From my NaNoWriMo Scribblings this evening...
In trying to make a safer decision (and get some sleep) one night in August, I decided to leave his apartment. It must have been about two in the morning. As I was on my way out, I whispered goodnight and said I would see him later. He sleepily said, “I love you.” My heart exploded into a million pieces and then came back together like the miraculous order settling the universe after the Big Bang.
Not sure I had heard him correctly, I asked, “What? Connor? What did you say?” and he slept on. I slipped out the door wondering if I was crazy.
I came to find out later that he was too afraid to really say it, so that was him “testing the water” to see how I would react. I never knew what to make of that and wished that he had just told me directly, meaningfully, in the daytime. But at the same time, his fear was kind of endearing. It meant that he knew I could hurt him. His fear showed his tenderness.
I guess this meant that we wouldn’t be seeing other people. Not that I had been anyway, but I always wondered where his interests were. It was good to know I had his full attention. For him to love somebody after his failed engagement was a big deal. He was so fun and noncommittal in his early 20s, and in all honesty, not very romantic. He never bought me flowers that I didn’t ask for. He never wrote me poems. But he just had a way of looking at me. He never shied away from staring me in the eye with a slight smile on his face, like he was the happiest in the world just to be able to look at me.
Nobody has looked at me like that since.