Two years later…. Sorry about the extended absence. My attorney told me to stay off social media until the divorce was finished. And…. divorcing an abusive narcissist takes time (and money.) A lot has happened. Good things. And yes. This is the same man from my Magic Words post.
He says it in the way he wakes up every morning just before the alarm rings, to keep it from going off so I can have a few more minutes of uninterrupted sleep. He says it in the way he reaches for me, pulling me into his arms, hugging me awake. The way he nestles his head against mine as I lay there in his arms. When he says, “I know we have to get up and get ready for work but can we snuggle just five more minutes?”
He says it in the way he gets out my lunch bag for me – the insulated one with the blue trim, the one he insisted I buy so it would be easier and more fun to pack lunches, to take care of myself. He says it in the way he adds an ice pack and a bottle of water before he sets it out for me to pack.
The way he smiles at me when I stand there in a towel after my shower, not wanting to put on work clothes – which frankly have become a bit tight and uncomfortable, my wet hair leaving droplets of water on the carpet. The way he sometimes grabs the brush and gently tugs the snarls out of my hair as he brushes it away from my face.
The way he teases me for the continual dripping, “Ummm…. you know this towel can also be used to actually dry your hair, right?”
The way he makes sure everything is closed up and buttoned down before we leave for work. The way he takes a minute to play with the cat before we go because, after all, she is going to be lonely for the next ten or so hours.
The way he adjusted his work schedule, his career, to carpool with me so I didn’t have to make the 1 – 1 1/2 hour commute alone.
The way he admires the flowers in our garden with me on our way out the door.
The way he chats with me on the way to work, talking about the news, the weather, music, our kids, our day, what our plans will be later. Whether or not there will be time to play cards.
The way he puts his hand on my knee, rubs my neck, or puts a hand on my shoulder as I drive.
The way he insists I stop and get the expensive coffee shop Mocha I started treating myself to once upon a time when everything in my life was falling apart. “You work hard and deserve to have treats,” he reminds me. “Besides, you’ve gotten me addicted now, too.”
The way he tells me, every single day, to have a good day and to drive safe the rest of the way. “I kinda want to keep you around awhile.”
The way he kisses me goodbye, not caring who might be watching.
The way I hear him brag about me to his friends, his family, his coworkers – about my cooking, my job, my work ethic, my humor, my thoughts and ideas, my heart, my mind.
The way he sends me a message on his morning break, asking me if I know how cute I am. I respond by telling him he is amazing. He messages back, “…………..stop.” And I message back, “Never. <3”
Every single day.
The way he, on occasion, sends me a message or asks me the night before: “Hey Future wife! You want a lunch date today / tomorrow?”
The way he wraps me in his arms and hugs me hello when I come to pick him up at the end of the day. Right in the middle of the parking lot. Right in the middle of the afternoon.
The way he asks me about my job, my day before I can ask him about his.
The way he drives home one-handed, holding my left hand in his right as I talk. The way he apologizes when he needs to take his hand back to maneuver around a corner or change lanes.
The way he listens, paying attention to the details. The way he really listens, truly listens, asks clarifying questions and doesn’t try to fix anything, solve anything or suggest anything unless I ask him for help.
The way he tells me about his day, about who was nice to him, who smells bad, who was a jerk, who was fun to talk to, etc. etc.
The way he always just wants to get home and always, always has a plan B, plan C and plan D to go around the rush hour traffic and not have to sit on freeways. The way he starts putting things in perspective as he looks over at me, smiles the best smile in the whole universe as he reminds himself, “I guess it’s okay because I’m still hanging out with you, huh?”
The way he putters and decompresses when we first get home but only after reminding me to change into more comfortable clothes. “No really. Sweatpants, hon. I just want you to be comfortable. You have no idea how cute you are in bum mode, hair messy and make-up off. Relax. Please. I’m serious.”
The way he takes unspoken turns with me to cook dinner, water plants, do dishes, laundry. “No. Really. I don’t mind. Before you moved in I had to do it all myself. I didn’t ask you to move in here or marry me because I needed a maid or a cook, you know.”
The way he randomly tickles me when he walks past me.
The way he gives me a backward hug when it’s my turn to cook.
The way he encourages me to do things that make me happy. “Are you going to read now? You should start blogging again. Play your game.”
The way he shares his favorite shows and movies with me.
The way he pays attention when I share mine.
The way he grabs my leg at the exact right moment of the scary parts to make me jump higher.
The way he will stop everything he’s doing to listen if I look frustrated or upset. The way he knows – sometimes before I do – that something is bothering me. “It’s all in your face, hon.” He explains. “You get the tiniest of creases right between your eyebrows…”
The way he melts my heart with his smile when I do grab that book and relax on the couch.
The way he always gives me the first, ice-cold sip when he opens a soda.
The way he, swearing me to secrecy so no one takes his man card away, helps me put designs on my nails when I’m giving myself a manicure. “It’s not that different from painting / decorating model cars, really. We pretty much use the same paint.”
The way he grins as he asks if I would like to play cards, or go out for ice cream or go for a walk with him.
The way he watches the time, leans over and gives me a kiss as he says, “Bedtime, hon.”
The way he prepares the bed every single night – fluffing pillows, turning on fans, straightening sheets, making sure bottles of water are on the nightstands – while I am getting ready for bed.
The way he shares what is going on in his head as he scrolls through Facebook and as we watch the news.
The way his leg brushes against mine as I lay in scrolling through my Facebook page and playing stupid but addicting matching games.
The way he rubs the sore spots in my neck and scratches the itchy spots on my back. The way he sighs in pure pleasure as I do the same for him.
The way he reminds me that in exactly three months and two days from this exact minute, I will have his last name – not that he’s counting down or anything.
The way he sets the alarm to make sure we get up for work in the morning.
The way he reaches over, pulling me into his arms, nestling his head against mine as I lay there in his arms. The way he kisses me goodnight and then says, “I know we have to get to sleep but we can snuggle just five more minutes,” ending the day exactly as it began.
The way his leg reaches out to touch mine one last time as he says, “See you in the morning, Sweetheart. I don’t know if I told you today but… I love you. Very much.”