You Know that it’s Love When…

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The dream began with my wife, Beth and me arriving at a rental cabin in a canyon next to a pristine river. As I parked our van, I noticed that the bicycles left near the cabin by the rental office were apparently for children. I carried our suitcases into the rustic, musty-smelling cabin and then turned my attention to the bicycles.

“Those bikes are too small for us. I’ll call the rental office and see if they have some bigger ones.”

“Why don’t we just walk them there? I’ll push one and you can push the other. The office is just down the road.”

I could not argue with that—it stood in clear view a quarter-mile away. “Sounds like a plan.” We each grabbed a bicycle by its handlebars and then pushed it toward the office. About halfway there, I felt raindrops and glanced up at the sky. A torrential downpour was heading our way from further up the canyon.

“Why don’t you go back to the cabin and stay dry. I’ll finish pushing these to the office and head back myself. We can get replacements when the weather clears.”

“Okay. Hurry back.” Beth replied with a smile, then turned and walked briskly toward to the cabin.

As I continued along steering each bike with one hand, the rain fell harder and harder. Suddenly, an intense gurgling sound caught my attention. I turned to see a wall of water and debris consume a gentle tributary dissecting the opposite bank and burst into the river, instantly turning the clear water a rusty-brown. A moment later, a similar sound erupted farther away as another tributary abruptly flooded. Eventually, I arrived at the rental office. I leaned the bikes on their kickstands and approached the small building, which appeared deserted. I knocked on the door anyway, but no one responded.

“We’re up here. You had better come up, too. It’s going to be a big one.”

Shielding my eyes from the rain with my right hand, I could barely make out a man and woman standing under an umbrella atop a bluff several hundred feet above me. More out of curiosity than anything else, I hurried up the trail toward them. I had no sooner reached the top when the woman pointed up the canyon.

“Here it comes now and is it ever a monster.”

My eyes widened and my jaw dropped at the sight of the mammoth swell of seething, muddy water advancing in our direction and demolishing everything in its path. It was at least a hundred feet tall. I was thankful that the man had warned me in time and that I was on safe ground.

That’s when I remembered Beth waiting for me in the cabin. I was safe, but she was doomed. For a split second, my mind accepted that logical fact—I could do nothing to save her at this point. Nevertheless, my heart felt differently. A life without Beth was not an option. I scampered down the hill with the man and woman yelling behind me.

“Where are you going?”

“Come back! You’ll be killed down there.”

Ignoring their pleas, I continued my mad dash toward the cabin too rain-soaked to notice the tears streaming non-stop from my eyes. With precious little time to spare, I burst through the cabin door, raced to Beth and embraced her with all of my might.

“What are you doing? You’re soaking wet.”

“I just wanted to tell you that I love you.”

“Well, I love you too, but…”

I pressed my lips against hers and kissed her, ignoring a roar that grew more frightening with every heartbeat.