She says she loves me but that she’ll never get married again. She tells me it is overrated and that it is not something that needs to happen.
I smile at her and she asks me what I am thinking but I refuse to answer. Not sure why but I know that the time isn’t right to tell her all I am thinking and not because I don’t want to but because the timing is off.
Does she see what lies behind my eyes. Can she hear Dylan singing his Wedding Song, Lay, Lady Lay and Make You Feel My Love. Can she sense what lies beneath the surface and does she understand that my silence isn’t because of fear, anger or pain. Peel back the layers and all you find is a warm smile and love for her that never ended.
If she closed her eyes and held my hand I would guide her through the night, carry her in my arms because it is what we do and how we have always been.
I tease her about being the boss and laugh when she says she is because she knows it is me. She knows I am the guy that she always wanted and looked for. I can’t say it out loud because it sounds silly, arrogant and ridiculous but the truth is in our actions.
The woman who never let her guard down because she didn’t trust someone to be able to take care of her lets me go where others haven’t and gives to me what others never had.
It is reciprocated, cherished and appreciated.
Sometimes I see sadness in her eyes when she talks about things that happened in the past and apologizes for past hurt. I tell her not to worry and I mean it. We hurt each other but I don’t compare or compete. It is what happens sometimes and when you dance in the fire sometimes you burn.
But there is no chance to know the deeper and more mature love that we have without going through these things. You can’t get to this place without the pain that sometimes accompanies life experience. That is not rationalizing what has happened, it is just a simple truth that you can’t truly appreciate some things that you haven’t earned.
And we have earned this, whatever this is.
Finally I tell her that I don’t care what she says today about getting married because I am not asking her to marry me. I tell her I don’t need a ring to have or keep her and then I watch her eyes narrow as she tries to figure out what I am saying.
I watch her try to decide if it is a good or bad thing. I watch her try to figure out if I am teasing her or serious. I watch her conduct her silent analysis and then add fuel to the fire by telling her that at her age she doesn’t need a ring to give her permission to sleep with me.
She tells me I have a one track mind and I see that I am the precipice, in the place where she thinks she might be irritated with me but hasn’t decided if I am intentionally pushing her buttons or just oblivious.
I look at her again and smile. I tell her that I know that there may come a day in the future when she tells me that we are getting married because she has decided it is practical to do so. I tell her that I know the day may come when she decides there are tax and healthcare benefits tied into it and then I start laughing.
She laughs too because she knows I know her and then I tell her that it is good to know that her love for me is based upon a future tax return.
She rolls her eyes at me and tells me not to push my luck and then I smile and tell her it is never smart to argue with the boss. Before she can reply I pull her in and kiss her hard on the mouth.
As she kisses me back she tells me that I am not off the hook yet, “we’ll discuss it later.”
I laugh and tell her I’ll try not to snore my way through the conversation. She makes a face at me and I smile. When you fall in love with your best friend life is different.