“The best stories are the ones where the ending is far from what you could expect,” he tells you, body sprawled over the bed with drooping, tired eyes. “Look at us.”

“Us?” you ask, voice equally dripping with fatigue.

“Mhm. Don’t you think that, with everything that’s happened, staying together is not what either of us would have ever foresaw?”

And it hits you like a freight train, how you’ve both clawed your way through the worst parts and come out bruised and cut but whole, or learning to be. And it’s been a conscious decision to hold each other’s fragility with careful hands.

Sometimes being offered tenderness feels like the very proof that you’ve been ruined. And no matter how things change, this is what remains constant: this life you’ve built in each other’s orbit, the passionate kind that poets would write about, the kind that survived its illusions and bloomed into something so ample and real.

And you can’t help but wonder that if this is all you’ll ever be, you think that you’ll be fine, you’ll always be.