“How are you?” his words were quiet and gentle in a way that I did not realize that I needed until he said them.
“Fine,” brave smile because I need to be brave or else I will cry.
“Try me again,” no humor in his voice…not even the coaxing that one might give a small child. He waits as I wrestle my own demons and fight my way through to trust. He knows me well enough not to take this personally.
“I am very tired. I feel alone,” his big masculine hand slides comfortably into mine as a reward for the trust and he pulls me close to put a protective arm around my shoulders.
“Tired…yes. With the week you have had, I am surprised you are standing, but you are not alone,” he is speaking quietly into my ear so that only I hear the words over the crowd of chatter around us.
I close my eyes and lean my head on his shoulder to accept the support he is offering. It’s his reward for not making me weaker to make himself feel stronger. I can feel his breathing relax as we fall into our usual rhythm as our souls mesh together like the stars wrapped in darkness and twice as heavenly.
“I could stay with you or come back later once everyone else is gone.” It’s a statement of fact. He is not a man used to having his words examined, but he accepts it so often as part of our relationship.
“No…,” one heartbeat and another, “every thing is wrong tonight.” It hurts him deeply. He wants to duct tape my world back together. All the pieces in their places.
“Call me later.” Not a question. I shake my head as he pulls me into those strong arms infusing my body with strength by sheer will. I feel so small in his arms. “I do love you so much,” he whispers, knowing when he lets go I have to face the world alone again like a big girl on my own two feet.
“I love you more,” I say, faking a smile. It our code for our acceptance that the world is not going to separate us. I go back into the room, listen to the heart monitor beeping, stare blankly at the images dancing across the TV screen in a fucked up carnival of pixels and sound.
Reality hits…that is pretty much what life is….a fucked up carnival of pixels and sounds. And this parade, I dont want to watch alone. I have always been scared of the clowns. I pick up my cell and call him before he reaches the parking lot. One ring…two rings…
“Hello baby…” his smooth voice rolls into the receiver.
“I need you…please,” I fight the fear that he might not come back.
“I am on my way…” he answers without hesitation.