There was a couple sitting across the aisle from me, a beautiful girl asleep leaning back in the centre seat and a handsome boy reading against the window. Outside the plane the sun had risen above the clouds and shone its orange glow on the girl’s face. She stirred and her closed eyelids twitched against the light. The boy noticed and gently pulled down the shade so that the light spilled over her nose and mouth instead like sweet, warm honey. She relaxed deeper into sleep and he smiled softly at her and turned back to his book. He glanced again at her, briefly, a few minutes later and his body relaxed well, and his breaths became deep and synchronized with hers. Once our plane reached the airport and our row was finally departing, the girl turned to the boy and told him it was really nice to meet him and maybe they’d see each other again. He and I watched her walk down the aisle and off the plane. I wanted to yell at him.
“Go get her! She’s your soulmate!”
But the look on his face told me that he wasn’t the person he wanted to be at this moment and letting her walk away was the kindest act of love he could give her. She wanted to give him her love, but he wanted to give her the world, even if it meant he wasn’t in it.
Some people are too focused on the happily ever after, but I have seen true love exist in the space of a few stolen moments.


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