MTM and I have been together almost a decade (as hard as that is for me to fathom.) During our first 2 1/2 months, we went out casually a number of times. The man NEVER kissed me – not my hand, not my cheek, not my…….well, never mind.
Once, lit by the romantic light of shop windows on a downtown sidewalk, he made his move. I was salivating. Panting. Heaving. A blazing cauldron of fire. He saw my unfortunate longing, planted an unsatisfying peck on my lips and said good night. I think I heard him giggle as he walked away.
The man knew how to play me.
When he finally kissed me, it was the stroke of the New Year 2003. We were at a party. I invited him with a dramatic declaration to everyone but him: if he said ‘no,’ I was DONE with him. DONE!!! He made sure to let me know that since his passport was expired, I would be an acceptable substitute for Europe. By default, he agreed to be my date.
And, that’s how he kissed me for the first time as the clock clanged midnight, the awakening of my life.
For the past few days, we’ve both been down with colds, his worse than mine. Claiming he doesn’t want to escalate my degree of infection, he lovingly refuses to kiss me.
Why does the removal of a thing make us pine for it? I watch him sleep and wonder if I kiss him, will he know? Will he suspect I crept into his aura, merged it with my own? Trickery is my cloak of deceit. I try all the usual avenues – before he jumps from the car, when he comes home, over clinking glass at dinner, as he extinguishes the lamp for the night. He shifts his way through them with chivalry, protecting me from the scourge within him.
It feels like we’re dating again, like I don’t know where I stand. That man. He’s playing me. Again.
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