I had been in love. Not the love I had now but the best I had ever had up till then. She walked away from it. Does it matter why? Not really. I learned one thing in life; unlike a caged lion, a leashed dog, or a four-year-old, the heart cannot be controlled. Actually, it is like a four-year-old, a really, really, really spoiled four-year-old. It demands and will not heed any amount of pleading or bribery. Oh, the times in the past I wished to spank my heart. But I digress. She left because her heart told her to and my heart insisted otherwise. Now back to the four-year-old. When my heart doesn’t get what it wants, it pouts. Ah! The drive was working.
“When you leave there is no doubt. My eyes, they cry, my heart, it pouts.”
I laughed at that, then made my way to the store. On my way home, I continued to ponder the feelings lost love brought. I remember dragging my feet, walking like I was 20 hours short on sleep. The depression would drive my smile away. Even comedy would only generate a short laugh followed by deeper depression. Yeah, it all came back.
Broken heart mended by the woman in the kitchen. I let my thoughts go to her now and the difference between the last and now, true love found. She is my best friend. For every comment I make, she has a rebuttal, sometimes brutal but never with malice and always a smile. It’s the smile that swells my heart to the point of bursting. Sharp wit and self-assurance keep laughter echoing in the house.
It’s not how we make love, close and complete. It’s the way she makes me feel like the best lover ever. It’s not the way we sit quietly on the couch watching TV. It’s our secrets we share comfortably. I’m always welcomed but never pampered. She gives me no quarter when I become self-absorbed or neglectful. And of course she sparkles at every gift I bring no matter how small. Most of all we have shared what makes us happy, what keeps us in love, because if we didn’t know, we may miss what’s important. We don’t leave our love to chance of guessing, it’s too important.
When we first met, it wasn’t her body, her hair, or her face, that attracted me. It was the smile. The smile reveals everything. Watch people smile. Like snowflakes, no two are alike. The personality explodes from a person when they smile. I think hard to describe her smile, not when she saw me but before as I watched her. Open, energetic, without guile, her smile opened the door to her soul without fear. Let them in, it said, I am what I am. Then she looked at me. I smiled. She smiled. Mischievous, playful, funny, bold, and honest were all the things I saw. And they were all the things I got. I asked her once what she saw in my smile. Dolt, was her reply. I laughed till tears ran down my cheeks. Me, confirmed.
Since out first kiss we have not been within reach of each other without touching; a brush of fingertips, hand around the waist, a squeeze. It’s something not forced but natural. It drives our friends crazy. They roll their eyes, tell us to get a room, sometimes we do. They recognize love and are happy for us. Some may recognize what’s missing in their own.
If she comes home from work down and out, I need to hear what happened. When she comes home to a pile of crumpled papers or sees the rejection slip, she too comes right to me. A hug, a whisper. Tell me about it. Invariably, we tell each other, tomorrow is another day and success and defeat are always fading into the past as we take on another challenge. Sometimes we make angry love, a physical exercise that releases the frustration of life and in the end we laugh at our antics.
I wonder about fights and disagreements. Do we have them? Sure. So how do we get around them? Time and space? Head on? We have a trick. The first funny face wins the argument. I’m a prideful butthead at times but I love making her laugh so much, I win more than I lose. And like bad days, these too fade quickly. ‘We’ are more important than ‘I’ because after this, I have no desire to live as an ‘I’. Any unresolved issue gets put in the ‘My Way’ jar and taken out on Wednesday where we read the issue together. Funny how the importance of the toothpaste cap fades.
Sitting in the car as it idles outside the garage, I felt overwhelmed by my fortune in having found such love. I committed right there to going in the house, give her my softest kiss, and make love on the flour covered floor of the kitchen.
I pulled into the garage, grabbed the bag of coffee beans and went inside. I expected to smell the mouthwatering aroma of baking.
“Honey, I’m home,” I called, silly smile plastered on my face. “I’ve been thinking about you.”