The following day was rainy, cold…the perfect kind of cuddle weather. Bryan and I decided to order Chinese food and watch a movie snuggled under a blanket.
“Pass me the dumplings, babe?” I asked, gesturing towards the round, metal tin in the center of the bed.
“Sure thing.” he said, retrieving them and planting a kiss on my forehead. “So,” he sighed, returning to his sesame chicken, “Costa Rica, huh?”
“What’s there to do in Costa Rica?”
“I don’t know,” I giggled, “I’m sure there is a rainforest we could zip line over or indigenous cuisine that we can hate. I’d rather go to Europe first.”
“How long would we go for?” he asked, his tone suddenly taking on a serious hint.
“I don’t know – a month? Maybe a month and a half. I’d really like to take some time and explore what it has to offer.”
“Hmm,” Bryan said, pouring himself some more rice. “Well, you know it’s going to be difficult for me to take that kind of time off work.”
“But you have vacation days, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” he smiled, “I do. But while I’d love to travel and see the world with you, Lauren, you don’t have to wait for me. If I can get more than two weeks, great. If not, we’ll make the time we have work. But you’re strong and capable and I love you. You don’t need me to make this dream come true and if you want to kiss me goodbye and let me kiss you hello in the airport a few weeks later – I’d miss you but I want you to go for it.”
I kissed Bryan sweetly on the forehead, loving him for wanting me to fulfill my dream – with or without him. A few moments later, having finished my sweet and sour chicken, I leaned over and cracked open my fortune cookie to find:
I believe in love. I believe in fate. But more than that, I believe in me.