I take your hand, leading me into the hot air balloon, terrified at the thought of my feet ever being so far from the earth. The roar of a fire is above my head, and slowly we begin to float. As everything on the ground becomes smaller, I catch a glimpse of my bravery waving goodbye to me, sitting this flight out.

It feels like hours for our balloon to stop climbing, even though it probably only took a few minutes. Looking out, I realize that for the first time, I am looking into the sky. Not looking up at it, as I usually do. That’s what my bravery must be doing, laughing that the slightest of wobbles sends me clutching onto your body for dear life.

My arms wrap around your waist, my face buries itself into your chest, and my eyes shut the tightest they’ve ever shut. I begin to regret ever setting foot into this death balloon, wishing we had just watched a movie instead. But then, the gusts of wind all around us suddenly seem to stop, and all I can feel is your breath on my hair. Your breath…so slow, steady, and calm. Quite the opposite of mine, so quick and uneven, like a child’s when watching an adult apply a bandage to a cut. I feel your chest rise against my cheek with each breath you take, and slowly, your breathing becomes my breathing. My heart also starts to calm down, and I like to imagine it’s trying to match the beat of yours.

A sway of the basket that surrounds us almost sends me into a frenzy again, about to reverse everything that had calmed me down. But then I feel your arms wrap around me, your fingers on the small of my back, grazing back and forth. Your breath, your heartbeat, your touch. I feel them all at once and suddenly, I am no longer afraid. My cheek still resting on your chest, I can’t help but smile. My eyes close yet again, only this time, it’s not out of fear. This time they close because I realize that, at this moment, I am the luckiest guy in the world. You’re mine, and I’m yours.

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