An attractive couple leaned against the railing of a balcony, close together. He leaned more on his left, facing her, she leaned more on her forearms, looking at the sky and stars coming in to view, looking at the city below them from their getaway in the foothills. It was summer time and the evening had finally begun to get cool, the last traces of light from the sunset brilliantly blazed in the West. Leaning there, as they were, he quietly looked at her. Her wavy brown hair danced in the gentle breeze. He watched her hair dance around her shoulders and let his eyes take in her beauty and her form. They’d been together for three years, but he still took his time looking at her. Slowly, meandering, like someone at an art gallery; studying, appreciating, being in awe of the creation before him.

“I love you.” He said. It wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last. She smiled that large, happy smile of hers as she looked over at him.
“I love you too, babe.” She leaned in closer to him and their lips met; tender and meaningful.

They rarely gave pecks with kisses, and if it happened in a moment of absentmindedness, it was quickly followed up with something more in their kiss. They hated pecks.

“I love you. Every day. I choose you. Every day.”

She smiled again and bit her lip, as an affectionate woman, she melted when he poured his affection back on to her. She sighed and nuzzled into him. “I love you and I gladly choose you everyday, baby.” He kissed her forehead. He made a slight pull back as he wanted her to raise her eyes to his, she complied.

“I mean it. I choose you. I don’t want you thinking that you’re some sort of option. I’m all in with you. If we fail, then we fail. But I’ve chosen you. It sounds so fucking cliche but I’ve never loved a woman as free and openly, and passionately intense as I have you.”

Words felt like they failed him, though she felt the intent and sincerity in his words as her eyes slightly misted, she could see in his eyes the struggle for the right words. Everything he felt caught up on his tongue.

He wanted to tell her how complete he feels with her. How, though he battles with and takes ground against his demons daily, how he wrestles through old thought patterns and fears and apprehensions, and how it can feel so dark at times against all of these, he still chooses to love her and not give in and walk away or just unplug. He wanted to tell her how, as attractive and wonderful as she is, could easily be with other men, and that he, too, could be with other women: he was glad he was hers and she was his. He wanted it to stay that way. The literal forsaking all others. He wanted to tell her all the cheesy, romantic lines from movies they loved. He knew there would be dark and bad days, no couple escapes them, but he was willing to choose her daily. He felt sometimes that the odds were stacked against them, but they’d made it this far. He was willing to put his stake in the ground on their love. He was willing to grow beside her. He was willing to build a relationship together that neither of them had ever tasted before. And he hoped to God that she felt the same; meant the same. For all of it.

And at work, on a Friday morning like this one, he sat down and wrote out a fictional short story about a couple on a balcony, sharing a sunset. Because he wanted to tell her more than what they’d texted to each other this morning:

“I love you. Every day. I choose you. Every day.” He’d said. And she had replied, “I love you and I gladly choose you everyday, baby.”