Dearest, I’ve written about you before, about us before—about before we were falling in love, while we are falling in love. I have written of you and me, and the moonbeams and the peach trees.
Dearest, we have arrived at that place where things are good.
Good—what a meaningless, tiny word.
Things are easy, and steady, like a well-made bed, and I feel rested, and well cared for, by you, and by me. By what we have created. Many nights I spend wrapped up in your big, broad arms, and the ones I don’t, I know I am the last thing you think of, because you tell me I am wonderful.
And that is so wonderful, because I am thinking the same, miles away, in my own bed, of you.
I do not get nervous that you are not going to call, or text, or that maybe we will not see each other again, but I never really thought that about us—we were always going to be. My heart doesn’t jump into my throat, unless you are pulling my hair back to kiss my neck, in the way that drives us both crazy, and then my spine tingles and my toes curl and well, you know the rest.
We are beginning to know each other. In the real ways, the secret ways in which worlds are built—worlds of pillow talk and trips we would like to take, together, and which vegetables we will like to plant and knowing how you take your coffee (milk and two sugars) and which foods you hate (tomatoes) and if you like surprises (yes) and the million and two other things that make up the planet of Us, where people may visit, and we may invite them to stay, from time to time, but none will ever call Home, in the way that we will.
We are learning each other the way that we learn favorite books—the characters become our families, the stories become our narrative, we look forward to picking it up when we come home from our days. We cannot imagine our lives before that story changed it.
It is enjoyable work—I have never understood why people say relationships are work. Yoga is work, running is work, even reading can be work, but it is work that I enjoy, and I certainly enjoy the work of getting to know you, of being with you, if that can be called “working” on our relationship.
It is work that is good, and honest, and without conditions or need of reward.
As we build our world, can we establish our own laws of gravity? Because you see, dearest, I have some questions in my heart, before we vacate Planet Singleton and move forward to Planet Together.
I need to know if I can survive there. If we can live there.
If, together, we will thrive.
Can we touch toes, while I write, and can I play with the fine hair on the back of your neck, while you read?
When I am sick, will you insist on taking care of me, even when I am pathetic, and teary, and my walls go up, out of habit, because I am flawed, and scared, even here, after our time together?
I am still scared.
Not because anything is bad. But because it is so good.
How did I ever deserve you?
The toe touching and the belly laughing and the inside jokes and the outside joy.
This is someone else’s life.
Someone else’s love.
All I did to get this, was be me. And that is too easy.
But love, it turns out, is easy.
Not something that we had to fight for or sacrifice or bargain or beg.
Loving you is like putting on my favorite jeans, the ones that make my ass look fantastic and my legs look long and feel like home and never go out of style.
Loving you is just my size.
Will you bring me soup, and saltines, and a cold washcloth, and read aloud to me my favorite old books, until I fall asleep?
Can we curl up under blankets, jammies on and temperatures checked, and gallivant off to Toad Hall, before we never grow old with Peter Pan, before I disappear into my fever dream?
Will you let me witness your sadness, hide with you in your cave, sometimes, chance to see the demons you wrestle with, in the deepest part of your soul?
Will you be frightened away, by mine?
Can we allow each other time apart, to sit with our shadows, and to nurture our shines? Will you be proud of me, knowing and maybe because I cannot be proud of myself? Pride is a gnarled tree root in my chest, and it feels like shame and tastes like panic and sounds like the ocean in my ears, about to swallow me up in the great too-bigness of it all.
Will you hold it for me?
Will you let me love you the only way I know how, unreservedly and heart-full, body, soul, mind?
Sunbeams and passion and thunderstorms and the sea.
A joyful paradox, an adventure that we will never return from because, it is our life.
And we are explorers.
It can be intense, I know.
But it is unconditional.
And things that are forever, for real, are intense.
When they’re true.
Will you remember to see me?
To see me when I am sparkly, and bright, and the girl you fell in love with, and marvel at, and are proud to call your partner?
Will you remember to not let that light, the one that you carry for me, die out, or dim? But will you also remember to see me, to carry that torch, when I am sad, or withdrawn, or simply wretched?
When we disagree, or when you are tired, or annoyed?
Will you stay, for the good times, and when things get tough, and even when you want to give up?
Will you remember to love me, when there is nothing to guide your way?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard