They say there are quite a few types of love. A handful of ways in which our bonds to people are forged, what they mean, how we respond to them. People are strange, and all of us are very different, you see. And so, although you may connect to one person a certain way, it’s almost a sure thing that you won’t connect to another person the same. Because, with one person, you’ve been through one thing. A very unique, very different experience. As you live your life, you never replicate your experiences—it’s impossible. And, even more impossible, is replicating those situations, and the people your with, and their reactions. Especially if you place a new person in an unfamiliar situation.
What I mean is:
We’re all different. And, in our differences lies our experiences. And in those experiences lies different people as well. Different reactions to those experiences.
And so, the cycle churns onward. Forging bonds from these differences—personality, and character, and experience, and self—all of them meshing together to create these different relationships. Tethers that vary from person to person, in type and strength and importance.
And every moment—every difference that’s added or subtracted—is more than what we are.
Moment to moment, person to person, it all makes a difference.
Every moment we share counts.
It all matters.
Every moment counts.
At first, it was just an experience. Riding the waves of space and time, gazing upon the galaxy’s most hidden secrets. Treading dangerously close to black holes, to darkening suns, and sinking moons. We were traveling together at first—and that was all. Strangers observing this strange world together—on accident, if I’m being honest. Before you sought refuge on our little pirate ship, I hadn’t known you. Never heard of you.
And, really, there was no reason for me to have known you. You weren’t famous. Not infamous. When you came to our little ship, you were practically no one at all. Just a lost soul, seeking stars.
Average, I’d say. That was my first impression of you.
Nothing about you stood out. Nothing piqued my interest. Nothing tickled my fancy.
You were just another person.
One way or another, you didn’t matter to me in any special way. Not at all.
That was before.
Before all this.
All the space battles, and the ruckus, and the life threatening situations. Before we found ourselves tracking mythical beasts across foreign planets. Before we trekked through freezing sands and melting lands. Before we spoke to the broad side of the moon, and before we’d ever stared down the darkest spot of a black hole. You didn’t matter before we’d fought side by side. Before you’d nearly died for me. Before I nearly did the same.
Before our time, I didn’t know you. You meant as much to me as a small satchel of gold, and that’s all.
Worth enough that I’d take you, but not enough that I’d bleed out for you.
But, again, that was before.
Before all our experiences. Before the fire showed me your metal. Before we forged ourselves—hammered our steel—into something else.
It was the night we passed through the nebula that I realized it. Saw her face aglow amongst the stars. Lit up brightly, brilliantly. Oozing passion, admiration. Adoration flooding the bridge of our ship, showcasing what it’d be like to earn her fascination. To earn her favor. Her awe.
To earn her love.
I saw it that night, the shadows and light bringing it forth. Displaying, quite brilliantly, what it meant to mean something to her. To inspire her.
I saw the light of the stars in her eyes that night. Burrowing into the scars she’d earned, the ones that adorned her face, her neck, her arms. The scars she’d earned scratching and clawing her way out of every bad situation we’d managed to find ourselves in. The situations in which she always played a vital part in our survival—the survival of the whole crew, really. The starlight ate her up, and it showed.
That night, sitting in the bridge as we passed through the nebula, I realized that she wasn’t plain anymore.
Not to me.
I could see her scars clearly. See the way she smiled past them. The ways in which she was inspired—inhaling the life the stars offered. I realized then that she was more than ordinary. So much more.
And it wasn’t because she’d changed her appearance.
She hadn’t changed much at all, really.
No, she hadn’t changed at all outwardly.
It was, instead, that:
She’d changed me.
Not in a fundamental way. But, instead, she’d changed something that was just as good. Just as powerful.
She’d changed the way I saw things.
The way I saw her.
Suddenly, all of our experiences added to something. Made this tether something different. We were no longer strangers, and I didn’t see her as I did my other crew-mates. She was more than that, I realized. Under the careful eye of stars, I knew:
She was so much more.
How could you not love someone like that?
Is it even possible to see someone live—nearly die—fight through hordes of beasts and men—lit up like she belonged among the stars—and still reject the idea of her? When you’d seen someone so strong, and yet, still so vulnerable, how could you ignore someone like that?
When you’d been through so much…
Seen all the honest parts of a person…
Tasted their sincerity…
How could you not love them?
How could you refrain?
How could you possibly stay the way you were?
In that moment, when I saw the stars greet each other as they passed by, I felt almost certain.
It would’ve been impossible to see all of this—all these earnest, sincere parts of her sitting amongst the stars—and not feel something more.
Because she’d earned it. Deserved it.
These bonds that tied us…
They were stronger than that.
So much more.