That one word was enough to set all his hormones on fire. His eyes grew wide and his face flushed a deep red. The room started feeling a little less cooler as our body heat intensified. The gorgeous man in front of me bounded to his feet and gave me a dangerous, bone-crushing hug. It seemed to last forever. Not that I was complaining.
He asked, still unsure if he heard me right, no doubt. He had a habit of asking twice on anything that concerned me, as if I always had to rethink my responses to his questions. Perhaps, because I had always carried a sarcastic tone right from the beginning. I gave him a fleeting look, teasing. His eyes were serious, masked with shadows that soon vanished when I gave my affirmation.
Again, the bone-crusher. He had asked me twice, and twice I had said “not now”. I could tell he was doing his best to feign that “I knew it”, calm response he always had, but it was pretty hard - especially when I plopped down beside him and snuggled up to him. I could feel him smiling, his breath ragged. He embraced me again, but this time, it was a hug of contentment. This made me scoot closer to him.
His voice momentarily cut through the welcomed silence. It caught me off guard. I didn’t know “why now”. I just… felt like it was time. That he had waited so long and been rejected twice broke my heart the same why his did. I didn’t know how to tell him that. I moved up so I could plant a kiss on his cheek and whispered in his ear.
He laughed softly, sending those lovely ASMR tingles soaring through the back of my head. He sat up and groggily made his way to the coffee table by the balcony. Had I said something wrong? Should I have answered differently? I sat up on the bed, my mind racing. Did I just ruin a perfectly good moment?
I blinked, not sure I had heard correctly. So he wasn’t mad?
He grinned. I was losing my shit, but it was so hard to lose my temper with my sunshine of a man looking adorable in front of me. I think I smiled back. He came back to the bed and handed me a Heineken. I wanted to slap that smug smile off his face, but I knew it was just a reflection of my own. So we’ve finally come to this point.
“I love you.”
I smiled, hiding my face as he uttered the last word. I had always had something when it comes to saying those three words out loud. I’ve never felt comfortable about it, even with people from my family. I could tell he was waiting for me to say something.
“Why are you hiding your face?”
I could hear him trying to stifle a laugh. I pouted, my mouth only to be met with his. I pushed him away in shock. He laughed loudly, stretching himself on the bed. He grabbed my fat excuse of a waist and forced me onto the bed beside him. I covered my face with a pillow and tried to pretend I was pissed off at him. Not that that would’ve stopped him from whatever he wanted to do. He knew my weakness to a “T”.
“You know why.”
He took the pillow away and left me staring at his face. What have I done to deserve such a dream? I’ve told him over and over and over that I wasn’t pretty and that all I had to offer him was everything but that. Aren’t all guys in want of a voluptuous, A-breed girlfriend they could show off to their friends and create hot photos with?
“Whatever you’re thinking, baby, STOP.”
He might be a mind-reader after all. I feel like with all the years we’ve been together, it was inevitable that we would adopt our partner’s way of thinking. Either that or I’ve been telling him those exact things all the time. He grabbed the remote and started flipping through channels on the TV. I was grateful he knew when to give me space to think, when to insist on hearing my mind or when to just stop altogether.
“Sorry I still can’t… say them.”
“I still can’t say ‘I love you’.”
Again, he laughed. Stupid Veeyah. What did you do just now? You just said them! I closed my eyes and inhaled everything. He patted my head and gave me another kiss on the lips.
“You’re adorable when you catch yourself being ironic.”
I snorted a laugh. It was ridiculous how one person can make you feel so many things all at once. I loved this man. This bundle of joy I was cuddling with. This guy who waited for years even though I’ve continuously gave him reason to drop everything and leave. This guy who makes me smile everyday without even being with me all the time. I love how his voice does things to me. And I’ve just sealed my forever with him.
It was his turn to get confused.
“I like that you’re weird.”
We both laughed and downed two more cans of beer. I could feel myself getting tired and he offered his lap as a pillow. I chose his chest instead. Much warmer and softer in my opinion. I drifted off to sleep while he quietly tapped away at his laptop’s keyboard. More ASMR goodness, yes. My breathing steadied. I could freeze this moment and still not get enough of him.