I grin, he grins, and we start laughing. I am not even entirely sure why, but it feels good to. It is like this reaching into the past has swathed us in giddiness, and made us in this moment simpler, but happier. We built a tent. And it made us smile.
“You have dirt smeared across your nose,” he tells me.
“And you have grass in your hair.”
I reach for him as he reaches for me and we collide, which makes me laugh even harder. I tip my head back and let it leave me in a cascade of joy. When I look at him again, he is staring at me like I am something to be looked upon with wonder. I go still, wondering what he is thinking as he looks at me.
“Hey there, Delilah,” he says softly, a slow smirk taking over his features.
“Don't even, Rivers,” I warn. I can tell what he is thinking just by how he said that.
He does. He sings 'Hey There Delilah' by The Plain White T's. Night holds us in its embrace, but he lights it up with his essence alone. His voice is steady, deep, and touches me in a way I cannot explain. Tears fill my eyes and trail down my cheeks, but they are happy ones. This feeling I have for him, it has washed away anything that has fought to darken my heart and soul. I feel reborn in him, in what he gives me with his mere presence.
Before he even finishes the song, I am springing myself at him, wrapping my arms around his neck and squeezing him to me. Don't let go, don't let go, I think. I don't know who I am telling that to—him or me. Both of us.
“Girls always fall for that,” he says against my neck.
“How many Delilahs have you sung that to?” I ask, never relinquishing my hold on him. He may be fractured, and I may be fractured, but together we are whole.