You held my hand in the bar on our first date. I felt a pulse within your palm, steady and firm. For 5 minutes at a time we sat in hot, prickling silence. We didn’t need to speak. We waited, pulsating, shaking. I was giddy, alive.
We drank 2 bottles of wine the next night; I tried an olive at your insistence – swallowed ½. I can still recall the taste: sour, salty, wet. We inched closer with each glass, knees knocking tables knocking knees, until you held my chin between finger and thumb, and kissed me with tears in your eyes.
You once drove 7 miles, just to be with me for 20 minutes. We stared at the clock on your phone, your arm around my shoulder, both of my hands on your knee.
When we stayed at the Bed and Breakfast, you drank 3 cups of coffee – bitter, lukewarm – and we kissed for 11 minutes before we made love for the first time.
16 grey hairs. Afterwards, you told me you had counted sixteen grey hairs, as you ran awkward fingers through the knots and kissed my forehead. You were tender. Cheeky. Curious. I laughed; planned a trip to the hairdresser.
You went away for 9 days: called me 11 times. I carried my mobile everywhere I went. I lost 4 pounds that month, floating in Merlot and a sickly, aching loss.
I bought 1 new set of bedding. It was crisp and white and optimistic. You never stayed the night.
0 lies. You told me 0 lies. You meant every word. I know it. I know it.
Because you told me that you loved me.