Two hours late. He is two hours late to pick me up. We agreed on 9:00 p.m. and it is now 11:00. I have been sitting on the couch curled up, hugging my knees, nervous, anxious, and waiting. My bag is packed and my shoes are on. I have on my new striped sweater from Gap and my favorite, most comfortable pair of sweat pants.
Finally, the phone rings and he says he is outside. I trudge down the stairs not knowing how to feel. Two hours. Come one. Two hours and no phone call.
I get in his car and put my JanSport book bag between my legs on the floor of the front seat. He inches over and tries to kiss me, but I turn my head. I am not in the mood to make nice and I sludge my feet up one at a time onto the dashboard, buckle my seatbelt, and blankly stare out the window.
Silence as we drive the three miles to his house. As I get out of the car, he tries to take my bag from me to be a gentleman. But I can’t stand the thought of him thinking he is, so I hold it back and he glares at me.
“Fine, whatever” he sneers as he holds the front door to his apartment open for me. He takes my coat from me and hangs it in the closet. I throw my stuff down and sit down on the couch. Neither of us like the silence so he turns the TV on for background noise and leaves the room to take care of some laundry in the dryer. Above the TV, I notice a birthday card. I wanted to ask who gave it to him but don’t want to be nosey.
When he returns, he sits down on the couch next to me and tries to rest his head on my shoulder. I let him but don’t embrace him. I continue my unfocused stare at the wall and can not take it anymore. It is four days before Christmas and likely the last time I will see him before the holiday. So I reach for my bag and get out the gifts I had carefully picked out for him weeks earlier; a long sleeved brown t-shirt (he looked very good in brown), an off lime green striped button down, and a black and silver striped shirt. I wrapped each one separately in nice paper and ribbon.
He opened all three skeptically and smiled as he held each one up. He thanked me for each one and said he really liked them. Then, strangely, he added, “Well aren’t you thorough”.
Yes, thorough I was. Four days before Christmas and he has no gift for me. I wondered if he even considered getting me something. I didn’t expect anything. Things weren’t exactly going smoothly for us. But the gesture would have been nice.
It was late and we have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to go to the hospital. So we move off the couch and head to his bedroom. It had been a couple weeks since I was last in there. I removed my sweater leaving on my tank top and lounge pants. I crawled onto the left side of the bed and claim my spot. He turns off the light and crawls in next to me, reaching over to try spooning with me. I resist and he asks if he should sleep in the extra bedroom. I say no and turn to him.
I reached out my hand and touched his head, massaging the back of his head and kiss his forehead. He pulls me closer to him and begins to romantically kiss me. I inch away again, far enough to allow me to ask him “have you been with anyone else?”
He replies “No.”
“Would you tell me the truth if you had been with someone else”.
We continue our making out and he, of course, wants more. He removes my clothes and I get lost in the moment. All that used to feel so right with him, feels so right all over again. But my head stops me from letting it all happen. I stop him from turning me on and role over to fall asleep. He waits for me to fall asleep and holds me all night.
Morning. Early morning. We both get out of bed and he goes to the shower. I walk out to the living room and can’t help myself any longer. I grab the birthday card and see lots of curly cursive writing. I can spot that anywhere. Stupid girl handwriting. I don’t read the entire left side. But skim down to the words “when we make love” and “these past few months have meant so much to me”. The bottom right had side reads “Love, Samantha”.
My eyes swell and I hear him yell out, “Come get in before the water gets cold”. I walk through the hallway, allowing the walls to guide my stunned step. I lift my legs into the bathtub to meet him in the shower. He hugs me tight and whispers “everything is going to go alright today. You will be fine. I love you.”