Some time later, the hero was walking with her poet.
She was talking to him of things she had done and the shame and guilt some of those things had made her feel.
He grabbed her under the shade of a sweet gum tree and pulled her in close to him. His arms wrapped around her and he wondered if she could hear his heart telling her that there was no need for shame and guilt and that nothing she had ever done could make him adore her less.
Instead, he said to her “Those things are not you and I understand how you were searching for something, anything, that felt like love.”
Our hero smiled, kissed him and they continued walking.
Softly, these words rolled off her tongue as they stood on a bridge looking at the city skyline as the dirty water rolled under them:
“They say that seeing is believing. But I think I’ve learned that believing is seeing. You have to believe to see the truth.”
A thousand thoughts sparked through his head.
The one he wanted to tell her more than anything was this story:
— Salvador Dali is known for his dripping clocks and surreal psychedelic images. He once was asked if he did drugs. He simply replied “I am drugs.” But what many people do not know is that Dali was forever in love with his wife Gala. All of those wild images he painted… But when he painted Gala’s portraits, she looked perfectly normal. It was as if she was the only real and comprehensible thing he knew. The world is insane and never makes sense but Gala and loving Gala… that made sense to Dali. I understand that now, being near you. I truly do. —
But the poet did not tell our hero this.
Instead he looked down at the collection of locks on the bridge that others had left to proclaim their love to each other.
He wondered how many had already broken their oaths. He wondered if they ever came back to cut their lock off.
And, yes, he was struck with the idea that if he and our hero came and placed a lock on that bridge, he would know that at least one would forever hold true to dream of two people being forever entangled with one another.
So he told her:
“We will come back with a lock of our own.”
“Yes,” she said. “We need to do that.”