Long, quite long ago, that's when I laid my eyes upon him.
Enough time has passed for me to remember how confused I'd have been. He has since, cared for me so deeply that I'll be forever in his debt.
I am his princess, he says. Unusual as it may seem, this is not a story of love that I lost. This love was sown so deep, nurtured with care and everything so beautiful that it could only reap fruits that lasted forever. Some fruits sweeter than the rest, were memories I hold close to my heart, always.
The memories, moments!
Moments like when he brushed my hair so gently and cautiously that it wouldn't hurt me.
He would hug me tight and that would be the most beautiful reward for me.
He cares for me a little more than he cares for himself and that in itself is so admirable.
The gifts. In every form. Tiny embellishments to utilities to warmest gestures of love.
Those forehead kisses wishing me a good journey or just a good night. All of this, I treasure.
Then there were fruits of wisdom. Which make me the person I am today. Sometimes, I would try to avoid learning about the wise things from him but, oh he was as stubborn as me and more than I wished to succeed, he wished to see me at the zenith and so my gratitude may not reciprocate his this kind a gesture but I hope it does little to cheer him up. This, I treasure.
Then, there were sour times too. I hated those moments. I hated myself for them. But then eventually, it wouldn't be long before either of us would break the silence. Not belittled, but proud to treasure this too.
He often tells me he loves me the most. And nothing has sounded so musical, ever. This music, it stirs me like a motivation, to be the person he'd want to see me as, and soothes me to care the least about anything that doesn't require a piece of my mind.
Summer of 1996.
That's when I saw him for the first time. I'm sure he had cared immensely, even before he saw me.
I call him papa.