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Love, Sweat and 6 Years

A short story I’m fixing up.

By Jay,when I writePublished 3 months ago 5 min read
3
Love, Sweat and 6 Years
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Hello everyone,

I’ve written this short story years ago, but I want to workshop it some more. I would like your honest feedback. Thank you!

“I love you.” I was trying to keep my head up, and my eyes locked on yours. I guess I was admitting a secret.

This was three years ago, and I dont remember that day as well as you do. Even though I may not remember the rest of the words I stumbled over, and spilled out after that, or what we wore (heck, I barely remember where we were) I do know my light blue shirt turned navy under my arms, and I wished I had worn a hat to protect myself from the sun’s rays. My sweating always made me insecure. I never left the house unless I put on a mountain of deodorant. I never ran or jogged if I wasn’t sure I was going right home, causing me to be late on more than a few occasions because even walking briskly was off the table. I got nervous often...but not as nervous as I was that day.

I knew how you felt though. From you offering me spoonful after spoonful of your meals, from the way you curled into me as we slept, to the way you laughed at my jokes that weren’t funny because you said it was funnier that I thought what I said was actually funny. I knew due to the way your eyes lit up when you saw me walk into the room, and how you’d hug me every day as if we had been separated for years. I knew you loved me because of how you made fun of me about everything, except for the way I sweated. I knew you loved me because I loved you. You loved that I loved you and didn’t need to hear it for you to know, and I knew you loved me, so I loved you more for that...even though you hadn’t uttered the three words either.

So, I shouldn’t have been so nervous.

I had been trying to find the right moment.

Now, three years later, I know there was no “right” moment. I mean, I don’t look back and try to imagine it going any other way, during any other day and time. But, there’s no way to tell if a moment is the right one.

I put some bass in my voice and said it again. “I love you.”

You whispered it back, and I half expected you to say it with more bass in your voice, to make a joke out of how I said it. But you didn’t. And eventually, after thousands of times of you saying it to me, I realized you always whispered it, like some sweet secret.

It used to make my heart jump.

You used to say I made your heart jump.

But we both always felt calm, and comfortable with one another

Three years have gone by so fast. Anniversaries came and went. I was always glad we decided we weren’t the type to celebrate every month. We saved our first anniversary for the six month mark, then the year, then the year and a half, then two years, two and six months…

And here we are at three years.

I’ve calmed down my sweating some. I get less nervous. My confidence skyrocketed, and you’re definitely to thank for that. Practicing presentations in front of you caused me to get a raise, standing my ground during our disagreements caused me to not back down with horrible friends, or bosses. I have more respect for myself, and now everyone else does too.

You’ve made me into a better man in so many ways. I would like to thank you for that.

I love my body. I mean how could I not love it after the woman who stared at me enough times in three years, still somehow gets flustered when I enter our bedroom naked? You’ve spoiled me with compliments made out of words, smiles, and touches (might I add ‘slaps’ since you’re so fond of my ass).

Sometimes, my pride would surrender when you spoke though. I don’t consider myself a “loser” during our disagreements because I always have this realization halfway through that I would much rather be making up with you, and as long as it wasn’t about something I believed in wholeheartedly, with no room to falter on my position, I let it end with the ball in my court and me not hitting it back.

I guess I should start talking about you now though. I mean, I kind of have. I mentioned how good you are at standing up for what you believe in, or how vocal you are. I’ve mentioned how you don’t tell me how you feel about me, but you show it in actions. That’s your love language. Actions...or whatever. I didn’t learn the specific term, I just adapted to it. I noticed how very time I got out of work, you called or texted to ask me how my day was. Then, I’d just sigh, signaling to you it wasn’t something I wanted to dissect. I’d come home to my favorite meals on those days. Mine are words of affirmation, so when you speak kind words, I feel the love more...but I know you mean the same thing when you offer a butt rub or send a spoonful of food my way.

Anyway,

You’re still so beautiful. No, you’re more beautiful now than you were back then. I would've never believed you could possibly upgrade. Had someone told me three years ago that you would, I’d laugh in their face. I promise you that.

And you’re kind. Wait no, that’s not the right word. You’re generous. You’re giving. And loving, and splendid. You’re sweet, and thoughtful. You’re lovely.

Lovely,

You love that word.

I mean every single word in this letter. I truly, truly do.

But, I must admit something I’ve been dodging since I started this.

It kind of bothers me when you try to give me most of your food, as if I don’t have my own to get through.

And lately I’ve been getting kind of sweaty when I’m near you because I know what needs to be said, but can’t find the “perfect” time to say it.

To say...when I look at you, I don’t really feel like the man who said “I love you,” that first time.

In fact, I am only the shadow of him who wants to be set free.

My heart doesn’t jump when you say the words back either.

And I know deep down there’s no right moment to say these things to you. There’s no perfect time to shatter the life we’ve created with each other for three years.

But,

now I’m back home

And my keys are in the door

And now I’m inside

And you’re coming to give me a hug

As if we haven’t just seen each other nine hours ago

“I love you,” you whisper.

“I love you,” I respond. And I wonder if you can tell I’m sweating.

Thanks again! Peace.

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About the Creator

Jay,when I write

Hello.

What?

23, Black, queer, yup

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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  • Kendall Defoe 3 months ago

    Not bad.

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