The first morning light, straining through the blinds of our humble apartment, brought me to my senses. Her head was nuzzled into my shoulder. Her eyes, though shut, betrayed the glow that permeated from behind lids and lashes. Golden locks of soft silk hair spilled over my chest, rising and falling with my breath. It was a serene and splendid scene - almost enough to entirely disregard the stinging sensation in my fingertips. My arm, from the shoulder down, was entirely numb. Despite the discomfort, I couldn't bring myself to shift and sacrifice the moment. Gazing on her, still and sleeping, I was enraptured by the emotion of every moment we had spent and would spend together. Our storybook romance had culminated in a beautiful wedding and a makeshift honeymoon - nothing epic or remarkably memorable - but now we embarked on our life together - something that was sure to be both. We had each other and a magical romance that told us it was all we needed. Laying on the futon, entwined in crumpled sheets, and surrounded by piles of wedding gifts, I committed then and there that we'd never lose the magic. Whatever it took, I vowed I'd keep a hold of the unrivaled sensation that had taken me in since I first set eyes on her... and I'd be sure she felt it for me. Fast forward ten years. No more humble apartment, but a big home with an even bigger mortgage. The futon has been replaced by an ornate poster-bed and a euro-pillow-top mattress. Our four kids, beautiful as they are, often make it impossible to feel even a hint of what we felt when we had no one but each other to please. My priority when sleeping is no longer her comfort, but my own. "Have we lost the magic," I ask myself, "did I betray my promise?" I know that she needs my love. I know it because it's what I exactly what I demand from her. I know that she craves that magical feeling - more than anything in the world. She trusted me to fulfill her every dream and I, her. I don't know much about life. In my 33 years, I've learned a few things. But the one thing that I do know is that the only way to get is to give. It's an immutable law. The less concerned I am with getting and the more I dedicate myself to giving, the more I'll be satisfied. And so here I am, intent on giving, committed to her contentment. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her happy and I know exactly what indulges her - the very same method that won her over in the first place - a steady stream of daily charm: Acts of kindness. Meaningful gestures. The right words. Thoughtful gifts. Genuine service. Time together. Tender touch. At times, these charms may take months to organize. At other times, I may be able to pull them off in just a few minutes. I may have to spend some of that money I slave away for, but sometimes it won't cost me a thing. The charms might be small tokens I send to her, or give her directly, items I let her find, or activities we do together. But I'll make a habit of doing them. Every day. As I charm her daily, I'll be reminded of why I love her the way I do. I'll be inspired to behave in a way that demonstrates the utter adoration I feel for her. I'll rise when she enters the room. I won't let her open her own door, or pump her own gas. I'll solicit and value her opinion. I'll check in on her. I'll protect her. She'll never question my love for her.
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