Zach came to a passage in his book; it was something she had once told him, underlined now for him to see. He wasn’t sure what she meant by it. Was it out of context? If it was, why? He gently shook her shoulder.
“Julia, are you awake?”
No answer. She was asleep. Zach shut the book, put it carefully on the floor. Laying down, he pulled the coverlet over both of them. He had still, he reflected, not learned the ultimate secret. He understood how; but Zach did not understand why.
But their secrets always came back to why.
Julia snuggled in beside him, seeking his comfort and warmth. There was sanctuary in the gentle rise and fall of his chest. His breathing was rhythmic; her sense of security, immediate. There was mystery in everything she did. Zach didn’t expect her to start offering clarity now. He stroked her hair gently, his tactile meandering traced a message of his own. The soft noise that was her response, was that of a contented kitten.
He glanced down at her and his smile filled the room. Zach pulled her closer. His lips found a place to land on her left temple. He nestled his nose in her auburn tresses just to savor her unique scent.
The silence was broken. He uncharacteristically heard himself whisper, “I love you”.
Julia’s eyes butterflied open, and her wide-eyed grin returned his sentiment. “You do understand after all!” she beamed as she rested her head close enough to hear his heartbeat.
Zach still wasn’t sure what had just transpired, but he was glad that it had. Curiously, he reached for the book once again. The highlight seemed more alluring, drawing his eye to the words Julia had intended for him. “He came to realize, the healing power was in the love.”
He finally understood.