As I sit here, writing this letter by the light of a single candle, you sleep. My thoughts are flooded with memories of the many nights I've held you while you slumbered. The feel of your nipples pressing into my back, my hand cupping your breast, your lush backside pressed against my middle; all of these permeate my thoughts. I can almost hear your deep, rhythmic breathing as you rest in my protective embrace.
I've never told you, but these are the moments I cherish. There's something very unique about the silent exchange between us as you give yourself to sleep, as you give yourself to me. There's the initial sexual tension as my fingers begin tracing abstract patterns across your back. Will it, or won't it blossom into another one of our fantastic love-making sessions? I know you're thinking it, and I know you can feel that very question in my fingertips of your neck.
I love the transition from this stage of wonder to the smooth deceleration of your breathing. I feel the tension and poise leave your muscles at the bidding of my naked form curling tightly around you. I know not where your tension goes, nor do I care. I only know that I live for the moment your last worry falls away and you release yourself into my care. Safety, warmth and love surround you as I silently guard my most precious possession in the dark confines of our bedroom.
Sometimes I prop myself up on an elbow and stare through the night in the direction of your face. With intimate slowness, my eyes adjust to the darkness until I can make out the profile of your beautiful face against the pillow. There are no worry lines, no expressions, and no freckles right now. Only the basic silhouette of the woman I love, faintly lit by the moon through our window.
Even through the darkness and your lifeless expression, in my mind's eye, I can see your smile. I hear your laughter. I taste your tears. The worries you expressed the day before run through my head as if a tape on playback. I see your secret wink of lusty promise just as it was given last night at the supper table, though you lie before me as still as a statue. As you sleep, sweet woman, I hear you say, "I love you."
At some point my heart swells to the point of bursting. I know I must retire, or I will be overcome with love for you and have very little power to resist the urge to kiss you awake and convey my feelings with my body atop yours. Gently resting my head on the pillow behind yours, I bury my nose into your hair, close my eyes and breathe deeply of you. No one else in the world has your exact scent and I exhale one last time before falling asleep.
I sat down to write because you are all I can think about when the sun has gone down and the house grows quiet. I could do a great many other things with this time, but my heart wouldn't be in any of them. I fight a great conundrum this night and every night, but until we are together again I know it will be so. I could go to bed on time and lie awake for hours, fighting the urge to call you, telling myself you're secure, and generally aching for you with every ounce of my being. Or I can remain awake, busying myself with menial tasks until my eyes burn and sleep will come the moment my head hits the pillow.
It's no secret to you what my choice is. Staying awake until the wee hours of the morning has many disadvantages, but somehow it's preferable to lying awake and longing for you in the dark. So here I sit, needing to feel your soft skin beneath my fingertips. No doubt, you're sleeping soundly and have been for hours. I wonder if you're curled up around a pillow. Are you dreaming? What are the images dancing in your head, my love?
It's these quiet moments, alone in the dark, that I realize the depths of my loneliness and yet, I do not feel sad. I know that if it weren't for the intensity of my love for you, I wouldn't long for you the way I do. I sometimes think it's odd that I can acknowledge how lonely I feel but still be able to smile. Even on the nights that I feel like crying instead of smiling, I'm so grateful to have you in my life that the tears are forbidden to fall. I should probably go to bed now, give in to the itchy burn that plagues my eyes, the ache in my neck and the dull throb in my head, but I won't. I won't run from the curiosity. Not tonight.
Tonight I can do nothing but wonder if you have even the slightest clue about how much I need you. Is it possible that you have any understanding about the changes you've inspired in me? I ache a little more at this because it begs the question; have I done everything in my power to convey to you just how much you mean to me? Sure, I've told you I love you with all my heart and tried to explain just how happy I am, but without telling you of the changes in me, I don't think you can fully grasp your importance.
Before you, I was lost. My days were more of a formality than a gift, and I was questioning many of the core elements that are me. A lifelong optimist, I had begun to question hope. In case you don't know, that was a very dark and seemingly dangerous place for me to be. The desire to sleep through the day so I could avoid the countless questions swirling in my brain was strong. I was ashamed of my inability to trudge through the down spell while maintaining my life with a smile as I had always done. Again, the only word to describe it all is 'lost'.
Getting to know you as a friend was a new bright spot in my days. I woke up looking forward to corresponding with you, learning more about the woman behind the internet nickname. I found myself doing silly things like leaving my computer on all day with the sound turned all the way up so I wouldn't miss the new message alert, wouldn't miss anything you had to say. I've tried to figure out just what it was about you that intrigued me so, but the only word that comes to mind is magnetism.
The decision to go to you involved very little choice. I simply had to be with you, had to know why the pull was so strong. Magnetism doesn't really even come close to describing the irresistibility of your pull, but I will never forget the insanity of our coming together. Against all odds, across an incredible number of miles and without any guarantees, I found the answer to some of the most important questions I had. You still shake your head in disbelief, so I will attempt to explain it to you now.
There is a light burning inside you, baby. Strangers see it in your smile and walk away smiling as well, having forgotten what they were scowling about only moments before. Children hear it in your laughter and gravitate toward you, noticing themselves in their shadow for the first time, in the wake of your incredible light. Acquaintances bask in it, finding comfort in your refusal to judge as they divulge their most guarded secrets. Everyone that comes in contact with you can see it. Those that do not walk away better for it are few and have only themselves to blame for their envy and fear of such a gift. The point is, though, that you embody something that cannot be bought or created and will therefore always be special.
I can't help but feel that of all the people touched by your light, I am the most fortunate. I have basked in your warmth as would a cat sleeping in the sun's rays. Your smile has stolen my breath more efficiently than the most beautiful of sunrises. Your glow has brought relief as sure as finding the porch light on, upon arriving home from a long journey. Your light, your heat, your very being has been guiding me all my life. In your presence, I have become the person I was meant to be. In your eyes, I shine. In your arms, I am home.
Without you tonight, I ache. I long to touch your face, long for the opportunity to return the joy and happiness you've brought to my life. This letter marks the beginning of my quest to illustrate just how precious you are to me. These lonely nights will not build upon one another and threaten the integrity of the foundation of our love. I will not allow it. Every night I am unable to peer through the darkness and see your sleeping face will be used for good. I will reach through these lonely shadows and touch you in the only way I know how. If it takes a squillion more nights, I pray that every letter you receive gives you another tiny glimpse of the love I feel for you.
One last thing…
This paper between your fingers is proof of my belief in our future. These words before your eyes are a glimpse into my soul. The look on your face right this moment is what I live for.
Close your eyes, baby. Press this letter to your breast and remember the nights I have held you. Feel the heat of my body, the strength of my arms, the steady beating of my heart and know…
Know that no matter where you are, I am there. You may open your eyes, glance about you and realize that you cannot see me, but do not be fooled. I am there. Close your eyes and look again, my love, this time with your heart.