it was so hard, all those years without you, she said, her eyes deep pools of layered emotions that he struggled to navigate, skimming the surface while desperately wishing he’d learned how to dive when he had the chance.
i couldn’t find you, he replied. a half-truth; a sad lie. if only he’d tried harder. if only he’d remembered her better, even when the night winds swept all thoughts of magic from his mind and darkness urged him forward, closing doors he should have fought valiantly to reopen. if only he’d walked backwards, the beginning always in sight, brave enough to believe she had waited.
and oh, how she had waited.
his vision filled with her; she was before him, and his periphery; she was above him, and all around. he reached for her, his hand pressed against the glass between them, fingers splayed like a starfish. somewhere, he’d read that starfish represented infinite love, divine love, the kind spelled out before birth in the glimmer of the stars. he wanted to tell her that, to beg her to sit with him by the ocean’s edge and retract all the miles and lifetimes he’d allowed to stretch between them, but regret choked him thick as sand and words refused to tunnel through.
tell me it isn’t too late, he tried to say, the words pounding a staccato heartbeat in his head, throbbing from his fingertips, every inch of him pulsing to get to her.
slowly, tentatively, she leaned forward and pressed her lips to the glass, burning a kiss straight into his open palm. when she pulled back, her ocean eyes spilled forth, and he finally understood just how fathomless love could be.

the world at their feet