Think about a time in your life when everything was perfect, and it felt as though nothing could go wrong. Life fell into planned alignment. All of the ideas and hopes held most important organized as books on a shelf. Each book held a title bearing a phase in life and within its pages laid the plan for the future.
Now imagine life throwing something at that shelf—everything planned, everything hoped for, everything organized, now turning over as the shelf falls to the floor.
Fear of the unknown replaces the hope for a perfect future.
Karl Samson is not a stranger to roadblocks and disruptions in life. Having for a time let them consume his thoughts, he now lives life learning from his trials. He is the guy everyone thinks is a little off, even though his friends love him for it. He is the one helping others. He didn’t set out one day to find love—he was doing what he usually did.
Maggie Presley achieves, and that is what she is known for—her determination to move ahead. Then, she is faced with something even the most meticulous planner could not foresee. Maggie believed she knew what life held for her because she could create her future. However, life had other plans, and she learns that even the worst of circumstances have unexpected outcomes after you are reminded of life’s beauty. This is a story of life and how sometimes it takes a reorganization of shelves to find the future. It’s a story of love found even during the darkest points in life.
We sat in silence for a time as we both turned our swings around. I stopped mine and just watched her. I watched as she pulled my pieces into alignment, waiting to be sewn all the way together.
“Come here,” I said, putting my hand toward her as I stood from my swing.
I walked us to the merry go round and climbed on it. I stopped her in the center. “Okay, wrap your leg around there to balance yourself. Does that feel okay?” I asked, and she smiled at me with a nod.
“Now, just yell if I need to stop,” I said.
I jumped down and started to spin the merry go round. I didn’t run, but I used my upper body strength to get it into motion. I didn’t want to go too fast, but I also wanted to watch her.
She began with her hands on her face and her head tilted back, closed eyes to the sky. “I love this feeling,” she said and her voice became muffled by her mittens. She laughed into her hands and it was the most monumental thing I’d seen.
“Put your hands out, Maggie,” I said, and she laughed louder as she dropped her hands to let them trace across the air that spun around her. Though the bottom half of her didn’t move, she let her hands dance across the wind.
As I slowed the motion of the merry go round down, she kept her hands still. She kept them out stretched, her fingers spread wide, and she dropped her chin, giving me a majestic smile.
“That was so much fun. Thank you.”
“You are most welcome, Maggie.”
“I think that’s a healing moment,” she said, as she unwound her leg from the center bar. She stepped to the edge by me and wrapped her arms around my neck. “Yes, this is a healing one.”
She breathed in and let out a deep sigh and I heard the tears in the sigh. “I just want to find my present tense, too,” she said.
“You will—be patient. Let it happen and stop resisting it. That’s something I learned. Remember what the Borg said about resistance on Star Trek, right?” I laughed.
“It’s futile, I know,” she said with a laugh as she released our hug, but kept her hands on my shoulders. “I will stop, and just let it happen. I will allow my present tense to come. That’s my homework—present tense and personal space?”
“Yes, that’s your homework. If you can’t do what you’ve always done, you just try something new or you try doing it a different way. Get creative. I know you can,” I said with a pinch to her chin.
“Will do,” she said, and leaned in and kissed my cheek. She breathed in deep when she felt me tense at the motion. My fingers tightened on her forearms as my eyes closed. It was the closest I had been with a woman since I was home after my second deployment. I forgot what it felt like to be touched and intimate with another person. I had kept it at bay, scared of how I’d react.
She let go of me and smiled. I read in her smile that she didn’t feel the moment or the intensity I did. She looked at me with the innocent smile a friend shares.