“I love you and I don’t want to.” She whispered as she lay there beside him. Her back against him in the dark, she could feel him breathe beside her, quiet, rhythmic breaths that indicated deep sleep. He couldn’t hear her. If he could she wouldn’t have allowed the words to slip out.
A deep sigh escaped her lips as a tear fell from her eye and hit the pillow, audible in the quiet darkness of the night. She started to spill the rest of her feelings, quietly beside his silent form.
“I wanted a night or two, maybe an ongoing thing to return to when I felt the need to let loose. I wanted a place to go when I wanted to pretend I was young and free from all the responsibilities I’ve built up over the years. And now here I am, falling in love, feeling that pull to care for you, to need you. The feeling scares me. It gives me more to worry about instead of less. I’ve added more responsibilities to my life, not escaped the ones I had. I don’t want this.”
In his sleep, he turns to her and pulls her close to him. His hand runs over her hair and he sighs, resting his hand on her hip. Her tears flow as she realizes how special this moment is, how much she doesn’t want to lose this man that has worked his way so deftly into her heart. But how?
Can there be other ways to love a person? Do all romantic relationships have to follow the same course? If I love you both, do I have to have two husbands to care for in the same way?
Hours later, she’s restless and rises to shower and dress. As she’s gathering her purse and keys, he raises a hand and beckons her to him. She sits at the edge of the bed beside him and leans in to kiss his face. “See you in a few weeks?” He quietly asks in that sleepy satisfied voice she loves so much.
“I love this.”
“Just like this. As long as you want me.”
She smiles and runs her fingers through his hair, kissing him before she leaves. It feels so good. Maybe it can go on. Maybe she can love him just like this.