“You don’t understand! All I did my entire childhood was watch them scream and holler at each other! What if I turn out exactly like them? What if I finally take that step and start a real relationship and it ends like that? I refuse to do that!”
He looked at her with sadness in his eyes.
He saw the pain.
He saw the hurt.
He saw the uncertainty.
He knew she wanted this just as much as he did, but he also knew it scared her to death.
“We will never end up like your parents,” he declared to her, crossing the room to stand in front of her.
She backed away.
“You don’t know that!”
Tears fell from her eyes.
He stepped forward again, wiping them away.
“I do know that.”
“How? How are you so sure? How are you always so sure?”
“Because I know you. You are the kindest, most loving person I have ever met. You are patient and would never hurt anyone. You care deeper than anyone I know. And I know me. I know that I love you with my entire heart and I know that I would never do anything to hurt you. We will not spend the next 70 years yelling at each other. Our children will never witness the things you endured as a child. We will raise them in a loving home with two parents who love and respect each other. We will watch them grow and show them what a family is.”
Her eyes fell to the ground.
“But I don’t know what a family is…” came her weak voice.
Carefully, he pulled her into his arms.
“This is a family. People who love each other. People who will always be there for each other. People who take care of each other. When someone needs help, their family is there.”
“You really think we could be a family?”
“If you want.”
“Do you promise to never abandon me?”
“Good because I would never abandon you.”
He held her tight against his chest.
This was home.
This was family.
This is where they belonged.