It’s buying me a coffee and a blueberry muffin with the last few quid you have in your pocket just because you know I’ll really appreciate it for breakfast. It’s buying you a new guitar even though it’s ridiculously expensive and totally out of my price range, just because I know you’ll treasure it forever and tell me it’s the best gift you’ve ever received. It’s putting the kettle on every time I get that text that says, “Honey, I’m on my way home” and spending five minutes furiously stirring your son’s hot chocolate, because he likes it frothy like they make it in the shops and you won’t just buy a milk frother like I keep asking you to.
It’s making a roast dinner with all the trimmings but having it with chicken dippers rather than an actual roast chicken because you forgot the main ingredient for our Sunday feast. It’s laughing it all off as though it doesn’t matter, rolling around in hysterics so much that you can’t stop the pee trickling down your leg.
It’s snuggling up together in bed, pulling the duvet and blankets in close, desperately sheltering each other from the freezing cold temperatures after the builders left a hole in the roof. It’s watching endless shows on Netflix even though we’re bored of them, making the most of a bad situation because the same builders also cut through the wiring that makes the TV work.
It’s sleeping on opposite sides of the bed but still touching fingers in the middle because we can’t bear to be torn apart from each other but it’s too hot to touch. It’s watching the same episode of some TV show three or four times because you fell asleep the first few times we watched it, or you forgot what happened entirely. And it’s doing that without even grumbling for a moment.
It’s three-hour train journeys where you can’t sit down, squashed into the armpit of bald and sweaty middle-aged men, cringing as they laugh and wink at you in that super creepy way they do. It’s excitement building throughout the torture of it all, caring about that lecherous pig but not caring at the same time, the butterflies of seeing you all over again outweighing any shitty journey that could come in the meantime.
It’s packing everything you own into the back of a transit van, along with your doubts, and moving across the river to the “other side” even though you’ve made similar mistakes before. It’s leaving everything you once loved behind, looking back slightly nostalgically, yet still being one hundred and ten percent excited for what might be coming next.
It’s doing the dishes after you and picking up your pants and laughing when you leave that empty toilet roll tube in the bathroom even though I literally just reminded you to throw it in the trash. It’s making sure that you know that I love you every day, every time I see that twinge of doubt across your face. It’s making sure you know that I’m here, I’ve got your back, I’m holding your hand. It doesn’t matter what happens, I’ll be there.
It’s making you feel loved even when you think the rest of the world is against you. It’s making you feel special when you don’t think you’re special in the slightest, and when you think you don’t deserve the special treatment. It’s smiling at you other across a crowded restaurant and instantly knowing what you’re thinking, just from a look. It’s being able to sit in your hoodie and scruffy sweatpants for two days, barely moving from the couch, working away on a laptop without feeling judged. It’s all the cups of tea that aren’t asked for, and all the ones that are, and getting up off the couch every time I say, “baby,” because you know I’m going to want you to pass me something. It’s never complaining about it once because you know how frustrated I get when I disrupt the carefully-placed pages torn from my notebook scattered around me as though they have no order at all.
It’s never looking through messages on a phone even when you have the chance to do it. It’s you never walking behind me while I’m sat at the table working because you know it makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s accepting me for all the little flaws I have, and more than that: it’s missing those little flaws when they’re not there. It’s longing for annoying fingers poked up your nose or shoved in your belly button. Childish stuff, but still moments that only the two of us share. It’s pining for the feeling of your arms wrapped around me, and hating the size of a big bed without you in it.
It’s writing you a list to go to the shops even when you say you won’t need it, and always making sure I’ve got spare money in the bank just in case you forget another bill. It’s you trekking between four different shops in the middle of the night because I always have a certain brand of tea bags and you know I’ll go nuts if I can’t have a cup of tea in the morning.
It’s sharing everything I have with you, everything I feel with you, and making sure you know that you can share everything with me too. The farts, the smelly armpits, the weird spots that we seem to find ourselves with, in really unsavoury places. It’s performing open-butt surgery at three in the morning, using an ice cube as the anaesthetic and a sewing needle as a surgical instrument.
It’s being there every time you feel scared. Every time I need to go to the doctor. Every time you forget something. Every time I can’t face a bumblebee. Every time we worry there are ghosts in the house.
What is love?
Love is all of those things for me. Just in case you ever forget ❤️