How lucky, lucky, lucky I am to have found this being.
Rounded forehead, veiny forearms, upright cowlicks and thin legs.
Broad shoulders, gappy smile, steady hands, warm eyes.
He is everything I want. He is everything to me.
It was our fourteenth monthary, a night to celebrate the months we've been dating. I asked if he would make the toast.
"To the luckiest fourteen months of my life!" he declared.
"And why's that?" I said.
"Because I've spent them with you," he said.
And so we smiled and clinked glasses, his beer and my red wine, and we sipped to the last fourteen months.
And at the end of the night, after french pea soup, beef dishes and the best kahlua chocolate mousse I've ever had, he opened the door of The Blake House and spoke.
"I'm glad I don't ever have to start dating again."
"You don't?" I quizzed him.
"What makes you think that?"
"Because I found you," he said.
"But we're not permanent yet," I said.
"No? Because there's no ring on your finger?"
"Exactly. If you like it, then you'd better put a ring on it," I said in a sing-songy tone.
Sometimes I worry I'm not as in love with him as I'm supposed to be. The strength of my feelings towards him fluctuates based on various factors. Alone at night, I reflect on everything that has happened and I wonder if I'm more in love with the idea of him than I am in love with him as he is. Aren't we all guilty of this? Does it make any difference? Am I supposed to alter my future life course because sometimes I love him less than other times?
It's all so hazy and confusing.
"Goodnight, Alex Stinson."
"Goodnight, Rosa Stinson."
I jolted upright. "What?!"
"What?" he said sleepily, a slow smile spreading across his face.
"Why did you say that?" I demanded.
"Why not? he said, "I thought it would be cute."
"It is..." I started, "But how do you know we'll get married?"
"Because I know," he said.
"I worry that saying that sets up expectations."
"Expectations of what?"
"Well, of marriage."
"I'm fine with that." He smiled at me.
"Because I know we'll get married."
"But how do you know that? How do you know I'm the one?"
"Because of the way I feel about you. Because of who you are."
"But how do you know?"
"I just know."
"But what if we don't?"
And when I had finally exhausted all of my "but why"s and "but how"s and "but, but..."s, I curled up under his left arm, my hand on his chest and I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep.
I don't know why. I'm just distant. I feel a little emotionally detached? Is that even possible for someone as emotional and passionate as I am?
I don't know why and I don't know how to fix it. I just feel like I'm in my own little bubble, unreachable, untouchable, unmoving. I need to stay right here lest anything happen to me.
Over and over, I keep hearing, "Have you see yourself tonight? You're a gorgeous girl!" Those words keep echoing and resonating with me, even though I want to reduce them to nothing, to make them meaningless, to devalue them because they're the wrong words from the wrong person.
Oh, words. Why have they always penetrated me when nothing else does? Why have they always reached me, right down to my core, when nothing else can break my barriers? And why, oh why, have I fallen in love with a man of so few words?
Can two people who madly love each other and do not speak each other's language become successful partners?
I wish I knew how to cover the distance.
I had a great evening. I laughed and I felt loved and the whole thing was entertaining. I was with the man I'm so madly in love with... what else could I want?
But. Sometimes his self-deprecating comments weigh me down and make my heart feel heavy. Don't say you don't believe in this, babe. 'Cause if you don't, how can I?
He was on a wooden chair, a rum&pepsi in hand. I leaned back in the maroon armchair.
"We've spent the the last thirteen years trying to figure each other out."
"Yeah," he smiled, "We have."
There are times, sometimes, when I really long for my old life. Cheesy relics 'n all.
We left everyone behind and headed to the water. Hand in hand, we walked along the beach and spoke softly about the thoughts on our minds. We walked through tall green grasses, ran through frigid tides that tickled our toes and stepped carefully over abandoned sandcastles. We walked until we reached our destination: the ice cream shop at the main beach. And there I bought a double scoop in a waffle cone: bubble gum and peanut caramel crunch.
Outside, he was lying on the bench, his mop of black curls falling every which way. I sat down next to him and he shifted, placing his head in my lap. Carefully, I licked my ice cream cone, trying not to let it drip on him. Eyes closed, he said more than once, "What was that?" "Nothing," I replied as I hastily wiped the blue dot off his shirt. He smiled; he knew.
And when the ice cream was all gone and my tummy was full, I sat there on that bench and looked down at this man. This beautiful human being with the straight ridge along his nose, the arch-less eyebrows and the black, tousled hair. I ran my fingers through his hair, lightly scratching his scalp and I whispered, "I'm so glad you're mine." He smiled, not showing his teeth, and returned the sentiment.
He lay like that for a while, head in my lap, complete trust and contentment, and I waited quietly, patiently, until he was ready to make the long walk back. He lay like that, and we talked about our future, our marriage to-be and our kids to-be and the life we imagine for ourselves when the Future finally arrives. We spoke about the journey, the current path, the importance of savouring each day and each moment. I cupped his head in my hands and I held him close to me, so gingerly, so carefully, with so much love. And sometimes, catching me off guard, he reached for my boob and made me laugh with indignation.
And that moment - I wanted that moment to last forever. With the horizon meeting the clear, blue lake and families and kids circling the ice cream shop, with his black curls between my fingers and his warm smile appearing every now and then, I had everything that I wanted. I wanted that moment to last forever.
Slathering Deep River on to the accent wall in our future spare bedroom, I glanced over at him, four rungs up on the metal ladder, small trim brush in his hand, carefully concentrating on not touching the popcorn ceiling with the bold blue paint.
"Hey, you know what's kinda crazy?" I asked.
"What?" he said.
"...that, in five years, we could be married with kids."
"That's not so crazy," he said.
"Isn't it? ...says the guy who's never been in a relationship longer than a year."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well, how can you visualize a relationship five years from now if you haven't stayed with anyone for longer than a year?"
"That doesn't have any impact on my ability to see my life in five years from now. I can see that being my life in five years from now. It's not that much of a stretch."