I laughed my jaded laugh and said, “Speak for yourself. It’s obvious why I fell in love with you. I’ve never known a man so good, so kind.” I smiled and smiled at you, but you looked at me with an expression that felt like disdain. The subject changed, we made love, we fell asleep. All the next morning I was dogged by that look of yours. I was still pondering what could be wrong when I started out to meet you in the square. Something about that balmy winter midday made me cut through the park and stop at the little bridge over the artificial pond. As I looked over the darkly green pool, I felt a tremor run through me, though there was no breeze, just the sun’s jagged reflection off the still water. Some deep-rooted alchemy was causing a seismic shift in my core. Then it settled.
Later, you were loping towards me outside the train station, smiling your bright, sunny smile.
“Remember what I said about loving you because you’re such a good man?”
You still smiled, but less so.
“That’s not quite true.” I said.
Your smile was almost gone.
“I would have fallen in love with you even if you were a wife beater or a serial killer, because that’s how crazy true love is. I just lucked out, is all.”
Your smile exploded. You tried to whisk me off my feet and we almost fell to the ground in a flapping, quivering pile. You were like a big puppy that way, a big Saint Bernard puppy whose whole body could exude happiness. Allowing myself to inhabit your waggling hug, I marveled at how simple it turned out to be to make someone else happy.
333 words, including the one wanted: ALCHEMY (noun) 3: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting