I can still see it, you know. After all this time we’ve been together, you still sometimes look at me and your eyes flash with a sudden realization. You and I are together – and we’re happy, too.

Still sounds like a lie, right?

15 years ago, when you first felt your heart burn for someone, what would you say if someone told you you’d end up getting in a relationship with me, of all people?

You’d laugh and dismiss it as something so improbable, not even worth considering – I know you would. That’s what I’d do, anyway, and I think we’re on the same page on this.

Don’t try to deny it, sweetcheeks. Don’t try to act like you’ve been envisioning someone like me when you lay in your bed and dreamed of your knight in shining armor, ‘cause we both know this is not the case. Hell, I suspect that if we had met as recently as just a couple of years instead, the most we’d manage to do together would be a couple of interesting, albeit strictly platonic, conversations.

It’s not like the princess of my boyish dreams had all that much in common with you, either. God knows I’m okay with that. I would even dare say I’m thankful you’re not her. I’ve seen enough to know that what you want is rarely what you need.

For a man who could barely figure out what he wanted, I had the amazingly good fortune to stumble upon what I needed. How can I not be thankful?

I’ve met my share of princesses, you know. Some were too princess-y, others not enough.  Some needed rescuing but had too high towers, or too fierce dragons. Some actually WERE too fierce dragons. For some, I thought they were exactly who I wanted, only to find that they were not who I needed.

And you’ve met your share of knights too. Some of them wore shiny armor, other just tinfoil hats. Some came atop proud, high steeds, others atop humble donkeys and mules. But none of them turned out to be what you needed, either. Bummer, right?

So here we are, taking a good, hard look at each other.

We’ve been on the proverbial road long enough to know some of our dreams were foolish, love. We’ve felt our hearts cave in along with them, when they proved to be too flimsy, despite all their fluff and sheen.

So, what now? What do we do now, girl?

I have a proposition to make, if I may.

Are you willing to give up your dreams of knights and stallions for a child with a dull sword, a battered armor and a moody, directionally challenged colt for a steed?

Please say you do, because I think I’ve found my princess. She’s not very princess-y, though. She traded in her skirts for travel leathers long ago. She doesn’t need any rescuing, either; she beat her dragon to a pulp herself. Then she broke it in and now she rides it around. And when it comes to swords and armors, she may even be able to teach a certain fool a trick or two.

And I’m really glad for that.

I came so far looking for princesses, see, only to find I neither wanted nor needed one. There’s a long road ahead, I know that now, and they tend to be little more than frilly-dressed hindrances. What I now want has finally caught up with what I need – a partner for the road, a traveling companion, a girl after my own heart to have my back. Rings any bells?

So if you’re up to the task, love, giddy-up and lead the way. I’ll be riding right next to you.

We’ve a long way to go.

Author: Chris Wilkins

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