Have you ever been in love?
Written and photographed by Elizabeth Marie
I think love is one of the most beautiful feelings in this world as it holds great power over most, if not all of us. I grew up on fairytales and happily-ever-afters, reading book after book, watching movie after movie. Then, reality hits me. I learned that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies in the real world, but how come I’ve been living in my own fairytale? Amidst the cruelty and harshness of the world, I grew up to be the main character of my very own love story, living my very own happily-ever-after.
And I’m more than happy to share just one of my favorite chapters in my love story. It’s that chapter you just can’t seem to get off your mind. The chapter whose pages you come running back to after a long, long day. Brace yourselves, this chapter ends faster than you’d want it to. So, enjoy every moment and feel every word, because before you know it, it’s time to keep reading and finish the rest of the book; the book of my life which is still being happily written.
I’ve been with my partner, Marc, for almost five years now. It seems like a long time, but to be honest, time flies especially when you’re with the person you love. Five years seems like a lot of time to be with someone and get to know them, but there’s still so much I want to know about him. We’re still young, and we have our whole lives ahead of us. That’s why we live day by day sharing wonderful memories, beautiful stories, and enjoying as much time as we can together.
When the pandemic came around this time last year, Marc and I went through a lot of hardships in our personal lives and most especially in our relationship. We were used to enjoying each other’s company everyday, but due to the lockdown, the distance, and our busy lives, we didn’t have the chance to see each other for almost a year. It was definitely unexpected but we’re not quitters. We called each other as much as we can, laughing our hearts out over the phone each night.
Love is not something you find, it’s something that you work for with passion, dedication, and commitment. We both knew that and so we still had the most wonderful year together regardless of the distance or the fact that I haven’t been able to see his beautiful smile in person.
But just a month before my birthday, I received the best news I’ve heard all year. Marc had planned a three-day long vacation at our favorite beach to celebrate my birthday. We were going to spend a few days together with both of our families, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I love the beach, but at that point, anywhere in the world with Marc for even just a day was more than perfect. We had the most amazing time together that I was convinced it was all a dream. It honestly didn’t feel real to me.
“I missed you!”
Those were the first words he said to me the first time we saw each other again, along with a big smile on his face, hugging me as tight as he could. The days were filled with fun, adventure, and excitement as we spent hours swimming in the cool water and soaking up the warmth of the sun. We talked endlessly and laughed until we cried. My cheeks hurt from smiling all day because he is the most precious person in the world, and he was finally in front of me again.
My phone and laptop screen have been lying to me all this time. His smile was more beautiful in person and his eyes shined with happiness every time he looked at me. His presence and his energy made me forget my problems for a second, like how I have tons of paperwork back at home waiting for me.
At that moment, all I could do was stare as if I was falling in love with him for the first time. Only, I’ve been in love with him for the last five years, but I don’t understand why I still feel the butterflies and why I was still grinning from ear to ear the whole time we were together. I’ve never felt more at home than I did with him.
The nights were even better. Everything was calm, the world was falling asleep, and I was still falling in love. We sat by the beach, watching the bonfire as I laid my head on his shoulder while we listened to the waves crashing by the shore. For half an hour, we didn’t say anything because we didn’t have to. For the first time in a long time, we sat in silence as the moment spoke all the perfect words for us.
The way that my hands fit perfectly into his, like they were made for me. Crafted to perfection, a perfect mold just for my tiny little hands to fit into. They were warm and comforting, I almost forgot just how I loved holding hands with him.
We still talked; looking back I’m surprised we didn’t run out of things to talk about. But, I guess that’s just how it is when you’re with the right person, your better half. Even when you can’t think of the perfect words to say or when you don’t say anything at all, they know what you’re thinking. It’s almost as if your hearts and minds are in always in sync.
But with each hello comes a good bye. Three days felt nothing like days. The car ride home was the fastest seven hours of my life. I spent the first few hours trying to memorize his angelic face knowing this might be the last time I see it in a while. I pulled out all the best jokes I have so I could hear his hearty laugh and to have a glimpse of that charming smile of his. I lay my head on his shoulder, wrapped my arms around his, and closed my eyes, not to fall asleep, but to enjoy his presence and the last few hours we had together.
The way he looked at me made we want to go back. If I could just have one more day. I wasn’t ready to say good bye just yet. Unfortunately, good chapters must come to an end, too. He placed the softest kiss on my forehead and hugged me as if it was the last time we were going to see each other. And frankly, I don’t blame him. He smiled at me with the biggest smile and I smiled back.
“I’ll miss you” he said to me, as he looked at me, grinning from ear to ear.
And just like that, he was gone. One minute he was sitting beside me, and the next minute he wasn’t. We were back to phone calls and seeing each other through the screen. I miss the meaningful silence. I miss the sound of his heart beat. His presence, his energy. How my hands fit perfectly into his. Until we meet again, my love.
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