I hate the phone call I just had. It was brief, but painful, another issue with a family member that is an ongoing problem. It's such a problem, that I'm not allowed to call this person without asking permission first because Jason prefers to be with me when I call. He's protective like that, and I love that he is.
But I had permission. I just needed to ask her a quick question. I was going about my day, doing what I had to do, and I picked up the phone and called. It was just a simple question. And just like that, a few sentences later, I'm hurt, the severity of the words she had for me dredging up my own struggles of rejection, reminders of my past, and the hurt that will just keep on hurting.
“I wish I could heal from this,” I say to my friend later that day. “I just wish the wounds would scar already.”
“How could they?” she said, “When they keep reopening?”
Jason is at work, and occupied. I send him a text and he gives me all he can in the moment, “I'm sorry, baby.”
My sister is waiting for me to call her. I take a breath, take my phone to a private place, where my kids can't hear me, and without planning to, I spill my guts to my sister. I cry. I apologize that I'm a weeping mess, as I'm helpless to hold it in any longer and I break down. “Let it out,” she says. She knows. I don't have to explain a thing. She's right there in this with me. After I cry, and tell her, “God, I miss dad,” and we cry together on the phone, remembering the way his voice would welcome us, and I remember with tear-filled clarity the day he told me how proud I made him.
But after I text my friend, and talk to my sister, the pain is dulled but I'm still aching inside.
I need Jason.
“What would you do if you didn't have him?” I ask myself, the ever-present question that plagues me, the struggle I have in building this life together, this daily, constant, pulsing, symbiotic relationship in which we both meet one another's needs so fully.
I crave him. His husky, “Morning, gorgeous,” when I bring him his morning coffee. “C'mere,” he says, sleep-drugged whispered in the darkness of our bedroom, pulling me close, his hands in my hair, pulling my head down to his chest, still warm from sleep, as his whiskery kiss flutters on my forehead. “I need to feel you,” he says. He wants me near when he wakes.
I crave our morning routine, when he's dressed in crisp work clothes, me on my knees before him as he goes over my day ahead, approves of my list and orders my plan of the day, reminds me of my obedience to him, and pulls me over his lap to remind me of my place as his submissive, ending with the solid reminder of who I belong to when he snaps my bracelet on my wrist.
I crave his texts throughout the day, our evening check-in, his voice on the phone, the way he randomly sings eighties rock tunes when we drive in the car, and cranks them up, playfully smacking my fingers if I go to change the station (which I do just to annoy him, not because I don't like his music.)
I crave his sternness. The look he gives me when he wants to know I'm paying attention. The firm, “Time for bed, little girl,” I get when I want just one more minute of reading before bed, and he points to the bedside table for my phone to go down for the night. Yes, even the way he opens his desk drawer and removes his favored implement, the quiet but oh-so-effective rod he wields expertly to keep me in place, teach me to obey, ease my stress, and remind me who I belong to every time I sit down.
But right now, I just want him. Right now, I need him.
I do what I need to do, stay focused, and remind myself that yes, if he wasn't here anymore, I'd be okay. I'd manage. But today, I do have him. Today, he's coming home to me.
And he does. He holds my hand as he listens to the kids and does what he needs to do. He sings his eighties rock. He hands me a little piece of chocolate he's picked up for me at work and I practically squeal like a little girl. And when he's done what he needs to do, he calls me upstairs.
“Come here,” he orders. I go to him and kneel and bury my head on his chest. He pulls me in. “You need this,” he said. “Before we do anything else tonight, I know you need this.” I nod. And I don't say much. I don't shed the tears I did earlier, because I don't need to now. I tell him in very few words I'm hurting, and he says he understands. He tells me tonight we'll spend some time alone, and reminds me of the very very fun time we had the night before. I giggle, shy but pleased to share the memory with him.
And then he's asking me if there's anything I need to tell him. Any rules broken? Did my list get done? Did I focus on what I was supposed to do? I did focus, I did get it done, and he pulls me in with the coveted “good girl” as my reward. And this is how he does it, how he's giving me what I need. The support that I crave. The understanding and comfort. The reminder of my role and his, the ever-present authority over me that comforts. The intimacy and companionship.
We go about our evening. As I type this, preparing to edit and publish in the morning, he's with our children in another room. They're finishing their movie, and then we'll have our bedtime routines. But when the quiet has settled, he'll call me to him. He's already said he will. He will lay down in bed and pull me up on his chest. I'll rest in the knowledge that it's all okay. That the world will rail against me, and hurt will bring me down. The days will be long, and some days will be hard. But he's got me. I'm precious to him. He loves me, and I am his.