my eternal love

She is, if I had to describe her in a word, an excellent person. She does not agonize over the meaning of words, or the meaning of things, and I mean that as the highest form of compliment. She is very beautiful and witty and clever. I would be lucky to have her.

She says she loves me.

I tell her, "Say again?"

"I said I love you," she says.

And I can't just say, "But what do you mean?" because it's always right there. I'm not sure why my panic instincts are kicking in now, but I know she sees my hand shaking as I take a sip of wine. Crestfallen seems like the best word for how she looks here. Or perhaps deflated. She dips a finger in her water and runs it along the edge of her wine glass. It hums faintly. She does this because it means she does not have to look at my eyes.

A week ago we were in the sort of place where you do not drink wine. She was finished with her meal, and stealing what remained of my french fries. She looked so happy, sitting at a greasy dive with me, running on cheap beer and fried food. I told her I enjoyed myself, and for just a moment she seemed ecstatic. She said there's nowhere she'd rather be.

Today there are no french fries to steal and the food is decidedly less greasy. It is the sort of place you go to for wedding proposals and important anniversaries. I am here thinking about love and eternity and trying to buy time. I'm thinking about missed opportunities. I'm thinking about the future.

After all the french fries were gone, we paid the check and walked home in the cool autumn air. Cold, not cool. Just enough to be uncomfortable. As I went to kiss her good night she said she had been sick for the past few days, she didn't want me to catch anything. I kissed her anyway, because it was the thing to do just then.

Now the moment is past and she is drawing up her dignity and saying, "It's really nice here," and what else is there for me to do but say "Yes, it is, I'm glad you came?"

No comments: