Till death do us part.
I fear that sentence.
But they will tell you that I fear commitment. Like commitment is something to be fearful of. She even said it. My girlfriend, Anna, I mean.
Beautiful as hell. Sexy as fuck. We’ve been dating for three years according to me. A million and five years, three thousand months and six hundred days according to Anna. But basically, just for three years.
Today, she pretended that she was making me breakfast for no particular reason other than the fact that I am awesome and because I rocked her world last night. Her words, not mine. Now, don’t you go imagining that I don’t rock her world every other night because I do. I’m a man of manners. So I don’t blow my trumpet like that. At least not when she can do it. On second thought, I think I’m a mannerless man.
I say she pretended to shower me with pancake-laced love because her true intention was to interrogate me about our supposed future. I can always smell this conversation from a mile away. As I poured syrup on my pancakes I realized that I was the syrup for this unsavory conversation. We were just about to delve into the “Where is this relationship going” conversation.
I would have given anything to anyone who would offer to walk into our kitchen and stab me right here, in the middle of my ribcage.
In between bites of pancakes, I reminded myself to be calm, and kind, and as honest as I could. The idea was not to hurt her feelings. This was after all, not the first time I was having this conversation with a girlfriend. Here goes nothing.
“Seriously? Has it been that long?” I said. Shocked to the bone. This question was in response to her, “Babe, do you realize that we’ve been dating for three years now?” I took another bite of pancake, closed my eyes and moaned as I chewed it. Damn it, this woman could cook.
Forgive my oversight. I only mentioned that she was beautiful and sexy. I forgot to mention her cooking. She does it well. No. That’s an understatement so let me remedy that. If Chef Ramsay were ever to taste her food, his British brains would be blown off.
The conversation wasn’t ending soon. I think I said something to the effect that, “These have been very good years for me. I don’t know about you, darling, but I’m so glad you’re in my life.” To which I think she made a sound that went something like, “Aaah.” Then she was like, “That’s so sweet, baibe. What a sweet thing to say!” And I let go of my fork, stretched my hand and held hers. I looked into her eyes. And with the sincerest look and tone of voice I could master, while caressing the back of her hand with my thumb, I said, “I mean it, Anna.” Forget the naughty pun I made previously. I’m an award-deserving man with manners, damn it!
When I was sure that the special moment had stretched for long enough, I picked up my fork and continued eating.
“So why haven’t you put a ring on it?” I looked up to confirm that those words had indeed left her mouth. I thought we were good for now. I mean, I had said my lines well and I had meant them and I thought she had believed that I meant them. Other girls before her had not been that blunt. They had started with, “I was thinking, baibe.” And I had looked at them with a smile and a touch on the arm, of course expecting what was to come. “Yes, sugar.” They would look down as if it pained them to have this conversation but they had to have it anyway. So they would continue, “I was just thinking. You know, maybe, it’s time I introduced you to my family. Maybe we should drive down to shags this weekend, you know, say hello to my folks? You know, so that you at least get to know my family. You know, that sort of thing?” I would always pretend to think about it for a minute before saying, “I honestly don’t see why not. Sure. Let’s do it.” Most times they would add that they didn’t want to make me feel pressured or anything. To which I would respond, “No, no, no. Don’t be silly. I think it’s time anyway. How long have we been dating, one and a half years? Two years? Are you serious right now? Well, look at that! We should have done this already!” They would mostly give me a hug or a peck on the cheek or others – was it Jane? No, I think it was Angel – would just slide their tongue inside my mouth while sliding their hand inside my pants. And I wouldn’t complain. I wouldn’t complain at all.
After this conversation, I would get so busy with work or some unforeseen but very important commitment or something or other for say, three or four weeks. Then one evening, they would just come back from work to an empty house.
Anna was different. She didn’t beat around the bush and that caught me slightly off guard. Was I expecting to have this conversation with her someday? Of course, I was. Did I expect her to go straight and ask for a ring? Not in my wildest dreams. Because to add to her bluntness, she felt the need to wave her hand a la Beyonce for me to see that it was missing a ring. I took a second to compose myself. Then I placed my hand back on top of hers and started the caressing all over again. I can do this. I know the script. I reassured her that that finger would have a ring sooner than she expected.
Me? Fear commitment? Pssch. Whyever would anyone think that?!
I actually did like Anna. I was sad that our time together was over. Even though I didn’t cheat on her in the three years that we’d been together, there was nothing I could do. When it was over, it was over. And I fear that sentence. Till death do us part is too much to ask of a human being. I was, after all, only human.
Don’t go judging me. I’m only trying to live this life the best way I can. As honestly as I can.
So can I ever love another woman as I love you, Anna? Yes.
More than I love you? Yes.
Would I ever want to leave you for another woman? At some point, I very strongly think so.
Do I find other women more attractive than you? Millions, darling. And in many different ways.
So why should I stand before a priest and lie? Most importantly, how dare you ask that I stand before a priest and declare to love you or die?