Four Words

Something very significant for me happened last Wednesday. Tom had a cold and could not come either on Monday or Tuesday, and I missed him terribly. Then he wrote on Wednesday that he was feeling much better and would come that night. He came in with his own key as I was sitting by the window on the chaise longue, in the spring twilight (I love doing that). The first moments felt awkward and I felt a little shy and had to get used to him again. We embraced and then cooked dinner and ate, and used every minute in between to embrace again, and both said how much we had missed each other. Oh, to smell his scent once more, to feel his warmth and his arms around me. Who knew one could crave something like that so much. We lay down on the bed after dinner, cuddled together and talked. I had written to Tom about missing him, feeling lonely, hating myself, eating too much, and now he asked me how I was doing and I told him some more. About my crisis regarding my body, my weight and ballet. He was so tender and understanding. I said I was sorry I was so screwed up and complicated, and that I didn’t want to burden him.

After some time, we stopped talking and began kissing and embracing. I felt more passionate than usual, probably because of the break and how it had made me appreciate him even more. Then Tom suddenly said in a half-whisper, ‘I love you, Aliénor.’ For a second, I could not believe what he had said. Then an ‘Oh, Tom’ came out, almost like a sigh, and I kissed him, but only very quickly, because by then my brain had registered what was happening and I didn’t hesitate and said, ‘And I you.’ We kissed again and then I held him very close and felt this overwhelming mixture of emotions; sweetness, connection, appreciation, safety. At this time in my life, feeling ugly and weak and unlovable, it came like such a shock, it was almost too much to bear. My body reacts to such moments with crying, and I began to sob a little and Tom noticed, so I kissed him again and we looked into each others’ eyes and smiled, and then clung to each other once more and I was breathing fast and cried a little more. ‘What’s the matter?’ he asked, or maybe just looked at me questioningly and a little apprehensively. I smiled through my tears and said, ‘Nothing. I’m happy.’ I hope he understood my tears as what they were: a sign that I was overwhelmed, not with doubt or worry or sadness, but with strong emotions.

The thought that I was still not sure if what I feel is really love flashed through my mind, and the question whether I had said that I loved him just to put him at ease and not lose him. But then I remembered that moment when I had looked at him through the kitchen window, and the moment in the café on our fourth date, and many more moments when I had realised that loved him, without feeling needy or dependent. I do love him. Even if, in my current state, I also feel that I need him.

Even now, days later, I keep remembering what he said and how he said it; his tone and the half-whisper, and the fact that he said my name, when he never said it before, made it sound sincere and significant. The way he held me and (as far as I remember) said it close to my ear, maybe to avoid looking at me.

Later, just as we were going to sleep, I noticed that I was wondering about something, and that I would have to ask now, when we were close but it was dark (because it’s easiest to speak about such very personal things when we don’t look at each other) or wait at least another day. So I was brave and asked, ‘Tom, when you told me before that you love me, was that spontaneous, or have you wanted to say it for some time?’ I had considered the possibility that it had been a reaction to my openness in our talk, that Tom felt it was a sign of trust and wanted to reciprocate somehow. He raised his head sharply at the question and looked at me with a surprised smile, in the way he does when I ask difficult questions. Then he said in a slightly embarrassed way that he had wanted to say it before. And he said (I’m not sure here) that it was true, and added that it had become really clear to him in the last few days (when he was ill and we were apart).

It had been totally unexpected for me. In my native dialect, there used to be no ‘I love you’. ‘I care about you’ was what you said when you meant ‘love’. Now people say ‘love’, but it came from German. So when Tom and I told each other that we cared about each other, I wasn’t sure if that was all we were ever going to say, or if there was another step in his view. There was another one in mine, but I hesitated to say it. I didn’t dare to make myself so vulnerable, and didn’t want him to say it back when he maybe didn’t really mean it (and he would have said it back. He says everything back.) And I also doubted if what I feel for Tom is true love, because it is the very first time and there is nothing to compare. All I know is that saying ‘I love you’ seems to be an important step in relationships (at least in American television shows). You always hear about ‘the three words’. But I’m not sure about how important it is here… None of my friends and family could tell me anything. Tom also mentioned something about being influenced by sitcoms, so maybe we both gave it more meaning by our experience of television and inexperience of real relationships.

It still seems like a miracle to me, and I often get tears in my eyes at the recollection, but also feel that sweet warmth around my heart. The knowledge that he loves me has helped me be more open, more bold, to love myself a little more and feel even more safe. And it has made me love him even more, too.

About annalienor

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

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