Monday, he took care of my puppy while I worked over time. I arrived at his house at 9:20 and he had just gotten home from working on his new house with his girlfriend. He was just eating dinner. I felt guilty that the responsibility of watching my dog could have delayed his evening and his dinner. We sat on the couch while he ate and watched the hockey game. Neither of us is into sports but it was a good game and didn’t require much thought or concentration. I was exhausted. I knew I should have left to get home and get ready for the next day but that meant leaving him. Saying nothing while he ate and watching mindless television was better than being home alone. I wonder if he knows how a cherish these stolen moments. Any kind of time with him was better than any other option.
We had a casual conversation while he finished eating. When he was done he leaned back on the couch. I was leaning against the back of the couch with my legs tucked underneath me. I gave him a few minutes to settle and leaned toward him. His arm went up and we fell into our normal cuddle position. My head on his chest. His arm around me gently brushing my skin with his knuckles as his fingers curled in and out, occasionally giving my arm or elbow a gentle squeeze. He always offers a combination of gentle and strong. He always knows what I need.
We cuddled for the remainder of the game. It was late. He needed sleep and I needed to get home. He walked me to the door and opened his arms to pull me in. I tucked my head to his chest and wrapped my arms around him and we stayed like that for a very long time, but not nearly enough time.
The feeling of dread and anxiety I get when I leave him is dependable. The moment I realize I have to go my heart drops and my mood changes. I become a little girl. Fighting off the temper tantrum and break down that is right on the surface prickling every nerve ending and muscle of my body. It is dependable. It is reliable. It is debilitating.
He gives me a final squeeze. “You mentioned spending time this week, do you have a day in mind? I ask in a whisper. It is daring and brave. Not because I am not supposed to ask but because I am afraid of the length of time I will have to wait to be with him again.
“Thursday. I am thinking Thursday will be good. Is that OK with you? he asks as he looks down on me and I know he sees the mix of disappointment and fear leave me as hopeful excitement replaces it.
“Yes, I will keep that day free for you,” trying to keep the excitement from my voice and failing miserably.
He watched me walk to my car and peered through his door until I was inside and safe. A quick ‘I love you’ wave and he closed the door.
Smiling all the way home, I start the countdown for Thursday. I wonder if knows how just the thought of time with him makes me feel.