So there’s this boy. He takes a detour on the way home, holds my hand across the blustery parking lot and into our favorite restaurant. A table for two is requested, and we wait, sidled up next to each other on the bench in the entry. Phones are pocketed. Not many words are spoken; we keep company with one another and that is enough. Our name is called, we are taken to our table. Two waters come in jars, like the ones we keep at home. We order, we wait, we watch each pizza brought out with mouth watering anticipation. At last ours come. We discuss the toping choice – it was a good experiment even if it wasn’t our favorite on the menu. We laugh as the surprisingly spicy peppers make our eyes water and brow sweat. Our eyes lock in a smile. I love the way his dimples crease. The last piece is his. He eats most of it and hands the crust to me. He knows I think the point of eating pizza is getting to the crust. I douse it in honey, smiling at him from across the table, savoring every bite. His unconditional love manifests itself in crust. He holds out a small, ordinary treasure to me because he treasures me. And I can’t help but falling further in love.
The alarm goes off much too early, bidding us out of our cozy blankets and into the world that the day holds open to us. I scootch myself off the end of the bed, pour the coffee and let the hot drink warm my insides as it goes down. I head back to the bedroom for him. He’s hiding under the blanket, unaware of the obnoxious wake up songs I’m singing. He begins to stir, we cuddle, we share our dreams – both the ones we had during the night and those for the day ahead. “I love you,” we call out to each other while getting ready. Because in these sleepy mornings that’s what we’re thinking of. Eggs are scrambled, lunches packed, shoes tied. I hand him his keys, he kisses me goodbye. I close the door after him, already excited for the evening when he’ll return.
We sit beside each other on the piano bench. “What do you think about this piece?” he asks. “Maybe not that one, I think your choir will like this one though,” I respond. “At least I like it.” He hands me a stack of papers to grade, we take our red pens and figure out how much each question is worth. He plays soccer with the kids I nanny. I come to his rehearsals at the end of the day to run the music. Our jobs are intertwined with each other because our souls are also intertwined.
“On my way home,” he texts me. I can always count on him to be there when he says he will. The table is set, I pour him a glass of milk and pull the dinner out of the oven as he walks in. “This is really good,” he says – no matter what the food is, even if we’ve had twice already that week, even if the rice is slightly crunchy. We share the day’s events– uneventful or not – and we listen and we care. All these small details matter to us because we matter to us.
I wipe the crumbs off the counters. He pulls out his drill and hangs up a curtain I’ve been meaning to put up for months. I fold his clothes, and sort our socks. Our lives, like our clothes, are mixed up together. He changes the oil in the van and fixes the break light on the jeep. I run to the grocery store and grab the staples – milk, cereal, coffee, bananas, cheese – that we are always running out of. We clean and care for and fix up and come back to the same house every night because we’ve made a home together.
Friday night comes. No rehearsals, no pressing work related tasks. “What should we do with this night to ourselves?” We put a frozen pizza in the oven and pick out a movie from redbox. He let’s me choose a chick flick, last week I let him choose an action movie. Our couch is folded out and we pull out the blankets and comfy clothes. Halfway through the movie I get up to put cookies in the oven. Before the movie is over we’ve eaten a dozen or two. It wasn’t a fancy night out, it wasn’t candlelit. The sweatpants I put on were certainly not sexy and it was simple. We were connected and together and so it was perfect.
We turn off the lamps in the livingroom. Teeth are brushed together, he teases me by chasing me around with his toothbrush – he knows I hate getting toothpaste anywhere but in my mouth. We fall into bed – sometimes exhausted and crabby, sometimes exhausted and silly. We grab our books and side by side read for our last few minutes of the day. My book falls out of my hands as my eyes droop, he turns off the light. I press up next to him, half asleep. “Goodnight,” “goodnight.” “I love you.” “Love you too.”
And when the morning comes again and we get up to another morning we’ll do it all over again. All of this day-to-day loving, that really has nothing to do with roses and poetry and chocolates and sleek black dresses, and everything to do with learning to love on the most ordinary days in the most ordinary of ways.