He was holding my hand.
I could still remember the first time he had done so. That time, I could tell by his trembling fingers that he was nervous. I could tell by his cold, clammy hands -- that he was afraid, and perhaps cautious.
But not anymore.
I could not tell anymore.
As he was holding on to my hand, this minute, this second, I could no longer sense what he was feeling. His hands no longer shook, and was no longer wrapped in a welcoming layer of warm sweat. Or rather, this was not even holding hands at all, unless placing his palm against mine counts.
"Okay, what?" I gave in with a teary voice.
He and I both knew for some reason, that he wanted me to remember this moment as he slipped his fingers between mine, and squeezed my palm. The faint squeeze he gave felt like a heavy stab to my chest. He embraced me, and held me there, fingers still entwined.
It was dark and misty out in the neighborhood as it was night. The streets were quiet and lonesome -- not even the sound of leaves rustling bothered me, though the chilly wind violently pierced through my face.
He held me in his arms tightly, I felt as if I were about to suffocate as my tears hung out the rim of my eyes.
Normally, I am able to guess what he is thinking the moment I meet his gaze. But this time, it took me some effort to do so -- he kept avoiding my glances. By the time I finally caught his sight, I was able to confirm my conjectures. I understood what he wanted, and he knew I wasn't ready to hear it.
He let go of me and freed my hand, leaving a safe three-feet distance between us.
"Don't hold back." I forced a smile.
Staring down at the cement sidewalk, he swung his shoulders back and forth, taking so many deep breaths, I lost count.
Finally, he lifted his head slightly and peaked at me with such an adorable look, I almost could not restrain myself from embracing him.
He took one last, deep breath.
"Will you marry me?"
Once again, for the millionth time that night, I felt like my heart was racing with time.
A sudden burst of complicated feelings of joy, excitement, and commitment painted its canvas in my head. My tears uncontrollably poured down my face flooding every possible pore on my bright pink cheeks.
"I will no longer just hold your hands. I will no longer be nervous and hesitate over my choices. I will not let go. I will not regret." He knelt down on one knee after a long pause. "Please let me be the one to take on your future."
I wasn't ready for this. I knew I wasn't. I held both hands to my face and let the unstoppable tears overcome my excitement.
This moment, the turning stage of my life, I will never forget. And if possible, I hope I can hold on to this moment forever.