I popped the cork on the bottle as silently as I could and filled a pint glass with cheap champagne. Gulping Cook’s is next level suffering and combined with a fever it’s a miracle I didn’t just die on the spot.
With his tea on the stove, soup stock simmering and a pint of Cook’s going down (painfully) quickly, I faced the task at hand. I had to take all the things up to him. Up to his bedroom. To his bed. That bed that fills every sleepless night since he burned himself into my skin.
I texted my best friend for moral support.
J- I swear I’m having an out of body experience, so I’m telling you. Chugging some Cook’s so I have the balls to walk upstairs to his bedroom. Christ on the cross, I may have an anxiety attack.
F- Is he that sick?
I filled my hands with tea, Emergen-C, crackers, water and an ice pack… while my stomach flip-flopped with nerves and bubbles.
The sight hit me hard. I said a silent prayer begging God to reconsider and let me have this one wish. He’s sleepy silent and I’m so turned on I could die. I stood at the edge of his bed like a shoplifter surveying a case of unlocked diamonds.
I’d taken my own temperature at home and was 103* and a little delirious. He felt hot to touch and his eyes looked foggy.
His hand on my shoulder blade felt white hot. I always brace for the shock his hands cause, but the physical burn was new.
I was worried sick and climbed in to hold him, instinctively. I rubbed his back and put the ice pack on the back of his neck to cool him down. He got mad and took it from me. I begged him to take his sweatshirt off and he glared at me and rolled his eyes.
J- Alright fine, don’t.
and he sat up, glared at me and said
I- I’m too hot. It’s too hot in here.
Finally, we were on the same page.
I made him enough to soup to keep him alive and left, quietly.
I agreed to lunch with him today, purely because I have CrossFit again tomorrow and I might die. Also because I miss him and I’m a glutton for punishment.
I love walking in after him and watching his face gauge my mood. I love and hate how well he can read me.
I- Uh oh, are you really going to pout?
J- I am not pouting.
Yes, I am indeed pouting. He hurt my feelings and I want an apology.
I- Let’s hear it. What’s wrong?
J- NOTHING is wronggggg…
I- How’d I get weird? Let’s talk about this.
Eeeeek, I do not want to have that conversation. Nope. I try to salvage my argument that nothing is wrong and I’m peachy, but he knows me too well and is like a dog with a bone when he realizes he’s on to something.
J- No thank you.
I- Thank you for the soup, it was delicious.
I frowned. He raised one eyebrow… then two.
I- You and the soup. Do you realize you’ve gotten really mad at me three times, all over soup. That’s what this is about, isn’t it? First it was the husband soup, then vegetable beef and now chicken noodle. What is it with you and soup? You know I don’t like soup.
I love him so much in this moment that I just have to sit silently in those feelings. I don’t trust myself to speak.
I- It IS the soup. That’s why you left?
It is not the soup.
I SO don’t want to have this conversation. I can feel tears stinging my eyes as my vision swims underneath them. I refuse to discuss him not wanting me, again. I will not cry in front of him about this for the umpteenth time.
and then he smiles… and the clouds part… the heavens open up and I forget why I was ever anything less than stupid in love with him.
J- Would it kill you to eat the fucking soup? Would it KILL you?
Let him think it’s about the soup. Apparently I have a few other times as well. It’s his refusal to fall madly in love with me in return.
I have pulled out all the soup stops.
Husband soup, y’all. HUSBAND soup. Gay men have proposed to me over a bowl and he’s immune. My vegetable beef soup is a bonafide blue ribbon winner and I’ve had exes beg for my chicken noodle soup recipe.
Try as I might, I just can’t win with the man I want to win most.
and I can’t help but pout about that.