Just to be
Your idea to picnic in the backyard had caught me by surprise, though it shouldn't have. The entire week hadn't gone as we expected; me being ill at the start, and your job demanding more hours as the Friday deadline loomed. I had thought we'd do something together, something outside... something more physical.
I agreed with a nod, and you disappeared telling me to leave it up to you. You'd spread an old quilt out beneath the tree with a small basket and a couple of sports toys laying nearby. It wasn't hard to fall in with your plans.
We tossed a frisbee back and forth, even though the yard was too small for it. You tried showing off, tossing the disc from underneath your leg, and behind your back. Shots that went wild, you were left chasing it down; I was too busy laughing. The yard darts might have been more enjoyable if we had the room. But your variations on how throws had to be done made it worth playing. Yard darts, twister style.
The sandwiches you'd made were terrible, but delicious at the same time. The store bought potato salad was too sweet and contained pickle relish. I ate it anyway. You lining your tuna fish with chili flavored corn chips never failed to fascinate and repulse me, and the bottle of Coke was still chilled. Even the packaged pecan sandies tasted much better in our yard - with you.
You'd handed me the book from my nightstand with a grin. Relax, you'd said. And you promptly did just that. I hadn't even settled against the tree before your head was in my lap, a hand half caressing my leg. Just a short nap, you whispered, already falling asleep.
Sunlight dappled your hair, highlighting the red and blondes normally not seen, and I fingered a strand that had broken free from the braid. A light breeze scudded, quickly gone. Your nose twitched and your eyelids fluttered briefly. I hesitated to touch you, though I wanted more than a touch. Instead, I let my eyes wrap you up, hold you tight.
My book lay forgotten at my side, as I watched you sleep. I could feel you breathe, and want to be jealous of the air filling your lungs. Inside you, saturating your pores to the very cells of your being, is where I want to be - as you are to me. Where ever I go, whatever I do, you are there even when your presence isn't.
I used to be a one. A solitary figure and preferred it that way. Now, my heart is yours. If you know this, you hide it well. Words we've never exchanged come to mind while you sleep. When it's safe to think them. As the days pass, it becomes more clear, and the understanding of what you've done, what you've given, leaves me in awe.
You stir and shift closer. I've let my hand slide down your cheek, to rest on your arm. By the position of the sun, it dawns on me how long I've sat watching you. I would hold you all night and into the next day if you'd let me. As it is, I have to be content with now.
A year ago, I couldn't have pictured myself like this. In the passing months, it was your touch, your steady presence that caused the walls to come tumbling down. I didn't so much as push people away as I never let them in. But you managed. You were always stealthy like that.
The cough that hasn't quite gone away, wakes you. And you blink sleepily up at me. There's a smile on your face I know no one but me has seen before. Maybe more walls than my own have crumbled. Whatever happened, I'm only grateful that it's me you're with.
As if you knew my thoughts, you rise to your knees, sliding closer yet to me. And I'm suddenly holding a lapful of you. Your chest is against mine, your hands are on my shoulders and your mouth is on mine. Even as I melt into your kiss, I hear your heart beat, matching mine. There is no separation between us. And I no longer want to be the air coursing through your lungs. For the air cannot experience you how I am at this moment. And I do.
I can feel you breathe.