When It Began

© Artinun Prekmoung | Dreamstime.com

The program ended, and they looked at the clock.

“I must leave you now, love,” he said. “I’m off to write The Great American Something.”

“Oh,” she said admiringly. “You’re off to write a novel?”

“Perhaps. It will be Something, whatever it is. And Great. And American. Yes, indeed.”

“I always knew you had it in you,” she gushed.

“Yes, well,” he said modestly.

He positioned himself at the keyboard, stared down the blinking cursor, and began.

“In a land beyond the horizon next to a big river, there was this city,” he wrote. “But it is not of the city that I write, no, not that grand metropolis of hundreds of thousands of people, but one of its denizens, two actually.”

There followed a heartbreaking saga of a man who loved a woman, and the woman who loved the man, and how they faced a challenge that they believed would crush them both, except that when they held each other’s hands and faced it together, it turned out that nothing could stop them. It took a very long time and hundreds of pages of trials and tribulations before they realized this combined power, however, and by the time of their triumph, they were exhausted, but not too exhausted to spare a historic embrace and a legendary kiss, the kind of kiss that legends are made of.

And as he wrote the final page, tears streamed down his cheeks and he nodded to himself.

“Now this,” he said, “is Something.”

For he had set out to write The Great American Something, poured his soul into the keyboard, and Something indeed came out.

Years later, she looked at him one night with a thoughtful expression.

“What would you have done that night so long ago, when the program ended and you announced you were off to write The Great American Something —“ she paused.


“What if I had said, ‘No, don’t, stay here and let’s spend the night together?’”

He looked in her eyes with a look that was looking very, very far away indeed.

“Why, I would have swept you into my arms and loved you all night for the rest of our lives,” he said, “and there might never ever have been a Great American Something after all.”

“I thought so,” she said sadly and slyly. “I’m glad, then, that I didn’t say what I was thinking.”

“What!” he said. “You didn’t want me to go away and write?”

“Oh, I did,” she admitted, “but I mostly was thinking how lonely I would be while you were away.”

“I’m so sorry!”

“I’m not,” she said. “Because here it is now, The Great American Something, just as you envisioned, and here you are now, in my arms, just as I envisioned.”

They held each other gently and firmly then, and it would be a cliche to say they lived happily ever after, but truth be told, sometimes a cliche describes a truth.

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