We can't always control what happens in our lives. If anyone has learned that it's Kinzleigh Baker. She has learned to embrace the moments and live like there is no tomorrow; to love the people that we are given with all that we have. She knows all too well what it's like to have your heart ripped from your chest and doesn't care to ever experience that feeling again. Her life has been one roller coaster of overwhelming consequences back to back. Kinzleigh has learned some of the humility she was once lacking as an adolescent. She has found out the hard way that we can't always focus on ourselves or take the important people in our lives for granted. She is working hard to live by putting one foot in front of the other. She is now forcefully embarking on a new journey; one that will be sure to cause lots of trials and tribulations on its own. What would you do if God gave you that second chance to the one thing you would change if you could? One tragedy that could be reversed perhaps or someone from your past waltzing back into your life unannounced. Would you take it and run with it or go a different route altogether?
I reach the end of the pier and sit on the edge, hanging my legs over the side. They still don't reach the water. I let myself remember the night on the pier when Breyson kissed me for the first time. I close my eyes and place my fingers on my lips, remembering the way they felt pressed against his. He will always be the only person to own me. I have always been his, but he's no longer mine. It's too late. I let him go and that will always be my biggest regret, but if it keeps him happy then I'll learn to live with it. The breeze picks up and my hair sways in the wind. I get the oddest sensation. It's as if I'm not alone, but then again, I'm crazy as of late. I'll probably be that way for the rest of my life. I can see seagulls flying overhead, making noise as they soar through the sky. I wonder what it would be like to have an aerial view of everything like a bird does. Would it change your aspect of things to watch things from above? The memories are evoking emotions that I thought I laid to rest, but I was wrong. My chest is killing me. My mind is in a haze to everything but Breyson. It doesn't take long for the cleansing process to occur, pouring out through my tear ducts. With each tear I cry an ounce of pain deteriorates, but then is replaced with a new wound. If I could physically see my heart right now I imagine there would be a lot of scarring. "Breyson, if I knew then what I know now..." "Would you change it?" My eyes widen at the sound of the southern voice I'll never grow tired of hearing. You know, the brain is a cruel organ. I've discovered this on so many occasions. Do you embrace the hallucinations or do you pretend you never heard them and hope they go away? No matter how many times I answer this question I always react the same. I embrace them, because the alternative is to forget, and I don't want to forget. "No," I whisper into the air. "I wouldn't change a single second with you." "Then turn around." That voice again, deep and low, makes me quake upon hearing it. I have no idea why, but I follow instructions. I pull my legs up onto the pier and make a one-eighty degree turn. What I see steals the very air from my lungs as if someone is holding me by the throat, squeezing as hard as they can. "Breyson, what are you doing here?" I'm trying to sound strong, but my voice is being treacherous. "I came to take you home where you belong." He remains standing where he is, waiting for a response. "What makes you think I want to go back? I told you I chose. You're better off without me." My voice cracks as the words exit. My heart doesn't want to say them, but my mind is steering my tongue. "I call bullshit. Stop fighting us, Kinz. You know we're meant to be together. One way or the other we will be together, dead or alive." He inches forward, slowly, as if I'm an abused, abandoned animal, and scared I'll run away. Maybe I'm tired of running. I release a long, steady breath, relaxing some of the tension I've been carrying since February. I'm exhausted from burdens I've been bearing in his absence. "You don't want to be with someone like me. I'm different. I can't even be a good mother to our baby, Breyson. I've barely even held him since he's been born." Tears are soaking my face. He sits down beside me, wraps his arm around my waist from behind, and scoops me into his arms, pulling me to straddle his lap. "I'm not the person you left behind. Something is wrong with me," I whisper and try to look away ashamed. He turns my face so that I have no choice but to look him in the eyes. Those blue eyes are smoldering, dominating, and unforgettable. They lock on you and you're doomed. You get lost in their depth without even realizing you're hooked. My heart feels like it's soaring just by touching him. "It's because we are supposed to raise him together," he says, brushing my wet hair off of my face. He swipes his thumb over my bottom lip as he bores into me, reading all of my secrets without my consent. He's the only one that has ever had that capability, the ability to read into my soul just by looking into my eyes. Chill bumps sprout all over my skin with each touch from him. "Your soul belongs to me, Kinzleigh, as mine does to you. Fate mated them together. If you try to fight what's meant to be, you'll always lose. You're sick, because your soul is yearning for its mate; therefore, it's taking it out on you. The person you are is in here," he says, pointing to where my heart resides below the surface. "Why should I believe that? That would be too easy." "It is easy. Why do you keep fighting what God placed together? Didn't your parents teach you that everything happens for a reason, good or bad? How do you feel right now? How does this make you feel?" He touches his lips to mine, and a rush floods through my body. My body begins heating and a tingling sensation tickles my lips. His tongue slides through the crevice between my lips and brushes against mine. That's all it takes and I'm completely lost in a world I've been locked out of for so long. The metal cuff that has had my heart under lock breaks free. I feel like I'm high, but I haven't consumed any drugs. My heart has a mind of its own. Without any further ado, my fingers thread through the back of his hair, and I kiss him back. I can't describe the emotions that are taking control of my body. An unexpected moan escapes my lips and I hear a throaty groan in return. In one swift motion he turns me so that my back is lying on the very pier this happened on two summers ago. My legs instantly wrap around his waist. I want him so badly right now I would allow it right here in the open if I hadn't just given birth to a baby. My tears have changed from sadness to surrender. I want him, I need him, and in this moment I know without a shadow of doubt I can't live without him. I've already tried. I may be a little hesitant to believe soul mates have as much control as he says, but one thing is for sure, and that's the fact that we always end up back together. He breaks the kiss and the loss of contact burns inside. He wipes the tears in a constant rain down my face. "Say you'll be mine, Kinzleigh. Tell me you'll stop fighting us and come back home where you know you're meant to be. I will do anything to support my family. As long as you're with me I will never let you or our son go without. I will sacrifice anything to provide for the both of you. I've already prepared for a place to stay. I just need to fill it with my family. You are and will always be the love of my life. I don't care what hurdles stand in our way; we can jump them as long as we do it together. I'm enough of a man that I'll beg if that's what you need, but don't make me live without my family anymore. I can't do it, and more importantly, I won't. I've never lied to you and I don't intend to start now." He rubs his rough hand up my leg and underneath my shirt, baring my stomach. It makes me slightly uncomfortable just having had a baby and not being completely back to my old size, but the fact that he's touching me and my need for it drowns out self-conscious thoughts. He bends down and kisses beside my belly button and comes back up to ensure I'm looking into his eyes. "I love you, Kinzleigh, with all that I am. You gave me your heart standing behind the field house. When I promised you I would take care of it that meant forever. What happened to me was not your fault. Give me forever; that's all I'm asking." My heart sends a shooting pain throughout my chest cavity, as if warning me not to make the wrong choice. I'm giving in. I can't deny him anything anymore, not even myself. I tried to walk away from him once; I'm not strong enough to do it twice. If there is some kind of curse on me, then I'll just have to outsmart it. Coexisting in a world together, but apart, is no longer an option. I will die of a broken heart before I can survive without him. "My heart has always been yours, Breyson, even before I told you so, and I've never taken it back." The floods of emotions pour out, hindering my ability to speak. "I tried to walk away from you, to give you a better life in an attempt to replace what you lost, but it's wearing me down. I'm exhausted. The truth is, the love I feel for you is unexplainable. I can't eat, sleep, or function being apart from you. The only thing left is to give in to my heart's only desire or allow it to destroy me slowly. For as long as you want me, I'll be yours." He's holding his weight above me. With one free hand he grips my chin between his thumb and index finger, tilting my head slightly, so he can study me as he does when he tells me something important. "Forever with you is what I need, Kinzleigh.”