than anything. That I’d be a woman, and that I’d be with him. For decades I’ve looked in my mirror and saw “tomorrow” the woman in my future. I look in the mirror now and I see today the woman I am. The woman I am now and forever.

We are all one single drunk driver from our grave. I don’t have time for tomorrow.

Love is not needing boundaries. Forgiveness cannot be conditional. My heart is so winning right now but my brain isn’t ready yet. Stupid brain. I don’t know what the future holds but I just told my brain to shut up. ☺️

Written by Kelli Beth

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