Courtesy of Deviant Art
The Beloved has been away for the last ten days. He went to visit his parents who he had not seen in almost two years. It was a trip he did not want to take without me because in all of the years we've been married, he and I have never been apart except for three days one time. But circumstances on my end prevented me from accompanying him and so this would be a first for both of us.
Prior to him leaving I was sad. He was sad. It felt unnatural for us both to be without each other for such a long stretch. But I felt this would be a good test because there will come a time, no? We’ve touched upon this morbid part of life in conversations past and talk of the day when one of us is no longer around. It is a day we both wish we didn't have to experience. How will we manage then? To be without your life partner all of a sudden will feel tragic for lack of a better word. It is a fear that gnaws at us every now and again especially because we are so attached and connected. I don’t know if other couples ever have this type of conversation but we do because we realize how much we depend on the other for the survival of our hearts and so many other things. We rely on each other for so many, many things: unconditional love, support, empathy, laughter, joy, challenges, understanding, strength. My weaknesses are his strengths as his are mine and to no longer have my strength there seems unfathomable.
And here’s the thing: I have found that great love comes at a great price. We are both independent, yet not. We are both strong; yet not. We are so very different; yet not. Individually we are our own beautiful person but together we are something so much more; something greater. We make magic together and always have.
And I’ve missed him. I’ve missed his smile and his caress or him telling me, “don’t go to bed yet. Stay here with me.” And so many times I heed this simple, loving request and snuggle up on the couch where I inevitably fall asleep until he is ready to go to bed. He always seems to need me by his side and calls me his "security blanket." That is the thing with him. I often joke that he has attachment issues but what it really is is the natural progression that our journey together in this life has taken us to. We've always enjoyed each other’s company even when the other is just "present," and not speaking. To us, other things could always wait; “we,” on the other hand, will not.
And so the house has been quiet. Not that he makes a whole lot of noise but it’s been one-person quiet. One person who doesn’t like noise much “quiet.” We’ve called each other each morning and night because listening to each other’s voice first thing in the morning and right before going to bed comforts us and brings us together and it is a ritual that is indelibly imbedded in us.
And I’ve done well. I’ve done better than expected especially considering that he is my Achilles Heel and I’m prone to tears and become very emotional when it comes to him. The days are fine because I am busy, but it is the nights when I feel it the most. He is not there and I feel it and I don’t like it. I learned that although in the past I’ve said I don’t mind solitude and embrace it, I learned that this is only because I know he is there whenever I don’t want it anymore. Yes, I finally learned the true meaning of the word this week and I recant, I don't like solitude all that much; not without him anyway.
And I don’t like sleeping alone. But this has always been. I need him there. I need to be able to reach across the bed and caress his skin and look at his eyes when he is speaking to me. This is the time we talk most intimately without distraction of TV or other things; this is the time we joke around and laugh and still become immaturely playful with each other; this is the time we each read our respective books while holding each other’s hands. We still hold hands in bed. We both find it comforting and it is as much part of our daily existence as anything else.
And he comes home today. My Beloved will be home today. Ten days without hugging him. Ten days without kissing him. Ten days of not holding his hand. But tonight this will end. I will feel his skin once again – that very thing that births so many emotions for both he and I.
Tonight, my security blanket will be home once again. And I am happy.