by Aby Normal
Love and Gifting
|“What do you think?”
The question takes you off guard when I utter it from the doorway, and you flinch slightly. I watch as your eyes dart to my face before skimming over the gift I have for you. Your eyebrow quirks, as it does when you find interest in something, but I see quick dismissal pass through your eyes and my heart drops along with my smile. Your eyes dance back up to my face.
“Stunning. You’re beautiful.”
My cheeks burn and I pout, knowing you purposefully disregarded the gift in favor “misunderstanding” my question. Still, I can’t help being a little insecure about the present I’ve brought for you, and that feeling does not ebb away, even as your eyes slide back down to your gift with obvious interest.
“You know good and well that I was talking about your present, dummy.”
I huff out a laugh and you grin and pretend to carefully observe the painting I made, depicting the night sky on the evening we first saw each other face to face. You stay silent so long that I begin sweating under the collar. I see realization dawn in your eyes when you see the caption at the bottom of the painting:
January 13th, 2014”
Your smile becomes brilliant and you beam up at me.
“I love it. And you. So much.”
I breathe out a massive sigh of relief and set the canvas down. I walk over to where you’re sitting on the couch and straddle your lap, taking the opportunity to kiss your cheeks and temple. I drape my arms around your neck and laugh lightly at myself for being so nervous about gifts even after so long. You look at me inquisitively, likely curious about the cause of my laughter.
“I was nervous,” I shrug.
“You always are.”
You kiss my head and hold me close. Later, we hang the painting in the living room, where everyone can see what you apparently like to call a “testament to our love.” We laugh. All is good.