For two years now She had been His joy.
He was working through a difficult time. Walking through mud. Business was picking up, His long hours were beginning to bear fruit, emotionally He was tired.
They were seeing each other less to give Him time to right His ship. She had come to His last weekend and it was delightful. Monday at 6am they waved goodbye and He was back to work.
When He knew they would be apart He would take down His pictures of Her. The wallpaper on His phone and computers changed from Her smile to something that didn’t immediately remind Him of Her. Pictures that didn’t create the longing to feel Her pressed against Him, tightly encircled by His arms.
Today he put them back up again, maybe only for a day. He needed the energy, the peace, the touchless embrace of Her smile.
And for the first time this weekend, He felt joy.
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.
Every morning He ate eggs. Jelled yokes. Some potatoes.
One can eat eggs plain and get the proper nutrition. Protein, good fats, zinc. But eggs without seasoning are bland. Flavorless.
His life before He met Her was unseasoned eggs. He lived with purpose, planned His time, achieved His goals. Happy but not joyful.
Over the last many months She had changed His life. There were still goals and plans. Still work to be done. The minutia of life.
But Her smile, Her eyes, Her words, Her touch, Her adventures had given his egg life something He hadn’t experienced in a long time.
She brought flavor to His life.
When they were together whether it was going to a concert or planting flowers or just sharing a morning coffee, it became joy. Flavorful.
His life tasted so much better with Her in it.
He liked her lines.
When they were in bed together, in the mornings between waking and leaving the bed, He would trace Her lines with His finger. Her shoulder, Her neck, Her forehead. The path from shoulder to waist to hips.
Across the table He enjoyed tracing Her lines with His eyes. It gave him joy to observe the gentle curve of her jaw, the long lines of her legs.
He wanted to draw Her.
He had been practicing for some months sketching off and on, but His skill was far from adequate to capture the powerful emotions that Her lines evoked in Him.
She was travelling for the next week. He took the time apart to revisit His art.
His attempts today were once again poor, but there was still a joy in it. As He drew each line, lines His finger had traced hundreds of times, He could feel Her in the pencil. Imperfect, but perfect for today.