She looked at me with an open face, eyebrows drawn together in an imploring stare and tears glittering below her eyes. She looked as if she was trying to not let them spill over, as if to contain the depth of her feelings.

It wasn't working.

I could see through those tears.

I think I could see into her soul, bright and sincere and pulsing with life.

"Was there ever any other choice I could have made?" she stated in a quiet but clear voice. "Not choosing you wasn't an option. In another world, in another life... Even then, not choosing you isn't a choice at all. I will always choose you. Just like you will always choose me."

I felt my heart contract in my chest, creating a warm pressure that made me unsure if I wanted to shout out with joy or take her close to me, close in a hug so very tight to my body that she absorbed into myself and we would never be parted, and she would always know how I felt about her. Maybe both options were good.

"Always," I murmured back, and those tears finally trembled free and slipped down her cheeks, silent as a whisper but telling me more than her words ever could. I stepped closer to her and ran my thumb along the tears' tracks, smudging them over her freckles. "You are my only choice. Forever. Always."

We embraced, and I felt my heart leave my own possession as it entered hers. She held it now. I was at peace.