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A Thousand Words

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"No peaking," Norman said as he clasped his hands over your eyes. "I'm not," you answered, "I swear." He laughed, "I don't wanna ruin the surprise." He inched you forward slowly. You couldn't contain your excitement. Norman had been working on this painting for weeks and now he was finally going to let you see it.

As you moved into the back room, Norman made sure that you didn't bump into anything. He positioned you in front of the painting, "Okay, ready?" "Ready as I'll ever be," you said folding your arms in front of your chest. The seconds ticked away slowly as you waited for Norman to remove his hands so you could see.

You could hear Norman take in a deep breath from behind you. You thought it was strange that someone so accomplished in his painting could still get nervous. You loved every piece of artwork Norman did - even the picture collages of roadkill. He moved his hands down to your waist and your eyelids fluttered open.

The painting was of you. You thought it looked familiar, like you had seen it before. "Do you like it," Norman whispered in your ear. "Baby, I love it," you answered. You walked closer to the painting wanting to examine every detail. You could tell how hard he had worked on it. Each brushstroke told the story of how many hours it took to complete the painting.

As you looked closer at the painting, you noticed tiny words hidden in the background. They were words that could make anyone feel special. "Normie, what are these words," you asked. "They're you," he replied, "Each word describes you." There were tons of little words sprinkled all over the canvas, but you noticed the one place he didn't put any words was your face.

"I modeled it off this," Norman pulled a small picture out of a paint covered folder and handed it to you, "A picture's worth a thousand words, right?" It was a picture of you from one of your first dates with Norman. It matched the painting perfectly. In the picture, you were laughing, the sun shining bright behind you. You didn't think the picture was that flattering, but the painting told a completely different story.

"Norman," you said hugging him tightly, "It's amazing." "This is how I always see you," he answered, "Happy, smiling, beautiful." You blushed and kissed Norman's cheek. He was such a sweet man and you couldn't believe how lucky you were. He always knew how to make your day better. Loving him made so much sense.

You truly did love the painting. Not because it was of you, but because Norman had painted it. You loved it because Norman had taken the time to paint it. You loved it because Norman could have chosen anyone to be his muse, but he chose you. You loved it because it reminded you of when your relationship first started. That honeymoon phase never ended for the two of you.

Norman squeezed you tighter and you buried your face in his neck. When you were with him, everything felt right. You never wanted to let this moment go. You wanted to stay in his arms forever. He held you closer to him and as if you had nothing else to do, you just stayed there.

-FIN