It’s still just cold enough outside that keeping a fire burning in the sitting room of my mind makes sense. It’s a familiar place once more. Just as much mine as yours. There is a glass of wine perched next to me. I have a book cradled in my lap, and my feet are tucked into yours. You’ve got an absent minded, thoughtful look on your face that I wouldn’t dare wipe away by inquiring after it.
“I have a theory,” I say, letting your thoughtfulness invade my mind until I can’t help but speak up. You turn to me, and I see the fire reflected in your eyes. “I don’t think I could trust you nearly as much as I do, had you not broken that trust as often as you have. Isn’t the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard?” And I laugh, because I can see you searching, staring me down in an effort to seek out the fire you assume must be burning in my eyes. But while the comment comes from a place of leftover anger and even resentment, I am not trying to be cruel.
It is a queer thought and circumstance to find myself in, believe me. But the feeling stands. You look sad, and I feel badly for causing it. We are both painfully aware of the things we’ve visited upon each other, and are well past making excuses or apologies for them, but they lie there – all the time – dormant and waiting for the moment when they can rear up and remind us of the pain they inflicted.
I get up to tend the fire, an obvious distraction but a welcome one, nonetheless. “It just feels hard to reconcile sometimes, when I let myself dwell on it too long. I trust you implicitly. And how can I say that with a straight face and no hint of irony?! It seems impossible…” And then suddenly you’re there, with your arm around my waist, incapacitating my attempts to distract myself.
The flames are dancing merrily and I’m sure the temperature in the sitting room has risen considerably in direct relation to the closeness of your body. “There’s so much I don’t know, or understand…” you say into my ear, voice barely above a whisper and heavy with the pain of your losses and my confusion. I can feel your desire to say something more in every inch of your body, channeling itself into the fingertips that barely graze my skin. But then I feel everything in you deflate slightly as you shrug, “But I do know that at this exact moment, it’s comfortable here. Don’t you think that, for now, it will do?”
I smile sadly and turn into you, my hand coming up to rest against your cheek. It will do.