All I dream of lately, is how to get you underneath me.
"Do you think we’re all meant to fall in love?" she asked me, taking a puff of her cigarette.
I exhaled slowly and sat down on the damp grass, crossing my legs.
This was a question she had asked me years before, when pigtails were her favourite up-do and a tattered doll named Sally was her best friend.
My answer was very easy at the time, “Yes, darling. One day you will meet your prince charming, just like mommy did.”
But, this time was much different. She already had her own scars from shards of a broken heart. And those never really heal. Not fully.
A two in the morning knock on my door, only to open it to my grown-up daughter in pajamas with swollen, wet eyes merited a much more realistic answer.
We sat on the front lawn on that warm evening and her sobs broke through the cricket’s song.
I looked up at the expansive ceiling above. There was so much out there, yet to her, and to me, this was the most important moment in the world.
I inched closer to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. She nuzzled in closely, her hair smelled like stale cigarettes and strawberries.
“I think that everyone is meant to have the experiences they do. Whether they be an experience of Love, suffering or heartbreak. It all helps us grow if we learn to accept them as just that: a learning opportunity.”
I could see her look at me skeptically from the corner of her eye. It was not the answer she had been looking for.
Tears began to well in my eyes. I knew that I had failed her in one lesson I should have taught her long before the experiences began to roll in, destroying her youth one swift step at a time.
“Yes, everyone is meant to fall in love. With themselves.” I said, finally.
She flicked her cigarette into the darkness before us and tucked her knees into her chest.
“I don’t know how.” she whispered.
“Look after yourself first and foremost. You are the only one you have to live with for the rest of your life. Treat yourself with as much love as I know you are capable of treating another.”
A small smile crept up her lips.
“And if you ever need a little extra love… You always have me.” I concluded, as tears began to tumble off of my cheekbones.
In that moment, she threw her arms around me and I almost felt relieved. I knew she had the strength I had never possessed when it came to bouncing back from a broken heart.
Even with all of the Band-Aids in the world, I could never be the one to fix it for her. But, who needs Band-Aids when you know how to stitch up an open wound yourself?
“Thank-you.” she said, as she broke away from my embrace.
She was and would forever be, my most cherished life experience.