It’s 8 pm on some night in June, the crickets and frogs are so chatty tonight; I’m standing there on the front lawn, watering the flowers with the dog by my side. The familiar sound of the exhaust on your Audi comes down the street. My heart is happy that you’re almost home. The dog’s ears perk up, she knows it’s you too; we both wait patiently for you to appear.
We lock eyes as you pull into the driveway, playfully, I aim the hose at your car, waiting for you to get out. You crack the window a tiny bit and shout “Don’t you dare” followed by my first and middle name. I give in to temptation and squeeze the trigger, you jump out of the car and tackle me right there on the front lawn. I scream, flirtatiously, as you catch me, the dog, excitedly, run circles around us. You kick off your work shoes right there in the lawn, I’m already barefoot, we lay there, our breath stolen by laughter. I notice the grass stains on your crisp white button up, I think about how I’ll get them out for you in the wash later.
I notice the lady across the street smiling at us as we get up from the grass; she looked at me like she saw a younger version of herself. She looked at the two of us like she was going to pray for our love to last forever when she laid her head down that night.
It’s 10 pm and we’re getting ready for bed. I’m standing there alone, in front of my biggest critic, in front of the bathroom mirror, picking myself apart quietly in my head when you walk up behind me, your hands on my waist, the faint smell of Colgate on your cool breath, you breathe in the smell of my hair, the scent of my skin, your eyes are closed, yet it’s the most I’ve ever felt looked at in my entire life and suddenly I find myself believing all the beautiful things you, my mother, and your grandmother have ever said about me. You had ended the war that I had just previously started between myself and the mirror in a matter of seconds.
I’m lost in some book before bed, smiling to myself at something my favorite character just did, channeling my inner dork, when you walk in, you just stare at me and do that half smile thing that you know I love. I try to act like I don’t notice you staring but somehow I can feel how much you love me. It feels so good. I shut the light off, you pull me close, I squeeze my eyes shut and thank some higher power for you.