Black brought us together twice. The first time I was four years old. Your mom brought you over. We went outside to play, our moms had coffee inside. I slung my new pink purse with the cherries on it over my shoulder. Tucked inside I had my art book and my crayons.
So we went outside to play. I led the way up the hill, that hill that seemed so large back then but that was really rather small. We climbed it and sat down next to each other at the top. I opened my purse and pulled out my art book.
“Can I see it?” you asked.
“Okay,” I said and handed it to you.
You flipped through my drawings as I pulled out my crayons and lined them up on the grass. Your eyes roamed over my pages, taking in my imaginary friends, my master plans for a motor home, my silly four-year-old dreams.
“They’re all black,” you said, confused.
“Black is my favorite color,” I told you, putting the crayons in rainbow order because they were not all black. I like to choose.
The laugh cut through me and I hated you. I reached for you and yanked a handful of your sweet, shaggy, golden hair.
Your mom saw everything through the window and blamed me. But she was wrong. You deserved it. I gave you my secret and you tried to destroy it.
Years later you reminded me. “Black was your favorite color,” you laughed.
Yes, I know it was. It always has been.
The day before you asked me to marry you, you hid my engagement ring in a drawer. I looked. Damn my intuition.
The next night you wanted to walk on the beach. I knew what you wanted. I stalled, lurked in the bathroom, and bided my time. I don’t know why. When we reached the gloomy beach just after sunset, you got down on one knee and slipped the ring on my finger. You didn’t even have to ask. We lingered awhile until we couldn’t see each other anymore, the black night sky dropping heavy on us and the black water crashing on the sand. The scene was straight out of my art book.