Thursday, September 29, 2005

All That I Needed

“I’m going to have to ask you to do me a favor,” I said to him in the pre-dawn darkness of his room. I was splayed out in bed, two blankets shielding me from the cold air seeping in through the cracked window, and he was standing before his closet, worrying over his tie selection. At his feet sat his half-packed suitcase, t-shirts, underwear and socks resting in its shallow base.

“What’s that?” he said, holding a polka-dotted tie against his newly purchased dress shirt.

“I’m going to have to ask you to call me often while you’re away.” I shrank back into the pillows, a hint of shame over my request nipping at my heels.

“Huh?” He looked at me.

“I just, you know, need you to call me whenever you can…I know you’re crazy busy…But…I just, I don’t know…Need you to call me.”

He looked at me, his head tilted and mouth in a half smile. “Baby, are you thinking bad thoughts?”

I laughed, not because it was funny, but because I was embarrassed. I had been thinking bad thoughts. “Nooooo,” I replied, incredulous.

“Am I making you insecure?” His tone was soft, sweet, genuinely inquisitive.

“No. I am.”

I had been bothering myself for two days with the “bad thoughts” he’d accused me of having. For some reason, my aforementioned pre-menstrual mind frame had pushed me directly into a tidal wave of insecurity. A mid-afternoon phone call I’d been expecting that never came sent me into a flurry of irrational thought: He doesn’t like me any more. Maybe I’m putting on weight. He’s not interested in me any more. I’m not on his mind. I didn’t think of the possibility of his being busy. When he called me later, I searched his voice for signs of his disinterest.

I focused on how tired he sounded, and chose to read that to mean tired of me instead of tired from thirteen consecutive hours of work. I chose NOT to focus the fact that he bought, purely on his own, a beautiful pair of silver hoop earrings to replace the pair I broke at his house on Sunday. “I hope you like them,” he said Monday night, passing me what was obviously a jewelry box. I was searching for the joke, the gotcha, even as I removed the lid to reveal gorgeous hoops, roughly the same size and texture of the ones I’d broken. More beautiful, even, than the hoops I broke because he gave them to me. “I know you were upset when you broke yours. I hope you like them.” I was damn near speechless and damn near tears. No one, ever, has done anything so thoughtful for me.

I know what I’m doing to myself, making myself sad when I have no reason to be, and I hate it. This insecurity is 100% my doing. Yet, somehow, I expect him to fix it.

“I’m pre-menstrual,” I explained, retreating further into the fortress of blankets to hide myself. “And I just need some reassurance. It’s silly, I know. And I know you’re busy…”

He moved to the side of the bed, bent over and wrapped me in his arms. “I am. But I’ll call you.” He laughed and kissed my sleepy mouth. I tried to hide the tears I felt. I wasn’t sure why exactly the stinging behind my eyes had started: Happiness? Worry? Pure insecurity? Relief? Frustration? The corners of my eyes betrayed me and let little hints of tears out, but he had pulled me to his chest by then, my tears thankfully hidden. I didn’t want to have to explain that, too; I didn’t even understand myself, how was I supposed to make him understand it?

The intercom on my work phone buzzed me this afternoon. “It’s Billy,” my coworker’s voice informed me, and she transferred him over.

He only had a minute, but I was grateful for it. It was just enough.

1 comment:

NJ said...

Hearing that in a relationship with someone I'm crazy about would really kick ass. He's a lucky guy, and remember your brother and I will kill him if he ever hurts you. :-) Just kidding, well maybe.