“No, if you’d not been drunk like a frat girl, none of this would have happened.”
I shrugged, “Yeah, truth. I’m sorry, Amir.”
“For drinking like a fish?”
I got defensive, “You said it was okay.”
“Ahhh, so you remember that much.”
“Did I trip or what?”
“You appeared to be sick. The boat heaved along with you and then all of a sudden I saw your feet where your head should have been and then I heard your head hit the hull—it was a solid impact. I was groggy, and honestly, I’d had more than I should have, as well, but the sound your head made against the boat was enough to send me flying.”
“You dove in after me?”
“I would have died.”
“You would have—there is no doubt in my mind I came within seconds of losing you that night.”
“I’m so sorry,” I reiterated.
Amir gave a hearty exhale and joked, “If only I’d been able to catch you, my love.”
I thought he kinda did catch me, but we were now entering the gorgeous indoor gardens, so I didn’t say much in response. I’d spent some alone time in here when Amir was unresponsive and healing, and I’d grown to love the place. It brought me a sense of serenity and peace I rarely felt anywhere else. We rounded the corner, and I breathed in the purified oxygen. “I love it in here,” I muttered.
“Indeed, my lovely bride. As do I.” He parked my wheelchair next to the same bench, although this time it was him attending me. “Do you remember how you pleased me in this very spot?”
I blushed, “I do remember that.”
He grinned, “Yes, you have retained only the important memories.”
“Can we walk around? I’m really stiff.” There was nothing wrong with my body, just my brain, and I felt the need to move and get my heart pumping. “I need to do something cardio. My blood feels stagnant.” Amir helped me up and out of the wheelchair, and I slowly unfurled my limbs. I held my back and acted like I was a hundred. “One week in bed makes one weak,” I quipped.
bsp; Once we were in motion, Amir held my hand and ambled next to me as I minced my steps. “I could think of at least one thing that perhaps might offer you some cardio workout.” He minced his words just as much as I was my steps.
I giggled, “I bet you can Mr. Perpetually Hard.”
He barked a quick laugh, “Ahhh, see you remember much.”
We rounded the corner and a small round garden table lay before us, set up with a picnic lunch. I squealed, “Is this for us?”
Amir beamed, “For my queen. All your favorites.” He pulled out a chair and helped me sit. Then he unwrapped something and presented me with fresh, crispy bacon. “Your favorite food, my love?” I mmmmmed my way through three perfectly cooked pieces and smiled contentedly.
I murmured, “I missed you bacon.” Amir laughed and poured some water as I helped myself to cheese, apple pieces, and some fresh blueberries. “Perfect lunch. You sure do know me.”
He toasted me with the water, and I did in the same in return. He proudly said, “You are my other half, I know you intimately.” He sipped the water and in as serious of a tone as I’ve ever heard from him, he continued, “Julie, I often tell you of my love for you. I, however, do not magnify the explanation. I feel I must tell you now, I must verbalize what you mean to me, why I love you.”
“I know you love me, Amir. It’s abundantly clear.”
“I do not verbalize it, however, and since the accident, I feel I must.”
I blushed crimson, I knew how he felt about me, but the prospect of him putting it into words did strange things to my insides.
“In my previous marriage—which was arranged, by the way—I did still love her. She was a wonderful woman. Well bred, refined, elegant. An excellent mother. All of the attributes a man wishes for in a wife. We grew to love each other.” He ran a hand through his hair and paused.