I’ve missed the way I feel your eyes on me from across the room. How I can be talking, laughing, goofing around, and then the hairs on the back of my neck will prickle and I’ll look up, suddenly, self-consciously, and through a hive of people our eyes will meet and you’ll smile. You tell me I am loved, and it makes me braver – every time.
I’ve missed the hand on the small of my back, gently guiding me even though we both know I could guide myself. But you want to help me, and I love you, too – that gives me the strength to be vulnerable. To let myself be helped. You taught me that: that I can trust myself to be helped and still be strong, and independent, and capable.
I’ve missed the sound of you getting home, interrupting my work with a wet kiss on the back of my neck. I swat you away with my hand and say something mean about how I’m not finished yet, to leave me alone, how can it be this time already? I feel regretful, then, and go to find you in the kitchen, where you’ve already brewed us both some tea and you say something wry about my tantrum. I’ll laugh. I’m always laughing with you. I throw the dishcloth at your face and you whip my bum with it, without missing a beat. The dog will bark and nuzzle into my leg, and the three of us will relive our day on the sofa, sipping from giant mugs, forgetting how long the time feels when we’re not together.
The way you wake up too early on a Saturday, ready for adventure and day trips and working out and making and doing and being and seeing will drive me mad. But it won’t make me crazy enough that I won’t join you, and the deal will always be that Sundays are for sleeping in – Sundays you get antsy that I make you eat breakfast in bed and read the Sunday papers cover-to-cover and I’ll make it up to you by arching my back into you as you spoon me from behind, and you’ll moan into my hair and then you’ll be reminded why it’s worth being lazy once a week.
You’ll never understand why I have to agonise for twenty-five minutes between the three different prints for sale at the market, and I’ll get upset that you don’t have more of an opinion. You’ll move on to the next stall selling sailing books and I’ll roll my eyes at the shop assistant and buy all of them just to be able to go take your hand. We’ll fight about what your mother said to me over dinner, when you’ll insist I’m being too sensitive but I know what I heard. She thinks I’m not good enough for you. You’ll cup my face and tell me, baby – she thinks you’re *too* good for me. She’s terrified you’re going to figure it out and leave me and break my heart, but I’ve told her – to have you for as long as I have you is more than she ever could’ve dreamed for her little boy.
I don’t know why you can’t put your wet towels to dry up on the hanger. Why do you have to leave them in a pile on the bathroom floor? They smell, then, and I hate it. You never pick up just one thing at the supermarket, either – you always come home with six more items than we needed. Every time. You still haven’t fixed the lamp I ask you to sort out, and I’m still mad that you agreed to dinner with your boss Friday night when you know I’d already made plans with the girls.
God, I’ve missed you.
I’ve missed you, and I don’t even know you yet.