When I drive, or when he drives, he holds my pinkie finger with his while our hands rest on the gear shift. (Why we both drive with our hands there is beyond me seeing as how we both drive automatics, lol.) He says my name differently than he says everything else and he came up with hands down the cutest nickname I’ve ever had. I told him that I didn’t know he did it but I love when he watches me sleep. When I’m half awake and I feel him watching me, it makes me feel cherished. He lets me watch what I wanna watch on tv. When we’re in his car and I absentmindedly touch his buttons on his radio, he doesn’t slap my hand away, although I know it’s a cardinal Man Sin to let any woman who touches your radio go unpunished, lol. He asks me about my day. Not everyday, just enough for me to know that he really wants to know, not because it’s routine. I’m the first person he talks to when he wakes up and the last one he talks to before he goes to sleep. He lets me know when he’s thinking about me. He asks me how Joy is doing because he loves her. He gets upset when I tell him he can’t meet my daddy. He offered to teach me how to fish just because I said I wanted to try it. He makes me slow down and act my age. He reminds me not to think so damn much. He started a list of all the things we need to do together so he wouldn’t forget. (Football games, fixing me BBQ with his grandaddy’s secret recipe.) He held me while I cried over another man. When I tell him about things he does that bother me, he makes an effort to ammend them. He plays in my hair when I can’t sleep. He makes me feel valuable. He does other things to me to put me to sleep when I can’t get to sleep after playing in my hair doesn’t work, lol. He makes an effort to talk to me and tell me what he’s thinking, even though he’s not all that good at it. If any person on this earth caused me any kind of harm, I know God himself would have to part the clouds and come down just to keep him from doing something that would cause us to be fugitives for forever. He makes me feel safe and protected. When I’m sick, he feels bad when he’s not around to take care of me. When I’m happy, his whole face lights up at just seeing me content. When I shut down on him, he knows when to call me on it and when to let it ride.

He tells racist jokes. Which are, like, the best kind. He loves children and one day I hope I’m lucky enough to watch him while he teaches his kids the finer points of football. (Both genders. Our kids would have no choice but to be sports fanatics.) He remembers tiny little things I mention off hand. He admits when he’s wrong. He plays the Favorites Game with me when I’ve had a bad day. He tells me I’m cute when I complain. He doesn’t judge me. He doesn’t try to change me but he doesn’t flinch at telling my my faults either. He thinks I’m pretty first thing in the morning even when I’m hungover or sick, lol. He’s honest. Even when it’s gonna hurt, he’s honest with me. And that’s all I ever wanted anyway.

He’s talented. So talented that sometimes I have to step back and remind myself that he’s a tangible person sitting in front of me. He’s loyal. He’s kind, though he’d never admit it. He’s so intelligent that he even startles me with his insights sometimes. He tells me I’m full of shit. He offers to help me even though he knows I probably won’t accept. And he doesn’t get mad at me for it. (All the time.)

He tells me I’m beautiful. He gives me strange compliments. Not strange in an uncomfotable way, but moreso in a no-one-ever-bothered-to-notice-that kinda way. He gets angry with me but we never fight just to be mean. We always argue to a resolution. And then it’s done. He rubs my feet when we’re sitting on the couch. He wakes up with me when I have to go to work early in the morning even though I won’t do it for him. (He understand I’m not a morning person, lol) He sends me cute messages for no reason. Not typical sweet stuff, but things that are very us. We have our own way of talking. He showers me with attention. He sends me pictures of himself for no reason. He tells me he misses me and wishes I was a part of whatever he’s doing at that particular moment. He makes me feel important. When he tells me he loves me, he’s lethally serious and wouldn’t never tell me he didn’t even jokingly. When we shower together, he never makes me stand out of the water in the cold. He gave me my own side of the bed. He thinks it’s cute when I get jealous of the groupies that are drawn to him. Somehow he makes me check in without making me feel like I’m being clocked. When I get a little neurotic, he lets me be crazy for a second. And then he helps me not to be. He’s blunt and to the point. No bullshit, no sugar coating. We have random conversations about nothing that can last easily til 5am. We still have honeymoon sex. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. On the rare occassions that I do get brave enough to mention the future I envision for us, he never turns away. He handles me with care. When I do something I shouldn’t, he gives me the chance to explain myself rather than jumping to conclusions which I can admit I don’t always do for him. He makes me a priority. And he makes us a priority.

He gets jealous of other men and threatens to shake me like a yoohoo even though I know deep down he knows he’s got me. Crazy is kinda cute on him. He compliments my hair. He works hard to make sure I’m included in his future. He tells me when he smells someone who wears my perfume and it drives him crazy. He calls me for no reason, but usually not without asking if it’s ok first which is ceaselessly cute to me. He keeps my ass in line (which is no small feat.) He never gives me advice unless I ask for it, and even then he lets me know that he’s behind me no matter what. He won’t let me push him away. He encourages me to be me. He sends me freaky text messages while I’m at work that make me squirm. He says I love you first. He offered to hang out with my little brother so he could have someone to talk to and look up to.

I like how he holds the sides of my face when he kisses me. I like how he reaches out for me in the middle of the night if some part of me, no matter how small, isn’t touching him. I like the way he teases Joy. I love the way he walks, that southern swagger obvious to everyone in a 10 mile radius. I like the sound of his laughter. I like his long island ice teas. I like the kinda man he is. I like the plans he has for his life, even when they’re still abstract. I like the little voice that he does when he’s telling me something sappy and sweet. I like the way he does the things that we do when we’re doing the do. I like the way he does the things we do when we’re not doing the do. (Lol) I like the tattoo on his shoulder and when he wears red. I like when he gets extra excited about something and gets so damn country I have no idea what he’s talking about. I like how he laughs at me when I trip over things. I like catching him looking at my ass when we walk. I like the way he dances. I know that even though he has a bad temper, he’d never raise a hand to me. I like the way his lips move when he talks. I like how he looks in a suit. I like how he talks to me and not at me. I like that he won’t allow anyone to disrespect me. I like that when I tell him I need him to be a little more gentle with me when I’m hurting, he is. I love the sound of his voice. I like wearing his shirts to sleep. I like that he still holds me, even when his boys are around. I like that he’s patient with me even when I can barely stand myself. I like the fact that even when he doesn’t understand, he always tries. And when he can’t, he can at the very least respect the way I feel.

I’ve always wanted to be happy with you. I don’t always know how, but that’s always what I want. Don’t ever doubt that. I think you’re right, I think we’ve matured together. I look at the things we said and did a year ago and I can’t believe it’s us because we wouldn’t even dream of doing half of it now. We’ve grown up together, in just this short time, and I think we’ve proven that we can grow together, still compliment each other through changes. I feel like we’re building something solid. I know I’m not the easiest person to get to know, to get to love. But it’s a journey. And I’m willing to take it if you are.

So, you wanna take this walk with me?

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