I walked a mile in the bitter cold to get him DayQuil while he was buried up to his neck in covers, damp and shivering under the down comforter.
I gave him a neuro exam when the derailleur broke on his bike and his shades smashed into his temples. Extraocular movements intact. No diplopia. Oriented to time, place, and person. We limped home together. I helped him dig gravel out of his wounds, cleaned the blood off the edge of the tub.
I held him in the dark and let him hold me even when it hurt to be loved, when it felt selfish and wrong to be treated so well. When he’s benevolent, there’s nothing like it. It is so wonderful that it’s like torture, kindness so intense that it practically tickles. I can’t bear it. It’s worse than abuse because at least that I know how to deal with.
For four years, I resisted the urge to run away, despite feeling the entire time that he could do better than me, that he deserved better than me, more than what I had to offer. Sometimes I hid from him. But not well. He reads my face better than anyone.
I have seen him angry, exhausted, frustrated, sick, hurt. I know precisely what he’s like when he’s short tempered, irritable, unfair.
And yet, every time I look at him is like the first time I ever looked at him, really looked at him. I was a unicorn then, polysaturated. I belonged to someone else. But he was so beautiful, I stared, found myself wondering if he wasn’t strong and pent up enough from months alone to rip me apart, really hurt me, if we ever went to bed together. I couldn’t help it, even though I was at one lover’s birthday party with another lover on my lap. In that moment, I desperately wanted to kiss him there in front of all the other guests, jealousy issues, consent, and common sense be damned. It was a good thing I couldn’t really move, pinned under another’s weight.
I was convinced he’d break my heart. He was brilliant, single, funny. I didn’t know what I could possibly offer someone like him. I tried to forget him. I swore him off purposefully.
But then I started to have dreams about him, vivid, delicious dreams.
After a half dozen or so, I gave up and told him, just about the latest one.
And real life was better than my fantasy.
Four years in, he’s still incredibly beautiful and impossibly good to me. I will never pay him back for all that he’s done for me, helping me heal my own wounds. Shit, I’m surprised he even let me hang out with him all this time. He’s expanded my belief of what I actually think is possible in sex, in love, in life, in myself.
Even now, if I look at him, I mean really look at him and think of all he’s been to me these past years, it’s too much, and I start crying.
It’s been extraordinary. It’s been so good it fucking hurts.