what she saw in his eyes
october lies (august 29, 2008, 3:46am)

"she only knew what he told her, what she saw in his eyes"
a friend.

The first time she was sick, he never left her side. At day, he felt her cheeks and smiled for her–held back her hair in the bathroom, watched as she vomited everything as if it were poisoned, evil, killing her from the inside. He held her shaking–freezing–numb hands, wiped away all the burning tears. He did his best to rid her of the fires in her throat, the ache all over he body.

He kissed her nose, her forehead, each of her fingertips, and tried so hard to make her smile but not laugh; tried so hard to keep her happy but not overwhelmed. "I love you," he reminded her, staring straight into her eyes, as if it would be the last thing she'd ever hear. And when she opened her mouth to speak but didn't (couldn't) say anything at all, he knew that she loved him, too; he knew she no longer needed to say it, and just nodded, "I know," and kissed her nose, her forehead, each of her fingertips.

At night, he pressed her back to his chest and his arms folded over her own, trying his best to cool her down. Against his own skin, she was hot to the touch, overcome with fever. He cupped her hands in his, his lips on her shoulder and face buried in the crook of her burning neck.

They laid for hours as her skin cooled down, close to matching his. He remembered when she always used to curl up to him while asleep, drawn to the warmth of his body; when she used hug his arm, cold. At night, when overheated, he remembered, he used to find her body and pull it close, her skin feeling like ice, slippery smooth and sinfully sweet.

He wondered if she could hear his unsure, worried breathing; if she was awake to feel him bury his face further and further into her neck, trying to get closer to her and bring her back to him. Trying to get closer to save her, as silly as it sounded. That's what he felt she needed, saving. Rescuing. Spared from more sickness, pain, from being so miserable. Salvation.

His hand rose in time with his head, the fingertips brushing against her forehead, pushing back her hair. Her skin was still heavy with oil and sweat and her eyebrows still furrowed unhappily. He could see that her face was oily, unwashed for two days, and that her dusty brown hair was clinging to itself, curling. She was still in the night-clothes she put on the two nights before–the korn shirt, that fell well past her knees, he'd given her when he first fell in love with her and a pair of pajama shorts. Yet still, he believed, he knew, she was beautiful, and always would be.

God, he loved when she wore his shirts or shorts. She was so small, so tiny, that they all swallowed her and made her seem even more frail than she already was. The shirts that were just the right size on him–with the hem ending just under the belt–were nothing but adorable on her, reaching to her knees. She was petite, frail, fragile, tiny, and all his to adore; a full foot shorter than him, she always looked up at him with the most beautiful face he had ever seen.

He wondered if she knew, if she could see, all the love he felt for her. He wondered if with each touch, she could feel the love pulsing for her under his fingertips, passing from his lips onto her skin, promising forever and a day and more. He wondered if she really knew how much he loved her, how much he needed her and wanted her, only her - but he already knew the answer. Because, of course, she couldn't even fathom when he couldn't even think of any possible way to express it all, tell her just how much he loved her–how could he, when "I love you" seemed like nothing compared to what he felt deep in his heart?

What she saw in his eyes was nothing less than complete adoration, complete affection, nothing short of pure obsession, pure devotion, and she knew, oh, she knew. She just knew. Everything she would ever need was already hers, from his nose, to his forehead, to each of his fingertips.

Keep in mind that when I say obsession, I don't mean it in the unhealthy way. I mean it in the "holy-shit-i-love-you-so-much" sort of way.