I told him to talk to me before we went to sleep. He asked what I wanted to talk about. Rather than just saying, “Let’s talk about how much you like me,” I decided to beat around the bush and subtly goad him into telling me that he likes me. This approach does not work well with Billy. He sees right through my sneaky little ploys and, I believe, does his best to avoid what it is that I’m looking for so that I’m forced to actually come out with it and admit what I want.
So, after much circling of the subject, I finally told him that I wanted to hear that he likes me.
“What?” I couldn’t see his face from my spot on his chest, but I could just picture the look on his face. “You can’t tell me you don’t know that.”
“I do know it. It’s just nice to hear it.”
“Are you kidding me?” He was laughing at me and busting my balls at the same time. “You mean to tell me that you can’t tell I like you by the fact that we talk all the time? That you’re here all the time, and I want you here all the time? I’m affectionate. I bring you coffee at work…”
I felt sheepish. Of course I could tell that he liked me if I judged his feelings for me by those things alone. But I don’t. I’m a stereotypical girl in the worst way – When I’m next to him, I’m fine. When he’s holding me in his arms, when he kisses the top of my head for no reason, when he says “I’ll see you at home,” when he saunters through the bank doors with coffee in hand, I know, without question, that he likes me. But when I’m alone and left to my own devices, I’m horrible. I start to question everything. “I hope he’s not just bringing me coffee because he feels like he has to. I hope he really wants me to stay over every night…I hope it’s not just that he doesn’t know how to tell me he doesn’t want me there…” So I told him that. I told him I’m not good at context clues. I like it to be spelled out for me. I told him that I want to make sure I’m not the only one “in like.”
“You’re not the only one ‘in like,’” he said, wrapping a long arm around my shoulders.
“It’s just that I’m nuts about you, you know. And I like to know you’re nuts about me, too.”
“I am nuts about you,” he said, kissing the top of my head. Though I couldn't hear any in his voice, I could only imagine his frustration with me. I was annoying myself; But I couldn’t keep myself from asking for it. “Well,” he said, considering something, “I guess it makes sense to me that my actions say I like you. But you have nothing to compare it to. You don’t know what I was like before.” I waited. “For example, I never took a girlfriend with me on a vacation to meet my entire family.” I marinated in that for a minute, let it wash over me. It felt so good. His voice switched gears. “Do you really think about this stuff all the time?” I nodded yes. “That must make you mental.”
“It does. Trust me.”
“Can’t you just relax and know that I like you and there’s nothing to be worried about?”
“I’m not worried. I just like reassurance. It’s sick. I know.”
“Well,” he said, giving me another squeeze, “I like you. So there. Now you know.”
The next morning, my cell phone rang in my purse at work. It was my standard ring, not the one Billy and I chose for him. The number wasn’t familiar. So I let it got to voicemail and checked my messages.
“It’s 11:30 on Wednesday morning,” Billy, obviously grinning and calling from work, said, “and I’m just calling to reassure you that I still like you.” I hate to gloat, but I really think I may have the best boyfriend ever.
He called twice more through the day to leave little messages of reassurance. I smiled each time I heard them, grateful for not only for the effort, but also for the fact that he was clearly undaunted by my freakish desire to be told, outright, that he likes me.