I’m Going Where You Are

This weekend I watched two coworkers get married, and it was a weird, surreal experience for me.

Phoebe was always so independent, and she never wanted to be in a relationship. As far as I know, she had never been in a long-term relationship. Of course, if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you’ll know that I am a proponent of “when you know, you know”. But it was still strange to think people my age are getting married.

Andrew sat quietly beside me, the third wedding we’ve been to together since we’ve been together. I can’t wait to marry him, that’s for sure. But I’m glad we’re waiting until I’m 25. Finding a house is hard enough — I don’t need the pressure of planning (and making sure I’m ready for) a wedding of my own just yet. Though I certainly won’t say no when he decides to give me that ring!

After a somewhat early night, we headed home, and I became very emotional with Andrew. I started tearing up, telling him how much I love him, how I can’t wait to marry him. He was incredibly sweet, stroking my cheek, telling me how much he loves me too, how he can’t wait either.

(Thankfully he and I are both very rational people, or else we might have eloped right there)

And, because I was already so emotional and knew I needed a good cry, we went upstairs and I threw on PS I love you, a movie that is GUARANTEED to make me cry EVERY TIME I watch it. Andrew just tried going to bed since he had to get up early, but basically as soon as I pressed play on the movie I started bawling my eyes out.

(This is not the first time I’ve bawled my eyes out to PS I love you in front of Andrew. Thank god he loves me.)

It was just so hard thinking “what if something horrible like that happens to me and Andrew? What if he dies suddenly of a brain tumor or a heart attack? What on earth would I do without him by my side?”.

I’ve always had this weird feeling that whatever I have is going to be taken from me unexpectedly. I’m hoping it’s just irrational anxiety. Or maybe Fate knew I was going to fall in love with someone almost 10 years older than me, knowing he will likely go before me. Maybe It was just preparing me. But I don’t think anything could prepare me for losing Andrew.

I told him yesterday that, before meeting him, I had never really thought I’d meet someone I could never live without. I’d dated people, fallen in love with them, and even for as much as I depended upon them, when things ended, I was okay. I cried, I went through my depressions with dumb, hollow feelings, but I always came out the other side feeling fine and moving on.

And then I met Andrew, and ever since I haven’t been able to envision a future without him with me. He is my companion through everything. Whatever event I want to go to, an amusement park, a concert, a wedding — I want him there. He treats me so lovingly, with foot rubs after a long day at work, a head rub to get me to sleep at night, a shoulder rub after celebrating the Capitals winning their first Stanley Cup (woo!), and always a “good morning beautiful/gorgeous/cutie/my love” text when we are away from each other.

He is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I just want us to love each other forever, for the rest of the days we have together. We handle each other so well. And while sometimes I may not be super patient with him, he always takes it in stride. We communicate so well, and we genuinely support each other and work to understand each other. We are open minded, even though we are both so opinionated. It’s liberating to have someone love you wholeheartedly for exactly who you are. Plus, getting full body massages every other week ain’t a bad gig.

I know I could never live without him. Should we make it to old age, I know that he will be waiting for me when he goes. And I’ll be ready to go when my time comes, so I can spend eternity in his arms.

Naturally, having all of these existential crisis thoughts while watching PS I love you makes one emotional! So I continued to cry while Andrew tried to sleep next to me. But as soon as I made a noise, he turned around and held my face, kissed my cheeks, and whispered how much he loves me, how he’s never going to leave me like that. For several minutes. Until I finally calmed down and fell asleep.

Lucky me, he even loves my emotional crying over existentially stress-inducing thoughts! What a wonderful man I have managed to snag.

This blog was inspired by events that happened this weekend, but also the song My Religion by Dierks Bentley from his new album.

I feel like Heather when I say “I love love!”, but I guess that’s why we’re friends.

Love,

Dani

 

IMG-2321

 

 

Advertisements

I’m a Riser

Last night I had a dream that my mom gave Misty (my dead cat) away while I was away somewhere. I was sobbing in the dream, so hurt and pained, angry with my mom for ever thinking she would give away one of my little babies. I writhed in my sleep, and I remember faintly waking up and touching my eyelashes to see if I had actually cried in real life. I did. It made me feel like a child.

Its’ always hard to wake up from those dreams. How do you start your day by trying to work through complex emotions of depression all because you had a dream about your cat that died a few years ago now? I’m supposed to jump into yoga and get on with my day with this confused feeling of depression that stems from nowhere but your own subconscious?

I think part of it is unprocessed feelings towards my moms involvement with my cat’s death.

Misty died my senior year of college, about a year or two after my first cat died. Mom had forgotten her outside, and she spent the night under our deck. I don’t blame my mom for that, it happens. Misty used to be a stray, realistically she would have been fine out there. But I think Misty was bit by something. When I came home and found her under the deck, she had a miserable meow that was more than her just not having water for 12 hours. Her neck was swollen, she was taking painful, heaving breaths.

And we left.

We went up to see Lauren that weekend, so as soon as I got home from college we were supposed to turn around and head to West Chester. But I wanted to see Misty first, and that’s when I found her under the deck. I immediately started crying, I was so worried about her. But we left because my parents didn’t want to spend more time in traffic.

When we came home that Sunday, Misty was my first priority. She didn’t look any better, and she had taken to staying in the basement. I asked Mom if we could take her to a vet. Mom said no. If Misty was going to pass, she would pass on her own time. Because putting Tequila (our other cat) down was too much for my Christian, life-loving mom.

But in my eyes, instead of allowing Misty to pass on her own, my mom was being selfish. Be it not wanting to pay for vet bills, not wanting to have to put Misty down a few years later, or not wanting to take care of another living thing in the house while I was gone, I felt my mom had selfish reasons for not taking my cat to the vet, not allowing her live.

I hate to say it, because I love my mom and I think she is a good person. But I do blame her, in my mind at least, for Misty dying so soon. If I could go back, I would take her to the vet on my own and do whatever I needed to to make sure that if should could have recovered and lived a few more years, she would.

It still pains me that I couldn’t be there with her when she passed, as is. I’m sorry, Misty. You deserved more.

*

This is the second time I’ve been in tears in about 24 hours (third, if you include my dream).

Yesterday I was upset about my damn birthday plans. My birthdays never pan out the way I want them to. It’s either close to Mother’s Day so no one can do anything, or it’s near finals week so people aren’t home. So, not to get into that, I’m already disappointed with my birthday this year. But that’s not the point of this part of the blog.

As I broke down in frustration and self-pity, Andrew was right there beside me. I could see the pain in his eyes at my tears. I know he always wants the best for me, that he wants me to be happy. And it many ways, he is responsible for my happiness. Between the massages, the millions of kisses, the laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying, I’m very fortunate to have met him.

One of my favorite things about him, one that I overlooked in my previous relationships, is the support he gives me. I’ve always seen myself as fairly strong, but I can’t describe the feeling of relief the comes with just being able to bare your soul out there to someone. To be vulnerable and to need someone and have them be there for you in every way imaginable.

I’m reminded of it everywhere. When he rubs my back at the end of a long, stressful day. When we talk about our future together. When I listen to “Riser” by Dierks Bentley. When we watch one of our shows and the main character kisses his hospitalized girlfriend. It’s like I can feel Andrew doing the same for me in those scenes. I know that he has my back any time that I need it.

And it’s just so freeing to know that I have someone who will work his fingers to the bone for me, hold me through the bad times and dance with me during the good times, someone who will pick me up when I need it most, dust me off, and hold my hand until I get back on my feet. “I’m a get down low so I can lift you higher.” That’s exactly how he is.

He loves me unconditionally. I will be forever grateful for his love, for his support, and for him. I look forward to spending the rest of my life in the arms of my soulmate.

 

 

Mom

I am bitter and I am angry.

The wind howling outside reflects the storm inside me, biting, twisting, gnawing to get out. Pure blind fury.

My mom is in the hospital battling Crohn’s disease, as she has been for at least the past 10 years of her life. She is dehydrated. She is pale. She smells of dried vomit. She is weak in body. It pains her to speak or sit upright. She is dying. She is hurting. And all I can think about is how this woman deserves so much more in her life.

She’s a physical therapist, yet all the RNs speak to her as if she is stupid. She’s been through the ringer – she knows what she’s talking about, how she reacts to certain medicines, what she’s comfortable with.

Her parents, my ungrateful grandparents that live with us and mooch off our home, off my mother’s strength. They have not given her the time of day since she was born. Everything is all about THEM. They are the parents, they are the elders, they are the ones that require all the attention because they’re old, they’re falling apart. They are the ones that can kiss my ass with that bullshit. I’ve never heard them say they are proud of my mother. I’ve never heard them say that they love her. I’ve never heard them thank her for every fucking thing she does for them, from trying to help grandma figure out grandpa’s caretakers, to taking them into our fucking home because she thought it was the right thing to do. Honor thy father and mother.

I can’t help but be reminded as to why I turned my back on God. I watched for years as my mom suffered through new restricting diets, new daily routines, horrible doctors, the stress of being lost in a disease that no one with money cares about. I have watched her suffer, in the most inhumane sense of the word. I have watched my mother suffer. For years. Begging God, praying to Him every chance I could that she would be okay, that things would be better for her, that she wouldn’t be in pain, that she would have a good day at work, that she would have a doctor that knew what they hell he was doing. And I have never seen those prayers answered. And it’s so frustrating and hurtful. I just want my mom to be okay, to not be in pain, and to enjoy what she has left in her life.

I want her to walk down the aisle at my and my sister’s weddings. I want her to hold whatever children we may have because she has been waiting for that moment since the day we were born. I want her to enjoy retirement with my dad after working her fingers to the bone for so long. I want her to have ONE easy part of her life. Something she can enjoy. And I can’t help but be angry with God that he hasn’t given that to her, the woman in my life who deserves it most.

I can’t help but be angry with my grandparents for neglecting her, for not loving her the way she needed to be loved. For invading our home and throwing more stress on her plate. For expecting to be taken care of when they never cared for my mother. For not doing anything for her in her childhood, and for not doing anything for her now. Grandma sleeps soundly, having said her nightly prayers, thinking that will do the trick, that she has done all she can do. To hell with her. And my grandfather. The stupid xanax-addicted asshole of a man, who wouldn’t even have put us in this state if he didn’t OD on all the drugs he was prescribing others for years.

Lauren and I hope that we can love our mom the way that she has loved us our entire lives – endlessly. We can only hope that we can show our own children the love that our mom has showed us since the moment we were born. She deserves to be loved, she deserves to be happy, and she deserves to not be in pain.

I do not apologize for this rant, because they are feelings I have bottled for a very long time. I fear losing my mother to this illness. I am terrified. I am crying. I am bitter. I am angry. Nothing could bring out those feelings but family.

End the battle with Crohn’s. Someone find funding for this shit. No one should have to endure that pain.

Tonight is one of those nights you walk around the house with all the lights off, because the light feels too exhausting and the darkness doesn’t scare you anymore.

I love you, Mom.

Little Black Dress

The room buzzes and I feel the sweat that has stuck itself to my face. I carry my black stilettos lazily in my right hand, my left hand draped comfortably in your arm, as it’s been there a million times before, as we sway our way out into the cool night air.

It’s rare that we get the night to ourselves, but a wedding with no kids allowed was just the blessing we needed.

I stare at you, smiles brilliant on both of our faces. It feels like we’re back on our honeymoon, finally feeling comfortable in a fitted black dress again. My heart stutters thinking back to your reaction when you first saw I was wearing this dress tonight. You knew exactly where the night was headed as soon as I put it on. And I gotta say, you weren’t wrong.

It feels like we’re kids again. Giggling all the way home, hands finding each other in the dark backseat of a taxi, unbothered by the presence of a stranger that we will never see again. I knew you wouldn’t be able to keep your hands off me tonight. I feel that coy smile break across my face as you lean in for another kiss.

It crosses my mind that we don’t make out sitting up anymore. It’s typically the short foreplay before trying to fit in another quickie. But tonight it goes on forever, trying to behave ourselves enough for the taxi driver’s sake. At least he can’t see your hands snaking their way up my long legs.

The lights flash outside the cab in the moments between our kissing, and all I can focus on is where your hands go, how handsome you look in your clothes, and how sexy that playful smile is.

We finally reach our hotel, and I’m still carrying my heels as your fish for our room key, eagerly awaiting the invitation that is our giant king-sized bed in a city miles away from all of our responsibilities.

As soon as you get the door open it’s game over. Our hands are free to explore each other anywhere they want, and it’s at that realization when we start undressing each other while still trying to keep our lips together. Why don’t we do this more often? I wonder. I refuse to let an actual answer provoke any anxieties. Not tonight. Not after all the liquor we’ve had. Not after putting this dress on.

Sometimes the best times are when all I think about is you. What feels good for you. I make sure I do everything you like, and it’s not long before you’re moaning and losing your breath at the same time. The best aphrodisiac? Feeling sexy for you. As I move, I glance at the little black dress in a rumpled puddle on the floor and grin. Your breath is short and you’re making that noise you always make, and I know that soon your world will be as black as my dress in just a few motions. All because of that old faithful little black dress. Thanks again, old friend, I think with a smile.

***

Fiction inspired by Dierks Bentley’s song Black and perhaps a fantasy with my wonderful boyfriend.

Apprehension

(continued from previous blog)

…It’s later and I’ve been a little upset lately about moving.

I’ve been very nostalgic about my small town for the past few days. Last week was the first time in a while that I stayed late at Main Cup, had my glass of wine under the glow of the hanging lights, chatted with some coworkers (shoutout to DJ WHITE HEAVAAA), and thought I’m actually going to miss this. 

Driving through town, knowing all the backroads and the main roads, knowing when to avoid certain intersections because school just let out… I’m going to miss knowing this small town like the back of my hand. There’s something so charming to me about small towns.

West Chester isn’t a small town… it’s a small city. It’s like downtown Frederick, but I’ve never really gotten the hang of DTF either, so it’s intimidating to me to be moving to a place that I have always viewed as cold, jagged, and unwelcoming. Pennsylvania was never in the plans for me. I had always dreamed of moving south. But the man of my dreams is in PA, and I want to be with him. I’m not afraid of that at all – I know he is the love of my life and I want to spend forever with him. It’s just the location.

I heard a song the other day saying “show me the long way around your town,” and it made me sad. I have a lot of pride for my small town. I love the mountains (I have them tattooed on my side. It’s the only tattoo that I have. Yeah, I love them).

I was worried about finding a job that wasn’t an hour-long commute to Philadelphia, and while I have been fortunate enough for an employer to be interested in me in a town only 20 minutes away, I fear they may pass me up because I’m not trying to move up until May.

I want to celebrate my birthday with all my friends without asking them all to travel to PA and crash in whatever tiny space we can provide them. I don’t want to leave my small town any earlier than I have to.

Deep down, a part of me is very scared that I will lose all of these friends and relationships because I move. I know I will have a few relationships that will survive – Heather, Mary, Rosie, Ryan – but I fear for the others. And it’s humbling to know that a place that meant so much to me, that helped form me, gave me the confidence to wholeheartedly be who I am, that I gave almost 6 years of my life to, will forget me. New workers will be hired, ones that will never know me, and eventually my homecomings won’t mean going to see all my friends at Main Cup. Eventually I will be a stranger to those at Main Cup. That has been a hard reality to process.

I know it’s a part of life. It’s something I need to learn – letting go gracefully. I must let go of this part of my life so that I can wholeheartedly start my new one. It’s just a hard transition.

Seeing how hard it was for my sister to move up to West Chester frightens me, I’ll admit. I don’t want to take out any unhappiness with West Chester on Andrew. He’s been incredibly supportive as is. Reassuring me that if I’m genuinely not happy up there, the move isn’t permanent. He’s willing to consider moving to Frederick for my happiness, but I don’t want to hold on to that. I want to put my best foot forward in West Chester and not just be counting down until we can move back to Maryland. He’s been sending me links to mountain trails that aren’t too far away, trying to comfort my outdoorsy side. I really do love this man.

As I said, I want to put my best foot forward. I’m trying to go into this transition with an open heart and open mind. But I’m also fighting the anxiety of moving. Trying not to cling tighter to the people and memories around me for fear of losing them. I’m still trying to navigate it. I hope I am happy.

 

Newborn Love

Black tie and black tights,
A dark bar on a cold night,
Excitement buzzing like champagne bubbles
as we reminisce about how we got here.

I have always been yours,
before I even knew you, I was yours.

“Happy New Year!”
the confetti rains as 2017 slips away,
and upstairs we run
to dance where we first knew it was right.

* * *

An amazingly packed weekend full of meeting new people and bonding with others, drinking lots of alcohol and falling even more in love.

Realistically, I had to jump start my car twice in the cold weather, got sick from one of the at least five sick people that surrounded me during the holidays, and I have the cold sore to prove it… But regardless I had a great time.

I hate to brag but it really is an incredible feeling to find your soulmate. Just wanting to spend endless days together, waking up together, going to get breakfast, doing menial errands like going to the gym, doing NOTHING on a Saturday as your rest in preparation for the next day’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, playing video games and watching movies together. Being able to talk about anything and everything, never getting bored of it. And being put to sleep as he rubs your head because you’re feeling sick. There’s no better feeling.

* * *

I was never the girl who dreamed of having babies, and when I did they were nightmares. In eighth grade I had a nightmare that I gave birth to twins. Earlier this year I had a work nightmare that I gave birth and my baby was a literal pork chop on a dinner plate… I’ve never wanted kids.

It wasn’t until I was 21 that I decided I wanted kids. Childbirth had always scared the shit out of me – I just wanted to have the baby belly and then suddenly had the baby with no painful moments in between. But whatever omnipotent force is out there has a funny way of guiding you.

For example, there were a lot of eerily timed happenings in my life before I met Andrew. I met him when I was 19, but neither of us were ready at that point. When we met again at Lauren’s birthday party this past April, we hit it off a bit, but I still wasn’t confident (though apparently at the end of the night I sat in the middle of the limo because that’s where he had been and he sat in the back of the limo because that’s where I had been sitting – more evidence of fate in the works). When we really hit it off and started talking in May, I had just graduated college a week before. Both of my cats died before we started talking, and he’s allergic to cats so now I don’t have to decide whether or not to leave my cat behind to move in with him. There are more examples, but those are just a few.

And lo and behold, last year I decided I want kids, in May I met the man of my dreams and I want to have his babies, and what falls into my lap? A birthing center client. At my new job, one of our clients is a new birthing center opening up in the Frederick area, and I swear to god I have never had this much information or this many resources about childbirth and birthing options. I literally got paid to watch a video about a home birth and I didn’t cringe. It looked beautiful. I was reading about baby milestones for the first year of life and I finally for the first time in my life understand why women always get so excited about newborns.

Working with this client has convinced me that I want to try a birth center or a home birth, should I be healthy enough to have one. Fate has given me the resources to finally not be totally terrified of having children.

As I should currently be working, I should wrap things up. I just wanted to share my newfound newborn love. It’s exciting! Finally feeling like you have your life together for a moment (before it’s all inevitably thrown into chaos as you move to a new state, find a new job, make new friends, etc…. But we’ll get to that later.)

 

PSA for All The Brokenhearted

I’m not typically one for country music all year long, but it’s been one of those years. Everything is happy and light and lovely, and I think that’s why I haven’t had the same hankering for alternative music this fall. Can’t complain!

Lately, one of my friends has been going through a rough time. Her boyfriend treats her pretty horribly. Long story short, he is very disrespectful, doesn’t give her any positive attention, just wants to sweep their problems (a lot of which HE has caused) under the rug. And it was just one of those painfully obvious moments of “I’ve been on the other end of this conversation before.”

I think we’ve all been there. We want to try, we want to make things work, we want things to be as simple and picture perfect as they were in the beginning. And unfortunately sometimes that’s just not the case. Sometimes you can’t work out the kinks – especially if the kinks aren’t your fault. But you think anyways that you can change the person, that things will go back to how they were.

I stood there, telling her everything my mom had once told me. “You don’t deserve it” “you’ll find somebody better who treats you right” “do you really want to raise children with a guy who treats you like this?” “trust what your family has to say about him – they’ll see what you don’t” all of that.

And oh my gosh once you’re on the other side of that conversation, you realize how RIGHT they are! And it suddenly blows your mind that anyone would settle for being treated like shit!

So I’m gonna go on a little rant:

YOU are the only person to blame for someone treating you like shit. Because YOU are allowing that person to treat you that way.

You need to know your worth. And no, no one deserves to be ignored, bullied, manipulated, emotionally or physically abused. Just because you think you love someone or vice versa.

I was in the same boat. I dated guys who didn’t want to talk to me, I wouldn’t hear from them for weeks because, rather than having a “I’m not feeling this anymore” conversation, they just figured if they stopped I’d go away. I dated guys who used me, from the bedroom to running errands for them. I tried to make things work for another year with someone who CHEATED on me. I tried convincing myself that I didn’t want a relationship just to appease these guys who couldn’t handle a commitment. I thought it was too much drama. It gave me anxiety to even think about being in a relationship again, because all I knew was heartache, jealousy, and disappointment.

And then I met Andrew, and in the first few months I wanted to cry at how well he treated me. He has never said a bad thing about me, to me or his coworkers. He is always willing to communicate with me if we have any issues. He is a selfless boyfriend and lover, and I’ve never felt closer to anyone in my life. We joke that I am the female version of him. He’s met my entire family and they all love him, I’ve met most of his family and they all love me. He is everything I could’ve ever asked for in a relationship, and he loves every little thing about me, and he tells me that every day. For christ’s sake, I’ve written enough blogs about the man!

Please for the love of God, take my advice: Don’t fucking do it. You are worth more than you think. You will meet someone who will love every goddamn thing about you if you are just patient enough to wait for them. Love yourself, be kind to yourself, and be patient. And maybe then you’ll be on the other side of the conversation, wondering how any of your friends could ever settle for garbage. Learn to let go gracefully. If they don’t fight for you, fuck them, they don’t deserve you anyway. You will be treated like the queen/king you are. And you will forever be grateful to that person for loving you every day and showing you how much you should have loved yourself in the first place.

 

I Will Try

It’s strange when it hits me.

When I roll over in the middle of the night and lay a hand on your chest. When I blow you a kiss as you drive off in the middle of a rainy Sunday evening. When I scroll through my own social media posts. And it happened today.

It’s strange to me just how much I love you sometimes.

I’ve been in relationships before, said “I love you” to people and thought I meant it. In some ways I had to realize what true love really is, what it means. Maybe it’s different for other people.

For me, true love is making goofy faces as you walk past each other at the gym. It’s crying in the car because you’re both laughing so hard at something the other said. It’s driving 4.5 hours to a wedding you couldn’t get into just to make sure they stay awake for the drive, then driving his hungover butt home the next day.

It’s waking up in the morning to a million kisses on my cheeks, nose, mouth, and forehead. It’s waking up in the middle of the night to apologize and cuddle after an argument. It’s knowing you can, without a doubt, trust the other person when he’s on his phone, because he makes sure you know how much you mean to him and how he would never do anything to lose you. It’s hearing the hurt in his own voice when I’m on the phone crying about some work stress. It’s rolling over in the middle of the night just to fall asleep in his arms again. It’s falling asleep as he strokes your hair, because he knows it will put you right to sleep.

It’s feeling safe in his arms, knowing he won’t let go. Knowing that when he says he won’t hurt you, he means it. It’s being respected in every aspect, and it’s feeling saved. It’s feeling whole.

As I scrolled through my instagram today, I was hit with a wave of gratitude and appreciation. In my mind, the difference is night and day between my life before I met you and after. I think back to what I was going through, what I was doing, how I felt. I was numb. I was empty. I was desperate to be loved by someone who was only using me because I thought that I loved him. I was hurt, but I wasn’t even helping myself. I was doing things I knew in my heart I didn’t want to do because I thought those were the sacrifices I had to make to be with someone.

It was all bullshit. And thank god I see that now.

My life changed the day I met you. I’d never really believed in soul mates before, but I know now that you’re mine. We’re too alike, right down to June 20, 1987, the anniversary that both of our parents share.

I didn’t know it yet, but I met my future husband back when I was 19. And when I met him again when I was 22, I was finally ready for him. I was ready to appreciate all that he is, all that he does. His heart of gold just waiting to be loved.

The other day I remembered that, as I flirted with him the night of my sister’s engagement bar crawl, I took a snapchat of the two of us. I jokingly captioned it “my future husband” and put it on my story. Little did I know how right I was.

We’ve been talking since May (officially dating since August), and we’re already talking about moving in together when his lease is up. Some people may think we’re moving too fast, and while I want to enjoy the moments as they come, I’ve never felt surer of a person. I told him I loved him while I was drunk in his car just three weeks after making it official, and I don’t regret it. He later told me he knew he loved me on August 13th – just two days after our first date. It’s right. Even Nana told me that she and my grandfather got married just six months after knowing each other. “When you know, you know.”

And I know. This is the man I want to be with for the rest of my life. Waking up in his arms, his soft breath at my back, on a lazy Sunday morning and not having to say goodbye just a few hours later.

I thought I was whole. I thought I loved myself. He shows me so much more. He completes me. And I’ll never be able to show him how grateful I am to have him, but I will try my hardest. As long as I live, I will try.

shawcaps

Love

And I Can’t Help

Your arms around me,
security, not a cage.
With your sleepy sigh at my back, I smile.
I know you will wake as soon as I touch my phone.
And you will pull me closer to you,
hot skin warming my everything.

*   *   *

Our mornings and nights we spend wrapped around each other, and our days we spend roaming your city. There are a million places you want to show me, and I can hear the disappointment in your voice every time I say that I’ve been there before with my sister. You want to be my first for everything, to show me why I should love your town as much as I love my own.

The thing is, I don’t always love new surroundings. I love familiarity. So being in this town that boarders both new and familiar, with my hand firmly in yours, or your arm draped around me, it makes me love the place more than I ever did.

You cater to my every need with a playful smile and a happy heart. We hop from place to place, just enjoying each other’s company. The playful flick of my toes against your shin, your goofy grin as you hold my hand in yours on the bar top, the sweet cheek kisses as we make harmless jokes at each other’s expense. It’s the same scene at every bar, champagne bubbles caressing my lips as we remain mentally wrapped up in nothing and no one but each other.

Your love and support astounds me. You haven’t said it yet, but I can feel it. I wiped a lash off your cheek and told you to make a wish, and you looked at me before you blew it away. I asked what you wished for, and you refused to tell me. “I want this one to come true,” you smiled. And I smiled back, my eyes falling to the floor as I blushed. I feel it.

And your support… you’ve never even thought of knocking me down. And every time I say something about myself, you correct me in a loving way. You have no idea how I haven’t been snatched up by someone else before you, why others would pass on such a soul. That’s how I know it’s right. From playing video games in your messy apartment on a Friday night, to teeing it up at a driving range for the first time, you have never laughed at me for trying new things. You have always been on my side. I want you on my team forever.

At the end of the day, after we’ve made a simple dinner, had a few beers, and watched an episode of our favorite show, I’m in your bed again, head on your chest, falling asleep as you stroke my head. And with each sleepy twitch and each deep breath, I realize I’m falling more than just asleep.

First Dates and Second Weddings

It took all of my focus to keep my hands from shaking every time I took a sip from my glass. I sat there, cross-legged, waiting for your arrival.

Nervous shakes grew into playful banter and genuine laughter. I glanced at you and was overcome with this urge to kiss you right then and there, but I knew if I did we wouldn’t even make it out of your apartment.

So I waited. And in the morning I woke up in your arms, to the soft, melodic sound of your breathing, fast asleep. And I smiled.

* * *

The shakes came back as I stood in a wine red dress in a room full of strangers, sipping my cocktail as fast as I could. You disappeared in this sea of strangers, but I found I wasn’t drowning just yet.

A fake proposal and real tears around the room, the buzz finally started to hit me. With your knee touching mine, you made sure I was having fun and I made sure you knew I was, that you would be too, as you grabbed your napkin.

And I grabbed your hand and led you to the dance floor, where I could see in your eyes that you were entirely too nervous about how you would look.

As the night drew on and the collection of stirring straws grew larger and larger, I could see the light in your eyes. You felt comfortable finally, in your own skin as I tugged at your tie, the smile on your face as wide as your heart. You pulled me into a slow dance, prince and princess at our own private ball, your lips sugar against my ear.

Up in arms and hand in hand, the wind toyed with our hair the whole ride home, the fresh air cool against my skin. Your head against the seat, your cool blue eyes finding me when it wasn’t, your sweet words floated in the breeze.

We trudged up to our room, lying against each other as I started to drift off, feeling at home in this foreign room, in this strange town, with nothing and no one but you. Once again, I awoke with your arms around me, a love song in my head, and your sigh at my back. Your soft murmurs became a new song that I love to sing as you traced my back with your fingertips.

***

This time you had the shakes as we drove through the rolling green hills I call home. It was your turn to sink or swim in a sea of strangers. You floated.

Your blue eyes sunk into me, butterflies zooming through my belly, and you smiled when I hadn’t made a joke.

“I’m just happy.”

Me too.