She grew up in the south at a time when that phrase carried a stigma. The daughter of a preacher, wrapped in the holy cloth of religion from birth and sheltered from the world, she spent all her time in the sacred walls of the tabernacle looking outward. The reverend, head of the flock, always time for his people leaving little time for his family, still had the heart of his baby girl. But the girl who grew up holy eventually falls, the weight of the biblical pressure always too much to stand up right. So she falls, she falls, and she falls, right into the hands of the sinner. A handsome man with a devilish smile and chiseled body is there to catch her. From his very introduction the feeling of seduction, all too new to her is overwhelming, like the smell of your mothers kitchen after being away at school so long and finally returning home. The scent was inviting, new and familiar, and tempting all the same. The reverend, a former man of the street, smart to the realities of the world tried to warn his precious gift of the troubles that lie within the lies of the words of handsome men. But his sermons fell upon deaf ears. Unable to separate preacher from father, he was preaching to the choir. She'd heard all she needed to hear from the house of the lord, she wanted to explore unknowns. The exploration of the dark most certainly leads us into brick walls and terrors we know not. But she had his courageous spirit, and while he hated it, he loved her for it. A piece of him within. He would have to let her live and learn, as we all do. Love at a young age is foolish, irrational, immature, and without wisdom, but it is also the best love life has to offer. Not restricted by the seriousness of adulthood, young love only knows love, and it consumes the eye of the beholder with it's purity and power. She was a young girl in love, making the mistakes that young girls in love make. He was a young man trying to find his way in the world making promises he did not know how to keep. But they pushed on, believing their love would be enough. But we know this story, we know it never is. The anniversaries they shared were no longer celebrations of love but reminders that they were still trapped together. Every time he said I love you the words were like weights, holding her down, making her stay put in a relationship that wasn't right. She didn't want her father to know he was right, that she had failed at love. So she carried the weight of his merit-less "I Love You's" and unfulfilled promises, marching forward, ever forward, no longer just for herself, but for their child. Finally, feet worn from walking with the weight, she does the only thing she can, she sets herself free.  In life, we move on from relationships, but the scars, they are always there, if you look deep enough. Deep within her loving smile and brown eyes you can almost still see the young girl, the young girl who loved so boldly. But she was buried deep within now, she wasn't safe in the adult world. There was no place for such a love. As she walked along the beach with her father, her children running around playing, she told him about her adventures in love, the good, the bad, the beginning and the end. He hugged his daughter and whispered simply in her ear, "Such is Life".


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