My phone rings and I lunge for it, a huge smile spreading across my face as his handsome photo pops up on the phone screen. My heart pounds a little in my chest as I answer, and — even after all this time — his deep voice saying hello, his own smile heard clearly through his words, curls my toes and I giggle like a school girl, which makes him chuckle at me.
It’s ridiculous, and I know it. But I can’t help it. And I don’t want to.
For the first time in a long time, I have allowed myself to fall completely and unreservedly in love with a man. I have stopped resisting my feelings, stopped talking myself out of it, stopped denying my feelings to myself, my friends, and him. I am in. All the way. With both feet.
And no parachute.
Our history is fraught. Our obstacles are known and considerable. But we can’t let go of each other; we’ve each walked away, and ultimately ventured back. We know that there are too many special things about our relationship, too many things that we haven’t had with anyone else, too many reasons to keep trying. We know it doesn’t make sense to some of the people around us, but they tend to see more of the bad times than the good. They aren’t there for those tender moments when secrets are shared and understood. They aren’t there when we lose ourselves in the wonder of simply kissing each other, even though, after all this time, it’s no longer novel or new. They aren’t there when the phone rings and just the sound of our voices helps a rotten day feel a bit better. They aren’t there when I awaken in the middle of the night, secure in his big arms, and feel a slow smile spread across my face as I snuggle into him in the dark.
He is not Mike. It has taken me a long time to fully accept this and know it in my heart and not just in my mind. It has taken me a long time to stop worrying that he is the same kind of cavalier heartbreaker who enjoyed the chase and the manipulation as if it were a competitive sport. But he is not those things. He is flawed and human and so frustrating sometimes that I want to punch him, but he is not Mike. I know that now, and that knowledge is so liberating, I feel like a whole new world has opened up in front of me. Thank God he is stubbornly persistent in his patience with me and commitment to us.
I love his eyes. I love his laugh. I love that he is a good friend to the people in his life. I love his strength. I love that I think about him All. The. Time. I love watching him work. I love how our bodies fit together. I love eating anything he cooks for me. I love his hands. I love how he is with his children and his parents. I love his goofy jokes. I love that I can’t help but sink into him when he kisses me.
I love that he’s my kryptonite.
And that I’m his.