I don’t know if you know this, but I love you.
I thought I loved you in the first month of our marriage.
I thought I loved you last year, when we were married for a year.
I thought I loved you on December the 19th, when I threw everything out of the cupboard in anger, and you were furious, and we didn’t talk all the way back to your family home, and you went out until late, and I was bloated and felt horrible, and you came back as I lay in the darkness, and without a word you held me.
Or last month, when you slept holding me so tightly I woke up with neck pain, and you massaged it before hauling yourself up for that long drive to work.
I did love you then, of course I did, but as the time passed, it crept up on me more and more and poked me on the shoulder, and when I looked back to acknowledge it, it had become a mass double its previous size.
Threatening to envelope me and overwhelm me.
Shall I give myself up to it?
I don’t think so.
I think I will carry on walking through life, clambering up the steep bits, pulling myself up the stark cliff faces.
Sometimes you’re ahead, holding your hand out to steady me over the sharp rocks, and sometimes I am throwing you a rope, and slowly hefting your tired body up.
Sometimes you are leaping on way ahead of me, and I am out of breath and in tears, struggling to catch up, calling your name but my voice is so faint over the wailing wind.
But you always stop. You stop and look round, and realise I have fallen behind, and you wait for me. Sometimes you come back to help me forward, holding me tight in your strong arms, whispering sweet somethings in my ear. Somethings I will never forget.
I want to get old with you. I want to go everywhere with you. I want to see you smile, and watch you learn and grow and change. I want to see your awe and excitement, I want to be a part of your epiphanies. I want to make you happy.
I know sometimes we will fight horribly. I won’t agree with you and you will become cold and hard, like marble. But you know me, and I know you. I know what you are about to say before you say it, and sometimes you can guess what I am thinking just by looking at my face.
Sometimes I smile at you, and you ask me what’s wrong.
“That lip,” you say, “is quivering.”
You pull me away from the crowd.
“Your eyes,” you say, “are not happy Len eyes.”
“Your personality,” you say, when I am at my lowest point, sad and inadequate and demotivated, “lights up the room.”
I know I love you more today than I might next week. But know that even when the love wanes, and anger and frustration take its place, I will still get up early for you, I will still see you off, I will still kiss you goodbye and make sure you have your hat on your ears. I will make sure you have enough blanket at night. I will get your pyjamas ready for you on those late, exhausted nights. I will ‘sort you out’ for lunch, because I know better than you know what you want. I will make sure you eat when you are so focused on your work you forget to take your coat off. I will hold you until you fall asleep, your breathing gradually becoming deeper and deeper.
I love you in words. I love you in actions. I love you in thoughts.