1. "I reserve my hatred for oatmeal raisin cookies and iTunes only."
  2. His laugh is horsed but genuine enough that it forces my lips into a small smile of their very own.
  3. Normalcy— we've both craved it and in that moment we seem to have captured it, but alas it proves to be too achingly brief because before we have a chance to slip into discussions about my (lack of)dating life and his latest work fiasco, the moment's snapped and we're jarred back into reality by a loud cry of "we're making America great again!"
  4. Pushing my food away, I try to will back the same bile I felt rise in my throat each time I looked at my Instagram and saw the hashtags with those words alongside others that included his name and statements about "raising their kids right" until I'd finally had enough and logged out of it.
  5. But the problem is that no matter how hard you try, you can't really log out of life.
  6. "So do you hate them yet?" he asks, circling us back to the original question.
  7. It takes a minute but I finally give him an answer. "No, because I feel that if I choose to hate them, even silently, it makes me no better than the people expressing their hatred through violent words and actions. And even the tiniest dark spot of hatred has the ability to take root and devour your heart."
  8. "So what now?"
  9. I shrug. "We do what we've always done— we do our best to educate and to continue fighting for change. And we use our voices, not just for ourselves, but for the people ostracized by others who try to tell them that they're less because of the color of their skin, beliefs, or the love they carry in their hearts. Especially for them.
  10. But most importantly, we love loudly and proudly because despite all the bullshit happening in our country right now, I still believe that love and hope will always find a way to reign supreme."
  11. "So still clinging to the whole 'sometimes it has to get dark before light can break through' theory," he asks, smiling.
  12. "Something like that," I reply, closing my eyes and allowing the sun to warm my face.
  13. —————————————
  14. And I just want you guys to know that despite all the chaos of heartbreak, anger, disbelief, and disappointment that has been my heart and soul the last few days, I still believe in you and me and us together. I also want to make sure you each know that I Iove you madly and deeply and I'm here if you need me. 💛