Rooted, I used to think.

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Fever - Friday, Apr. 30, 2021
The First Dose - Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021
Up & Down - Monday, Apr. 19, 2021
Beach Avenue - Friday, Apr. 16, 2021
Counting on Forever - Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2021

Friday, Mar. 26, 2021 @ 10:01 am
Moving In Together

We sit on a bench in a small park in the West End. Sparrows tossing dry leaves around beneath the shrubs. Cherry blossoms falling, littering the ground. Bright, mid-afternoon spring sunshine.

“What do you think? Should we apply for it?”

He holds my hand.

“Yes,” I answer. “If we turn this down, then what exactly are we looking for? I love it.”

The landlord is skeptical when we apply. He keeps asking about our income. We find out later that he thought we were ten years younger than we are.

“I had to double check the birth dates on your licenses,” he commented, “especially yours.” He looks pointedly at me. I shrug. “You’ve never seen me without a mask.”

We sign the lease.

Everything moves quickly. I fail to document the emotions.

Waking up in the middle of the night with a panic attack. Scared. Excited.

Slipping my notice under my building manager’s door and breaking into tears. Later, I talk with her in the lobby.

“It’s been a pleasure having you here. You fell in love and are moving on. I don’t think that you’re that sad to leave; I think you’re more scared of the big change. I’m happy for you. You shine brightly now, I can tell that he is right for you.”

I wipe down the handles of the kitchen cabinets. Arrange my clothes neatly in my closet. Vacuum up the dust along the tops of the baseboards. There are already two people interested in viewing my suite.

Russell holds me closer in the night, moreso than usual. He admires me in the mornings as I move around the bedroom naked.

“You’re so pretty,” he says one day.

“You’re so gorgeous,” he says the next.

The words are nice, but it’s his hands, his body curved against mine for hours. He holds my hand and rubs between my thumb and index finger. Kisses my neck. Again and again.

I am safe. I am loved.

And in three weeks, we move into the most beautiful apartment, overlooking the ocean and the forested park. Vintage parquet floors and an expanse of windows and room to dance.

I will never take this for granted. Life has offered me opportunities, and whenever I step up, whenever I take the leap, I come out the other side stronger and happier and more sure of myself.

I am safe. I am loved.

Roots | Shoots