There he goes… He is a bopping rhyme, a forever song that sticks to your gut and never loses its luster. As he enters a room, people are guided to a world of glitter, love, and good times. He is a childhood reminder that makes me remember the days of climbing trees, running 100-yard dashes, and streetball on a sunny Saturday.
I am Aja. My parents thought it best to name me after an album that embraced them during a time when love was never in a hurry to leave. All of my friends call me “AJ,” though. Isn’t it mindboggling how some people latch onto a piece of your name, cut it up, and have it delicately catered to them so as to commit to memory? I have said, “My name is Aja, as in the continent” for years. I can recant the number of times I have had to space out the two-syllable name, smooth out each one for their amateur ears, and watch them kick back in glee when finding out just how simple it really is.
However, when I said my name to him, he knew. He instantly knew that I, I mean, my name, required no further explanation. He even knew of the album, recalling his parents’ affinity as he crooned a melody that I grew up listening to as I fell asleep. It was my own personal lullaby. I was in love the moment his lips parted in song. I could see our future in his smile, a nimble offer of peace, handed to me, neatly packaged in lust and wonder. He would become my muse.
I do not remember the moment I knew I never wanted him to leave. Maybe it was the day he came rushing home with a bundle of calla lilies, all speckled, in their own hues of amazingness. His smile, a reminder of new moons and big starts, I could see the future in his eyes. And, I loved it! He whispered to me, “If you’re ready, I want you forever.” I locked into place. I did not think I heard him clearly so I asked him to repeat himself. “If you’re ready, I want you forever.” And just as I thought, he was proposing. I saw the ring slip from his index finger and thumb, dangle about from digit to digit, then I watched him kneel in place as if rehearsed.
“Aja, I do not want to know a life without you. I could say so many things about why. I could assure you that your happiness is my only concern. I could tell you how many days I wish to spend with you. I have dreamed of this day, of this moment. I even imagined a “NO” as a response. But you, you could not break my heart that way. I offer you peace, love, guidance, security, and the very best of me until I am no more. Will you have that?”
I stood there, my eyes racing back and forth, unable to steady my vision. I heard him, I heard every word. I watched as tears welled up in the globes of mystery I learned to love, and I said… “If you don’t stand up and give me a kiss, I’m going to be forced to ravage you in ways the body cannot sustain.” And that was my “Yes.” And, that was our beginning. Today marks the one hundred and twenty-second day or our marriage. He is still music to my soul. I crave his presence, his nonchalant ways and his never-ending rebellion to conformity. I owe him the deepest parts of me and I am wading through the moments in life, happy just to do that.