All Roads Lead To One
You drove down 200 miles to get me after my accident. You took my hand and told me everything was going to be okay. You cried for me after I went under anesthesia and the doctors told you I had just a 40 percent chance of coming out of the operation okay. You prayed that I would be safe, that I would be able to walk again. You were led to a room lined with chairs and you saw a television in a corner playing children’s cartoons. You sat down and wept. You wept because you were incredulous. You wept because you promised to never step foot in a hospital. You wept because the last thing you had said to me was, “I’m busy, I have to go.”
You thought of the time that I ran a half marathon with you and you thought I wouldn’t be able to finish it. You remembered the time I bought peanuts without realizing that you are allergic. You thought of the times I said “Boulevard Mall” when I really meant “Galleria Mall.”
You thought back to the time when we first met at a party and I noticed you were alone and playing with your straw. You remembered me walking towards you and you looking away to pretend that you hadn’t seen me. You remembered me asking if my shoes matched my shirt and you said no. You saw me smile and remembered me saying if I had someone to help me then maybe I would have a chance with women. You remember laughing and asking me for my name. You remember my hesitation and me asking for yours. You gave me your name but I didn’t. You asked me why. You remember saying that that wasn’t fair and that it was my turn, but you remember me standing firm and asking you to dance. You said no but I told you I would give you my name and you played along.
You and I danced to a song from the 80s and you laughed a lot. You finally asked me for my name and you asked me to repeat it twice. You said the music was too loud and apologized.
You and I sat down and talked about our careers and what type of position on the couch is the most comfortable. You and I agreed that placing our feet on the coffee table with a hot cup of coffee was the most comfortable. You asked me if I can cook and your eyes lit up when you learned that I could. You said that men who can cook are sexy. You laughed when I said I always cook naked. You asked me if that was true and I said no.
You paced around the waiting room and you found yourself slumped in a chair at eight in the morning still waiting for a doctor or a nurse or me emerge from the operating room. You looked for someone to talk to but you felt anxious and fearful. You were hungry but you didn’t leave — you wanted to be there when someone delivered the news. You felt yourself becoming lightheaded and you forced yourself to grab something from the vending machine. You bought pop-tarts and drank burnt coffee in a hurry.
You saw a doctor come out with a clipboard and you heard your name.
You felt yourself go numb and you bit your lower lip, already reeling and bracing for the lottery that was this operation.
You saw him open his mouth and you sighed. You asked him for a moment alone so you can catch your breath and calm down. You sat down drinking in the morning sunlight and felt its warmth creeping up your legs. You placed a hand on your forehead and shook your head as you felt tears roll down your face. You wiped them away and stood up to walk out into the room where I was to be recovering.
You sat with me for another day until I woke up delirious and asked you for you. You smiled and placed your warm hand on my semi-conscious body and told me you were here and you wiped something that wasn’t there from my face. You watched me sleeping and thought of the times I took the covers from you while sleeping. You smiled and placed a kiss on my hand. You heard me stir and you felt my hand hold yours. You looked at my face to see if I was awake. You saw me looking at you and your heart skipped a beat. You saw my brown eyes and you knew I was okay. You heard me whisper and you asked me to repeat what I was saying. You heard me more clearly and you held your head down. You said of course I do and you kissed me and I smiled. You said you never would have thought this was how I would propose.
And so it was.
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