He grabbed my arm, held it firmly, as tears streamed past the fingers wiping them away.
“Please”, he held me close then whispered, “you need to talk to me.”
I wanted to relax into his arms and just let go in the relief and warmth. Yet at the same time, a voiceless fear crept from the emptiness within myself that screams to pull away from him, ‘he will hurt you. He has never loved or will love you. He does not want you like you want him. You cannot trust this man.’ I cried the more I listened to the wails echoing a scarred child embodied as my heart.
“Let’s take it slow” he quietly suggested. I saw a pained look of confusion. He was hurt because I am, ‘yes, this is the man I love’, I thought.
Blushing deeply, I realised this is the first time I cried in front of a man whom meant the world to me. A man whom I never wanted my weaknesses or vulnerabilities to show, ‘an ugliness’ I believed, that would push him away.
He stated most abruptly and I almost protested aloud. his calloused fingers traced my skin waist then downward, distracting me. A slight whimper escaped as I held him a little more closer.
“Don’t be scared” he said as concern clouded his face. Then he held his sigh, “I’m here aren’t I”.
“But it’s you, that’s why…”
“So I we should stop.”
He turned away, avoiding my gaze. Then grabbed his jacket and keys and closed the door behind him. It was empty – it was not just the room.
I ran to him.
“Don’t go. I… We can take it slow, we can… I can… Don’t leave.” I panted.
“No, no, it’s not like that. I, I just needed air. It just hurts me when you doubt me. You tell me your saving it for marriage but it sounds like your telling me I have no chance of being that person.” Frustration built as he continued. “Then, just now you thought I was leaving you because you said no to me. I love you but how dare you think it was because of this.” He grasped my shoulders and stared at me intently.
A pregnant pause.
Then I muttered, “I’m sorry”, in acceptance.
He sighed and tightened his hold, as if the truth might drive me away. Then a small smile graced his face.
“I know you. I know this scares you but I’m not like…” Treading carefully he softly whispered “…those other men, I never tried to hurt you”.
“I know”, as I grasped his fingers “I know and that’s why I’m sorry for doubting you.”