Real love waits in the snow on your front porch so you can walk to school together in the fifth grade. It brings you a chocolate bar when you fall and finish last in the seventh grade Olympics. Real love whispers something in the middle of algebra about your pink fingernail polish so that you don’t forget how to smile when you’re doing math, and it saves a seat for you in the lunchroom every Friday through high school. Real love stays up late on a Saturday making chocolate chip cookies together, flicking flour at you and getting eggshells in the batter and making sure you’ll remember that night for the rest of your life. Real love thinks you are pretty even when your hair is pulled back in a ponytail and you don’t stand perfectly straight.

even now, ever after by karen kingsbury

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