The skies here were grey when I arrived, as they were back home. Stumbling from the plane, I breathed in terra incognita and remembered the time before.
Passports were looked at, anxiety mounted. Will they let me in? Will they let me see him? The kind girl on the plane was brazenly at the front of her queue, telling someone about her fiance… I opened my mouth and told them I was here for him, and he joked I could stay as he let me into the USA proper.
The gate soon behind me- the future beckoned.
J was there, phone up, snapped a picture of me as I ran to him. Flinging my suitcase aside, I wrapped hungry arms around him and knew contentment… He wrapped his hands round my waist, held me despite the barrier. When we let go, it was only for me to go round the other side, press my body to the line of his and remember how safe I felt with him before. That same safety enveloped me. I was content, at last.
The skies melted away, there was rain, but only a little. He laughed and joked and let me rest my hand on his on the gearstick, smiling at my sudden show of affection.
I told him that I was the happiest I’d been since the last I’d seen him. It’s true. He makes me content like nothing else. I keep using that word because that’s the uncomplicated happiness I feel here.
His friends were excited to see us. The fireflies danced, flirting with me, and he laughed at my wonder as we set off to see his friends. The stars flickered as we all sat in the hot tub, and his arm slid round me. I couldn’t stop smiling. I wanted to keep this feeling forever.
He treats me like I’m made of glass. He lets me pull myself out of the voices, who have started yelling at me again to let me know I’m a slut. Yeah, right guys. You’re nothing but thoughts anyway.
He admires my courage, and cheers me up with his goofiness if something is bad. I had a flashback but he got me laughing and the pain and horror faded away.
I apologised to him this morning because I keep expecting to hear derision, or an argument. I broke a glass and he didn’t really mind too much, whereas that would have been the catalyst for a huge argument between the ex and I. He said simply, in that wonderful warm drawl, “Shit happens.” I laughed- it’s true, shit does happen. No need to wait for the blow.
He was upset and stressed out in the car on the way to the city, but he apologised for his behaviour. I’m not used to this. He told me again he would never hurt me, and I believe him. He won’t. All I know with him is his gentleness towards me, and he proved that in the art museum as we wandered and he fell in love with the Dutch Masters that I love, too.
He is someone who does not ask for anything, but accepts what I give without question. He never seems like he is annoyed with me, he just wants me to smile and to be happy.
I went to him in the kitchen, asked him to put down the plate of short ribs he was holding, which he did, and I took his face in my hands and kissed him gently. He grinned as I pulled away and he asked, amusedly, “What was that for?”
I smiled and said, “Just wanted a kiss, that’s all.”
That wasn’t totally why. Later on, in bed, tears choked my voice as I told him that I kissed him because I was so fucking grateful that he was not my ex.
“Of course not, baby,” he replied, and I shut my eyes. Within minutes, we were sleeping.