I knew I was in trouble the first time you held me. I felt like I was four years old again then and that my father was carrying me up the stairs because I’d fallen asleep on the couch.
You felt solid in a way that nothing had. Not for years.
I knew then that nothing would feel the same after you.
I’d gotten used to living without safety, without security, without stability.
I knew how to live on the whisper thin promises of others. Vows as fleeting as the breath that was used to speak them. When people made promises, I was forever adding in mental room for them to go back on their word. Have a change of heart and then rewrite the past.
That was the worst, really, how someone could promise something and when it became inconvenient deny that they ever had.
But you were different. When you told me you’d do something, you did it. And when you touched me, I could tell you really felt my body in your hands. You were present with me. When you looked at me, you saw me and not some projection of who you were.
A full person in your own right, you nonetheless had enough room inside you, enough flexibility to accommodate someone else. Your head wasn’t flooded with your own thoughts to the point where it drowned out everyone else’s voice.
You weren’t sitting there when I spoke, concocting a response, simply waiting for your turn to speak. Tolerating a soliloquy until it was time to deliver your own.
No, you listened.
And I knew then that I was in trouble. Because I didn’t want to live without you. I didn’t want to go back to a time before I knew you. Before you and I were solid.