He woke a little before 5am Sunday morning.
The weather had finally turned cold and so was his apartment this morning. He lay in bed, refusing to leave the warmth of the covers, wishing Her body was next to him.
They were on a “break.” She is complicated and fragile and wonderful. Her fragile reached its limit at the end of October and they decided to take a break until after the holidays. She needed time to be alone, regroup, read and sleep.
This morning He longed for the feel of Her skin.
They had shared many intimate times. Some of the most intimate had nothing to do with making love. They were travelling, experiencing joys and hardships, joking about Rick the convenience store attendant who called him “Boss” and her “Honey.” Debriefing the day and the week.
But for him the most intimate experiences He had with Her focused on just touching Her, feeling the warmth of Her skin beneath His hands.
When He woke in the mornings, She was usually facing away from him. He would put his arm around Her waist and caress the skin of Her stomach. When they made love, He would caress Her entire body with his palms.
He had told Her “touching your skin nourishes my soul.” This morning, He longed for that nourishment.
Sometimes it’s hard, fighting you for you.
Wrestling not against my error but against your fears.
Sometimes it’s hard, discerning thoughts you can’t verbalize.
Reading your mind without the gift of clairvoyance.
Sometimes it’s hard, giving you unlimited space,
to find the you I’ve already seen and know.
Sometimes it’s hard, reminding you of the good,
when all you can visualize is the pain and hurt.
Every time it’s beautiful, to share our lives,
seeing the joy and the pain together.
Every time it’s beautiful, the love we share,
enjoying intimacy beyond the simple physical.
Every time it’s beautiful, the mundane of life,
being someone at your side who is companion, cheerleader, friend.
Every time it’s beautiful, seeing your joy,
sharing private moments of victory no one else will see.
Every time…it’s wonder, an awe and contentment for me.
I try to understand the words you’re not saying,
the soul buried deep beneath the veneer of smiles and laughter,
avoiding my gaze that sees you in spite of yourself.
Hiding is an art for you, a skill from a lifetime of practice.
You only reveal to others what you want them to see.
The confident, the wise, the controlled.
Somehow I read the tea leaves. Seeing glimpses of real.
The distance of text messages and phone calls made it easier.
No eyes on you.
Gradually you let me in. Testing the waters. Scared yet hoping.
Someone who might see you, love you as you are.
Yet waiting for the second shoe to drop.
You surrendered your body, but it was just a body.
You had surrendered it once before without being seen.
An anonymous placeholder.
We navigated together the revelations.
The hurt. The misunderstandings.
Mishearing words never spoken.
“You only pursue me because I run” you said.
Not realizing the truth:
I pursue you because I see you.
It was past his bedtime, an hour past. He couldn’t sleep. His chest ached for want of Her.
They had made a considered decision: His business was flagging and needed Him to make it a priority. He would spend less time with Her and more focusing on His business. They knew it meant the weeks of living together would be put on pause, but in the long run it would mean He could move to Her city.
They had now been apart for most of a month.
Tonight He longed for Her. He longed for Her in a way that transcended sex. For the last couple weeks porn had lost any appeal. He didn’t want sex, He wanted Her. All of Her. The intimacy. Making love. The holding after. Waking up together the next day. The Knowing.
Tonight the emptiness of His arms screamed loud.
He pulled a pillow into His chest and willed it to become Her.
He liked to call Her “My Tall Girl.”
He loved Her length, stretched out next to Him on the bed, duvet kicked aside in heat. His eyes followed Her lines, from Her manicured toes, over Her long legs, Her torso, breasts, neck to face. Her body was art to Him.
He would touch Her with a religious reverence, and She withheld no part of herself from Him. He had never touched anyone the way He touched Her. Sensual, loving. Worshiping Her lines with His hands.
She responded in kind. Closing Her eyes in pleasure as He rubbed Her feet and legs, snuggling against Him once He was done. Caressing His chest with Her hand while lying on His shoulder. He had never been touched by anyone the way She touched Him.
This weekend they were apart. He pretended to work, but today He was mind was distracted…
…by His Tall Girl.
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The plan was for Him to come down Friday for the holiday weekend. She had been at a conference and out of touch, coming home in the late hours of Wednesday. He thought She would need an evening alone to recuperate before He arrived.
He had missed Her. They had been spending the vast majority of nights together, but it seemed to make Him miss Her more rather than less. They had been apart less than a week and His chest ached for the feel of Her pressed into Him.
Her text surprised Him:
Her: When are you coming? I feel a coma coming on. I miss you. 12:12 PM
Him: I’m sure you need one. I can come any time. Up to you. I have to go home Tue morning kinda no matter what. 12:15 PM
Her: Why? 12:15 PM
Him: I miss you as well, for the record. 12:15 PM
Him: I have a kinda huge week next week. 12:16 PM
Her: You’ve used kinda twice now 12:19 PM
Him: Kinda. It’s my Hordor 12:19 PM
Her: Will coming tomorrow be better? 12:19 PM
Him: Are you asking me to come today? 12:19 PM
Her: I have to work – 230 meeting then I hope to be out. 12:20 PM
Him: You’re great at indirect answers 12:20 PM
Her: Kinda. But really I just want you here for selfish reasons. I need to curl up. 12:21 PM
Him: Geez. I hate that. You’re so demanding. 12:21 PM
Him: Let me get back to you. I would love to come today, but I need to think it thru 12:22 PM
Him: I’ll let you know before 2:30. 12:22 PM
Her: Okay but don’t stress yourself 12:33 PM
Him: Thinking about seeing you is never stress. 12:34 PM
Him: You know how you like to tell me you love me when you are really feeling it? Yeah, I love you always but especially right now. 12:36 PM
Her: ❤️ I love you too right now… Can’t commit to tomorrow… 12:38 PM
Him: Of course not. 12:39 PM
So Thursday evening He drove the 100 miles to Her’s. When He arrived He pushed Her against the wall and kissed Her deeply.
Then again, more passionately.
“You are indispensable.” Her text made Him smile.
They were in the midst of three weeks together. Not a vacation, just sharing Seuss House and the normal day to day routine. They had talked a number of times about moving in together, neither felt it was time, maybe would never be time, still they both enjoyed the month of March together.
They developed a routine: He would spring up from bed early, writing at His computer. He would slip back into bed with Her a minutes before Her first alarm of the day would chime. She definitely did NOT spring out of bed and required several. In the minutes between alarms He would hold Her, caress Her, share the intimacy.
Evenings He would cook while She finished Her workout. They would eat, talk and move up to the bed early for Dateline and reading. He would lotion and rub Her feet and legs, being careful to keep Her perpetually cold body under as many covers as possible. Often they made love before they drifted off, though the intimacy of their other rituals was just as powerful.
Since She had typed those words, it had been on His mind often. She told Him often each day She loved Him, sometimes using words, this was different. Can one person truly be indispensable to another? His logical mind said no. People break up; people die. Indispensable was an illusion.
He also knew His life with Her in it. Maybe it wasn’t logical. Maybe a person didn’t truly “need” another – life would go on regardless. All He knew this morning was this:
She was indispensable to Him too.