There was something different about that night. We just lay there on the bed, him and I, each smoking a cigarette, mine with my left hand, him with his right—silent. We hardly ever did that, there was usually something to say. We’d natter on in endless conversation—or even make love. Maybe if the evening was dull we might go out, go to dinner or take a walk, but not that night. I hated the silence. I wanted to break it, babbling on without thought until he joined in, but something stopped me from doing that. I felt he was thinking. And so as I laid there I decided to wait until he told me what exactly he was thinking about. I remember I was cold that night, don’t get me wrong he keeps the room a comfortable temperature of 77 degrees, and even on nights like that, when I was wearing nothing but panties and T-shirt—his shirt—I am usually warm. But that night was different, I was cold. There was a blanket underneath me, but I didn’t pull it over me. I just laid there next to him—smoking. There was a small space between us, not one part of our bodies touched—strange, for us. I usually didn’t worry about us, strains never occurred, grudges diminished after seconds, and disagreements were quickly resolved—but I honestly remember beginning to worry that night. The worry saddened me, taking my mind to a place unfamiliar to it. I disliked the feeling, thus subjected myself to ignorance and distracted my mind. My hand moved and placed itself upon my cheek—ice. I really was quite cold. Once again I contemplated with myself on pulling the blanket over me, just as my finger ever so slightly put thoughts to actions and began to replace the blanket atop my body; he spun over half on top of me, looking directly into my eyes. He looked at me very seriously. I could tell he was nervous, his heart beat fast, his chest inhaled heavy—but I couldn’t figure out why. Finally he spoke, his words acting as a magnet—pulling the air right out of my lungs and set it to linger above my mouth in the small space between us—just out of reach. I love you. My heart paced faster, matching his—in chorus. My eyes sunk deep into his. I had strained my lungs as far as possible—trying desperately to recapture my lingering breath, to say the words just out of my reach. About two minutes passed where I only looked at him. With one sweep I finally inflated my lungs and a lightning bolt struck straight from my heart, up my throat, and rolled off my tongue. I love you too. He smiled at me. I smiled back. There was something different about that night, an awkward before a spark. A like bursting into love.
There was something different about that night.
January 4, 2012