A man walked across this iconic bridge to meet me. He had driven an unthinkable amount of hours just to see my face. The last mile of his journey was on foot, across the bridge to the island where we would meet. We walked the bridge beside each other, almost touching, but not quite. Like the letter we shared, so close but not joined. Below our feet was the river. In nervousness, I watched through the iron deck at the water rushing below. I wanted my body to dissolve, slip through the cracks, and float away. I didn't want to deal with that day, deal with this man who wanted me, deal with the feelings I couldn't understand. I still don't understand them. His heart was rushing toward me and I was pulling within myself for safety. I hated myself for my fear, but it was there strangling me, holding me back. Something wasn't right. My heart viciously contracted, crippling me.
Months later, on a cold autumn night, I again met a man who had traveled miles to my city. We slowly walked side by side across the same great bridge. The lights from the steel beams twinkled and caught the light in his green eyes. My breath made puffy clouds in front of my red cheeks. We smiled and stared up at the city sky line. I barely noticed the steel frame that held above the river. The holes at our feet made me feel as if we were floating, the icy water seemed miles below my feet. That night, he looked deep into me and said, "It will be okay." My heart softened, my breath grew quite. No longer cynical, my hand reached to him and tucked safely under his arm for warmth.