There are slight rain drops on the outside. I can tell because the dust on my balcony allows the petrichor to grace my nostrils, in amounts I just like. It is one of those days I am seated on the floor, staring into space like someone expecting a hand to magically start writing on the wall. I am hugging my knees because lately, I have nowhere else to place my hands. I am so afraid of my surrounding that every now and then, I have to wrap my hands around myself, to remind my soul of my existence.
I am breathing, albeit slowly, with the hope that somehow, my breath will turn into air, then into a powerful wind that will blow under my wings, and propel me to safety.
He is lying asleep beside me, oblivious of his surroundings. He looks so calm in his sleep. At home. Comfortable against the soft carpet that soothes his skin. His chest rises and falls, and I almost lose my breath just watching him. He occasionally turns and wraps his left arm around me, before whispering inaudible words, then goes back to his sleep.
Every time he twists and turns, I jolt back from my reverie to assure him I am still there. Not that he cares. Not that I intend to leave. But because reassuring him brings a certain peace to my heart. Watching him stretch in his sleep reminds me of the child that lies asleep in everyone, awaiting to be stroked. Or kissed on the neck. Or cheek.
I occasionally look at him because in my world, he is the embodiment of truth. Honesty. Affection. Care. Humour. Ecstasy. Happiness. Vulnerability. Life.
I look at him because in the years I have known him, he has taught me the importance of self-worth. He has taught me how to get rid of ignorance. And arrogance. He has taught me how to believe in myself, even when no one else shows sign of being on my side. He has taught me the importance of vulnerability, and the power that lies in listening to the people who continue to root for you.
I look at him because for the years that I have known him, I have learnt how to live one day at a time, within my means, radiating happiness, and accepting that which I cannot have.
The rain outside has turned into a slight storm. The petrichor has subsided and instead, has been replaced by the irritating smell of sewage and running dirty water. Darkness has surrounded us, and as I get up to draw the curtains, he stirs and wakes up.
“Hey. Where you going?” He asks.
“Nowhere. Go back to sleep?”
“I cannot sleep when you are gone?”
I laugh. I laugh so hard I am afraid he will get angry. I laugh because for the two hours he has been asleep. I have been gone for more than three times, yet he continued to sleep like he owned the world. I laugh because he does not laugh when he says these words. I laugh because for the years I have known him, he still insists on mw sitting next to him whenever he takes a nap.
“Why do you do that?” I ask.
“Why do I do what?
“Why do you insist that I sit next to you when you sleep?”
“Do I do that? Really?”
I laugh. This time round, he laughs too. He walks up to where I am standing and grabs me by the waist. He towers over me and looks down at me. His lips touch my forehead and all I can do is close my eyes and let my body feel whatever tis there to be felt.
“Tell me you do not like any of the stuff that I ask you to, and I will stop.”
“In this position?”
He laughs. He pulls me closer to himself that I feel his heart beat. Close enough that I smell his masculine in my nose. His left arm tightens around my butt, as his right tilts my chin so that I am looking into his eyes.
“Now, which one don’t you like? The feet massages? The nude sleep sessions? The butt squeezes? The skin to skin? The licking? The…”
“Stoooooop!” I manage to say.
I am almost out of my breath. He pulls me even closer and kisses my lips. There is a lot of warmth and tenderness in between our bodies. There is stiffness and rigidity. There is passion and desire. There is wholeness.
When we both finally pull out of the kiss, I know in my heart that this is home. This is where I want to spend all my days and nights. This is the home I want to look forward to coming to whenever I have had a rough day. This is the home in which I want my heart and soul to grow. This is the home in which, when and if I finally have kids, I want then to run around.
This is the home I want to share all my secrets with. The home I want to first break news of my success to. The home I want to pick up whenever they fall. The home I want to look into its eyes every day and explore the world with.
As he strolls into the kitchen to grab a glass of water, I slide against the wall, hug my knees once again and smile to myself.
I am home. I am at peace. I am happy. I am loved. I am handled with tenderness.
“I hear it is world boyfriends’ day. Should we finally let this out to the public?” I ask.
“Whatever makes you happy, my love.”