“If you look at life through the eyes of the heart, all experiences shall be seen in a new light.”
Michael spread the blanket on the soft green grass of the park. Liz stood by him holding a brimming picnic basket between her arms. Turning to her he took the basket from her and placed it on the ground before pulling her toward him. Startled she laughed and fell into his embrace.
“Hey,” she whispered.
“Hey,” he whispered back before taking her lips in a searing kiss.
Breathlessly she asked, “What was that for?”
“You were right. And also I’m sorry about this morning,” Michael settled them onto the blanket.
“What was I right about?”
Michael replied without hesitation, “Needing to visit Max.”
“Did you settle things with him?”
“Yeah,” he added gruffly, “I also set him straight on a few things.”
“Oh?” Liz asked teasingly.
“Liz,” Michael said his tone serious, “I need to tell you something.”
“What is it Michael?”
“You can’t leave me,” there was a need that underscored his command. He hadn’t meant to say that but it was too late to call back the words.
Liz smiled and placed her hands on both sides of Michael’s face. Silently she traced the lines of his face, before brushing her lips lightly over his. “Michael, why would I ever leave you?”
“You might realize—“
“Might realize what? That you’re absolutely wonderful? That you make me happy? That you’ve made my life whole, when I thought I’d be in the dark forever?” Liz interrupted him sensing his sudden self-doubt and needing to reassure him.
“I think I fell in love with you when I first walked into that hospital room and you turned to me with that beautiful smile on your face.”
“Oh Michael—“ Liz breathed as they kissed passionately. Her heart soared with emotion. She hadn’t thought she’d ever know love again. She’d thought the accident had broken her; that it had made her impossible to love. But with Michael, she believed again. She felt his love for her in his every action. In the way he simply made her feel when he was around her. It was inexplicable, indescribable, and infinite. She couldn’t help but whisper, “I love you too.”
Michael pulled away, “You love me?”
“How could I not love you? You saved me.”
“Is that why you love me?”
“No. Gratitude isn’t why I love you. There are a million reasons why, but ultimately I love you because you’re you.”
Michael maybe his heart skipped a beat when she said those words. She meant them. Time stopped for him in that moment. For the first time, he not only saw the beauty of the world that surrounded him, but he could feel the beauty that hid within him. Liz. Everything rushed at him. Blood pounded in his ears as he pulled Liz close and kissed her lips, her eyes, her nose, her neck. He needed to feel her close to him, her skin on his. He wanted to possess her as completely as she possessed him.
Liz couldn’t see the maelstrom of emotions that crossed Michael’s face, but she felt it. She knew that her words had been the right ones, and when he clasped her to him she surrendered to him willingly.
They forgot where they were. It was as if the world existed for them alone. At some moment they lost their clothing. And they ravished each other’s bodies.
It wasn’t until much much later that they even bothered to eat. But by then their hunger had been long since satiated.
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
Liz sat in the bathtub, soaking her sore muscles in the warm bubbly bathwater. That afternoon had taken her by surprise. If anyone had told her that she’d be deliriously happy and absolutely in love a month ago, she’d have thought they were teasing her, torturing her with what she had deemed impossible.
There’d been moments after the accident, after the doctors had unwound the bandages wrapped tightly around her eyes and she’d realized that she’d never see again, where she had been truly bitter. She’d forgotten that there were other ways to see the world.
“Liz? Honey, are you okay?” Michael’s concerned voice came in through the door.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just enjoying a good soak.”
“Do you mind if I come in?”
“No,” Liz smiled as she heard the door creep open and Michael step into the room. She heard him settle himself onto the covered toilet seat.
“You look beautiful like that, with your hair piled on top of your head and your skin moistened and pink with the water’s heat. But I think I like you best with your hair cascading down your bare back, with you lying supine on my settee. I wanted you so badly last night.”
“Was it only last night that you painted me? It feels like so much has happened.”
“It has. There are things we need to talk about.”
“Like where do we sleep? How serious do you want this to be? We need to set some ground rules here.”
“How serious do you want to be?”
“Liz, I want the whole deal. I want the wedding and the house in the country and the two-point-five kids and the dog. I want to be the man who wakes you up in the morning with a kiss. I want to be the man who holds you in his arms while you sleep. I want everything.”
“Oh Michael, I want that too, so much. But—“
“No buts, not if they’re about you being blind. I know that it might be hard to have kids—“
“Not hard, terrifying. How am I supposed to take care of an infant, when I really can’t take care of myself.”
“Don’t lie to yourself Liz Parker, you can do anything. And you won’t be alone. The point is that we spend the rest of our lives together rejoicing in the love we share.”
“How is it you make me believe?” she whispered softly.
“Because you know you can and you’re just afraid to admit it.”
Liz smiled at the certainty in Michael’s voice, “So were you proposing just now?”
“Absolutely,” Liz laughed aloud at the seriousness of his reply.
“Then yes,” she said simply.
Michael could barely contain his reaction, he wanted to shout the news from the rooftops, but he settled on kneeling by the tub and kissing Liz senseless. She wanted him so badly she pulled him in with her.
Feeling the warm water seep through his clothes didn’t faze Michael, he merely removed them. Lightly he ran his hands over Liz’s body and teased her legs open. Sliding a finger between the folds of her skin he groaned when he felt how ready she was for him. He needed her now, and he thrust his hard shaft into her, causing her to cry out in pleasure. They came together quickly, wildly, passionately, and afterwards lay in the bathtub until their skin wrinkled and the water got cold.
“One can only see with the heart, what is essential is invisible to the eyes.”
—The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery