Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 @ 9:09 am
Twilight. Bats flit above us. Lights from the town glimmer through the black conifer forest. We sit on the coiled rope drinking beer, listening to the forest, enjoying the moment before the walk off back to the car.
I lean back against the granite slab. The Milky Way a swath against the starry sky. Again, the bats dart out from the forest canopy and fly a lap above our heads. I can feel the crystals of the granite against my bare arms. The rock radiates warmth from the September sun.
This settled-in feeling. The rhythms of climbing together, the drive up the Sea to Sky. We do this twice a week, and there are long stretches of comfortable silence as we work together. Abundant communication, none of it requiring the use of speech.
We booked a night in a hotel on the weekend, walking distance from our apartments. Air conditioning, a king-size bed. We swim together in the rooftop pool. I swim up to him and laugh and cinch my legs around his waist and raise a hand in the air with flair. He immediately recognizes my camp, and he plays into it, singing music while pretending that we are in a synchronized swimming competition, complete with the nail-biting moment before the judges reveal their scores.
In the quiet of the morning, sun filtering in through the sheer curtains, I rest my head on his chest.
“Remember that night that I told you about, back in the Spring? When I told you that I didn’t sleep and was very upset but wouldn’t tell you exactly why? It was because I was concerned that you hadn’t told me that you loved me. That I was fairly sure that you did love me but was scared that I was wasting my time.”
He holds me and rubs my back and kisses the top of my head.
A few days pass.
One evening, we paddle out into the harbour at sunset. Raft together and laze in the heat from the fading sun. Tall cans of beer, and we move up and down over the rhythmic swell. Eventually we head to his apartment, shower, eat, and fall into bed.
The room is dark and quiet. I am the small spoon.
“I do love you, you know,” he says. The first time that he’s saying this on his own accord and not in response to my own assertion.
“I know,” I reply.
An inadequate reply. But the only response possible when my whole body softens and warms and aches, and I realize that I have had one of my deepest desires fulfilled. The only greater desire is for someone to want me forever.
In the morning, my anxieties have vanished. The warmth of his skin against mine. My doubts and insecurities set free.
Simultaneously, moths hatch from the forest and descend across the city.