Boyfriend

It’s Monday and Tom was here yesterday. I feel very strange. Am I in love? Or do I just think I am, or that I should be? Do I feel trapped? Or what is this slightly uneasy feeling?

Ok, let me calm down and write everything down and think. Yesterday was a huge step. There is so much that happened between us, and within me.

I slept long and then went for a short run and had a shower and made myself pretty, made the flat look perfect and sat down for a few minutes by the window to write a few words. Then Tom wrote that he was in the tram on his way, so I walked to the station to meet him. He appeared suddenly behind me, having waited somewhere else because he expected me to come by the other street, but I came by the lower path because I wanted to walk by the church and remember that moment on his birthday. I was very surprised to see him so suddenly, but composed myself as we hugged and walked to my house. The weather was sunny and quite warm and when we came to the garden gate, my landlady was just leaning out of the window and saw us. It made me feel a little self-conscious. After all, I never had a male visitor. And her daughter is Sissy’s best friend, so I don’t know how much she knows.

At first, I felt awkward with Tom in my flat. How would he find it? Was it too feminine? Too tidy? Too empty, or intimidating, or suffocating? I showed him everything, but it’s really small so it didn’t take long. He loved the canopy bed effect with the curtains and was interested to see and touch my harp, but said the room looked like a ‘princess room’, which was not what I intended. Anyway, we got something to drink and sat down facing each other at the kitchen table and began to talk. Quite soon, our hands and eyes met, and I started talking about his birthday. It had been bothering me for days, so I was eager to ask him. This is what I learned: He didn’t see it coming until I told him I wanted to give him a kiss. He had had vague notions about maybe kissing me when bringing me home, but wouldn’t have asked first. He doesn’t remember who kissed who (and doesn’t think it important). And he doesn’t think the kiss was bad. The moment itself was right. He said that was the best birthday he ever had. And afterwards when he couldn’t sleep, he was reliving everything and wondering about what he could or should have done differently, as he often does, apparently. I shyly asked him when he had had his first kiss, because I really wondered about his history regarding love, and he said that was long ago but didn’t specify. I also told him how I had got the idea of kissing him on his birthday, and what my motive was. It wasn’t that I wanted a big scene or a perfect Hollywood kiss. We are all a little influenced by these images, but I thankfully haven’t watched many such films lately. I wanted a significant, unforgettable moment, but not something artificial. I wanted it to be special and to mean something. And it did. It did.

Tom is a thinker (and I love that about him) and has thought about love, about norms, masculinity, about how men see women. He told me he didn’t feel comfortable talking to male colleagues or friends about love, or about me. He doesn’t like the way men tend to talk about women, sexualising or objectifying them and making fun of a man who talks about love, or feeling deeply for a woman. That’s why he has more female friends (which makes me slightly jealous on one hand and very grateful on the other). I told him that I was open about everything with June and my family, and why. And he said he told his family about me, but thought it was too soon yet to ‘meet the parents’. Not because he is ashamed of me (in fact he said he would sometimes like to shout it from the rooftops) but because he worries what I might think about them. And I feel exactly the same. We are as we are and shape ourselves in a way, but our families, our origins can’t be changed or hidden. I’m not ashamed of my family, but there are aspects that are embarrassing. So we agreed to wait a little. We also talked about our relationship, but didn’t call it that. He just mentioned the word girlfriend and then I asked him, ‘Is that how you see me? Am I your girlfriend?’ And he said yes, in his eyes. And I said me too and smiled, and then we agreed that labelling feelings is silly, but I still like to know that he considers me as his girlfriend and want him to know that I don’t have two other lovers or ‘friends with benefits’ or something like that in the background, either.

Tom believes in fate, he told me. I don’t really agree, as I tend to believe in the Law of Attraction. But it can look like fate. When you wish for something and there is no resistance, circumstances line up to yield the perfect result. When I told him about the Law of Attraction, he said it might well be true and that the perfect moments he had experienced in his life had all seemed like fate to him. Whatever it is, it’s wonderful: We both register with that dating website around the same time, and one sentence in my profile catches his eye, and so it begins. It never felt forced, never artificial or difficult. New, strange, confusing, yes, but always enriching. I’ve grown so much through our acquaintance.

Later, we were sitting in the living room, again holding hands. It’s so lovely to finally be able to touch his beautiful hands. I told him I had been thinking that he had beautiful, sensitive hands ever since the first date. He said he thought his hands were too small. But they fit him, as he is rather small and thin. I traced the veins on his hand, and in an impulsive moment kissed it. And I told him to tell me if I asked indiscreet questions, but that I couldn’t help wondering about his past, his relationships. He told me that he had been single for seven years, ever since he moved away from his home town and started working nights and weekends. And before that, he had one or two relationships, friendships that turned into more. But they had not lasted and he said it was weird and he wouldn’t do that anymore. But he had never felt as he feels now, with me. Oh, how I loved hearing all this! I mean, I never could imagine Tom as having had a lot of girlfriends, but I thought maybe he had one or two great loves that truly hurt or changed him. But no, he is quite free, and yet not wholly inexperienced. More ‘normal’ than me, but on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of history. It’s ideal. Apart from all that, he apparently feels very strongly for me, like he never felt before. So, I am special… Of course this is flattering, but it also scares me quite a lot. Would I like it to be different, though? If I was only the last in a series of serious, long relationships, if he had deeply loved other women, how would I feel? I would compare, I would often feel insecure and jealous and want to know more but never dare to ask. No, this is ideal. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Then it was time to make the bread, so we went into the kitchen and shaped the dough. Tom was adorable,  wearing my apron and trying different shapes from star to clover leaf and ending up making a kind of faun. I just made a traditional bread man. We decorated them with raisins and left them to rise. And Tom met Gina, my cat, and they are both still a little afraid of each other. But the meeting was mostly successful.

We went back into the living room and I closed the curtains as it was already dark. Then we were standing in the middle of the room, facing each other, joining hands. We looked at each other and away again when it was too near. Tom just kept stroking my hands and I looked down on them and held our hands close to my chest. I wasn’t very nervous this time, I felt everything, but still can’t remember the exact sequence. We embraced each other again and I held onto him tightly, consciously feeling his body against mine, feeling the closeness and warmth. I stroked his back and then his shoulder, his head. He has extremely short hair because he’s balding, it’s more stubble than hair and it doesn’t feel very nice. Again, Tom was trembling slightly. He later said it often happened to him when he was nervous, it must be the adrenalin. We let go again and stood there clasping hands for the longest time. I wanted Tom to kiss me, but hardly dared look into his eyes. He asked very softly whether I was nervous and I said not really, that it was just so… close. But that it was nice. That I just wasn’t used to it, wasn’t a touch-y person. But that I would like to be. We hugged again. Then I asked him almost in a whisper if he would kiss me again, very slowly. He smiled and said of course, but that he would take off his glasses first. And he did and then he came towards me and I closed my eyes when he was close and he kissed me softly. I felt his lips, their movement, and my own. And I moved mine this time. We were really kissing! It was very quiet, very strange and close. I opened my eyes now and then. After a few seconds, my lips made a kissing sound and I had to pull back and laugh a little. Tom whispered something encouraging, telling me to relax, and we kissed again, heads tilted the other way this time. I stroked the back of his head again and I think he just held me. It can’t have lasted more than half a minute. It was strange that I felt it and enjoyed it and felt a response in my body, but nothing like the passion or electricity I had expected when I imagined kissing somebody. Maybe it will come later, or maybe it just doesn’t feel this way. Anyway, the kiss ended in another embrace. Tom said something encouraging again, and asked if I was sure I hadn’t been practicing, and I said maybe kissing was really something one learned fast. It definitely helped to have time and privacy.

We talked a little more while the bread was baking and cooling. Something about the apron strings and my father led us to the topic of being fat and I decided then and there to tell Tom that I used to be obese. He reacted very well. He said he didn’t notice people’s shape much and didn’t care. And he said it shouldn’t have been a reason never to experience love, but it wasn’t just the weight, it was how I felt about myself, and I told him that. I didn’t tell him many details, just that I used to be very fat until a few years ago and that I had suffered and felt this ‘wasn’t me’, and why, and how I had needed to love myself first before being able to lose weight. No mention of loose skin, of course. It’s too early for that.

We prepared dinner and sat down to eat. It was such a lovely moment, seeing my boyfriend (how strange to write this!) smiling at me across the table at our first meal together in my flat. He said he couldn’t eat much because of the adrenalin from earlier, but I felt normal again. It’s strange to feel you have the power to make somebody nervous, to make him happy, to make him feel good or bad. Heady. But it is a responsibility, too. A wish come true, but it feels a little constraining. So, Tom is now my boyfriend… What a weird feeling of mixed joy and unease.

After dinner we watched the film Tom had brought. When I had moved in and furnished my flat, I’d only bought a chaise longue, no sofa. There is a small armchair, too, but my flat isn’t ideal for a couple watching TV. So I lay on the chaise longue and Tom sat in the armchair beside me to watch the film. It was his favourite, so I payed close attention and didn’t try to take his hand or distract him, even when I wanted to. I really liked the film, too. Interstellar, by Christoper Nolan. It was very long, though, so it was close to ten o’clock when the film was over. We talked a little about it, and then I laid my head on Tom’s arm and he laid his on top of mine and we were holding hands again. It was almost dark with only the christmas lights in the windows glowing behind the curtains, and very quiet. The credits were showing on the screen and then lots of warnings in different languages, but I had closed my eyes and was feeling sleepy and relaxed and so close to Tom. And I said softly, ‘I care about you so much,’ and he said he felt the same. No more adrenalin. Oxytocin. He kept stroking my hand and I was caressing his arms, tracing the lines of his tattoo and his bones and veins with my finger, and feeling his pulse.photo 1

I felt as if I could drop off to sleep like this, and Tom felt the same. For a moment, I imagined him spending the night here, holding me in his arms. I would have liked it but didn’t know how he felt about that. The whole ‘sleeping in the same bed’ thing does evoke certain connotations, after all. After some minutes I said he could sleep here if he wanted, but only sleep. He did not react negatively in any way, but said that he would like to get back if there was a train, and that I had to get up really early and he had work to do on the next day, too. That was ok for me, too. The other option would have been very close very soon. Better to move slowly.

We got up and drank some water in the kitchen and I embraced him again, and we told each other how much we had enjoyed everything that day. We’ll meet next Thursday, and in two weeks the semester will be over and we will have lots of time together. Tom will come watch a ballet class, and we will pick and decorate a Christmas tree together, and watch Star Wars, and have a private Christmas celebration on the 25th. Oh, everything is lovely, for the most part. Only a tiny feeling of doubt, responsibility, loss of freedom sometimes creeps in. But I suppose that is normal. It’s such a huge change, after all.

photo 2

These were the bread figures we made.

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Interior Design, Law of Attraction, Love, Milestone, Moment, My Flat and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Boyfriend

  1. hyysterika says:

    I really love following your story. It’s making me remember the beginning of my relationship. Oh, what good times. We just celebrated two years. I’ve never been happier. It’s 1am and I can’t stop reading.

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