I know it isn’t right. How I only allow him to dive so deep before stopping him from getting lost in what still has me trapped. For years now, I’ve succeeded in sharing just enough with him. I fear, however, that reign is coming to an end. I’ve watched my husband’s impatience grow like a sickly person watches a lump on their body that they refuse to acknowledge. After seven years of marriage, it’s not that I don’t trust Nicholi. I do. I just don’t want him to bear or feel my pain. And lose him as a result. Even now, I can feel him standing on the other side of the bathroom door. His big brown eyes alert. Brows furrowed with concern. His breathing even. Measured. Composed. He is immovable where he stands. I squeeze the edges of the marble vanity as tightly as I possibly can. The hot towel on my face hasn’t calmed me down much. Frustrated, I cast it aside, giving myself a once-over in the oval-shaped mirror. The heavy bags underneath my eyes say I am I am more than tired.
Nicholi’s tired, too. He hasn’t been sleeping well, and my night terrors have interrupted his slumber for the third time this week. He needs to rest but won’t. Not until I return to him, our bedroom, our bed, and am in his arms. I open the door, locking eyes with his. A glowing moon casts his 6-foot-3-inch frame across our bedroom. The floor creaks as he shifts his 220 pounds from his left to his right foot. He runs his big, sun-kissed hands through his scruffy hair. He’s let it grow out a bit like the younger guys these days—and there are no complaints on my end. The rise and fall of his chest matches mine. We inhale, then exhale long and deep. Nicholi has stayed with me through everything. The trust issues. Mommy and daddy issues. Family issues. Honestly, just all the damn issues and years of therapy and night terrors. Long story short, I haven’t made anything easy for him. For us. Fortunately, he is patient. Willing. And a damned good teacher. When Nicholi came along, I was praying for less chaos and confusion. To have a man genuinely care and love me? It felt as if I was learning a foreign language. All I understood was bullshit, miscommunication, and emotional manipulation.
That was Kent. He was my kryptonite. His lilt wrapped around my body like fine silk. He wouldn’t let anyone hurt me because that was his job, right? But that’s another story for another time. Nicholi was much different from Kent. He was healthy. He could watch me shine and not feel threatened. He reassured me when my anxiety skyrocketed. He affirmed me daily, was thoughtful, and an unselfish and loyal lover. He was present, listened, and knew when to let me take charge. His energy was unmatched. Most important, his actions mirrored his words. I trusted him, which was no small feat. That’s why I’d follow him anywhere: I trust that he will lead me in the right direction.
So, for the first time, I fell in love with the man and not the orgasm. It was refreshing. Mental stimulation. Doting compliments. An eagerness to keep him as satiated as he did me beyond the physical. Time stood still when we were together. We laughed from our bellies. Shared poetry. Freestyled when the spirit moved us. It was a true, consistent vibe. One that I had not experienced before, but also wasn’t even aware that I needed.
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