March 16, 2002--Revised March 2011
Don’t think too much. A kiss is after all, just a kiss. I sigh as the road stretches out before me. Kori is driving, chatting incessantly about work and how excited she is that we are going to get our nails done on Friday. I am looking out the window thinking about how hard I am trying not to think. The miles pass away and the sun gives way to the clouds that are now over taking the sky. As the sky grows darker the tiny flakes of snow become more apparent as they hit the windshield of the car, dissolving into transparent beads of water. Every moment of last night clings to my memory, and a wave washes over me with every replayed second. I should have walked away when he closed the door behind me, when my heartbeats were still steady and even, but something drew me back. Something just wouldn’t let me say goodbye.
I rest my head on my arm, still trying to catch my breath. I never seem to learn that antagonizing him only results in a wrestling match I can never seem to win. But I guess in truth it’s a lesson that I don’t want to learn, a cause and effect that keeps us communicating when words no longer seem to make sense. My eyes were closed as he ran his fingers through my hair, tucking the strands gently behind my ear. With every touch, every brush of his hand against my cheek our history is writing its future. I looked into his eyes and I knew his heart was connecting to mine slowly, subtly, unavoidably, and-- unwillingly. I reached up and, for the first time, touched him honestly. I grazed his cheek with the palm of my hand, my feelings finally finding their voice, finally finding a way to speak to him with the genuineness I had been denying.
The relationship between men and women is a pyramid. The base of the pyramid is friendship, and the ascending layers include building blocks such as understanding and respect. At the very top is what we term “a glittering little mystery called romance.” If one tries to stand the pyramid on its point, expecting romance to hold everything else up, the pyramid will fall. –Bruce C. Hafen
It is dark now. The light from the kitchen is mingling with the glow of the T.V. Kori is resting on my left, half asleep, half watching the movie that has been playing for the last hour. I feel peace in this house, in this place nestled so quietly on the edge of the wilderness. My head feels clear here where it’s simple, where it is silent from my man made complications. We drove past the Temple when we arrived in Monticello. It is small and sits next door to the chapel. Across the street is a beautiful California style house. Vern, Brother Lyman’s best friend owns it. He just recently married his second wife in that Temple as their children looked on through the big picture windows in the living room, waiting for them to come out. I think about this small town and the lives that occupy it. The modest houses that dot the streets tell tales of domestic life—a life I will someday have; a life that will probably not have room in it for the memory of this day, of this solitary moment on a couch in a room with white walls. I wonder about last night, about knocking on his door after I heard the sound of it locking behind me, and the way I feel into his arms not ready to let go. I wonder about what ran through his mind as my head rested against his, as he tucked my hair behind my ears again, brushing his thumb against my cheek. I wonder what held him back from kissing me, and what it was that finally let his lips find their way to mine. This could make things more complicated he whispered. But we both knew they already were.
We can know if a relationship is good by judging its fruits. Is the friendship deepening as the partners share and develop mutual interests, desires, goals, and values? The Doctrine and Covenants (88:40) describes a successful relationship: “Intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom recieveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virture loveth virture; light cleaveth unto light.” –John D. Claybaugh
The clock on the wall ticks methodically as I feel myself growing tired. Kori is curled up next to me asleep, every so often moving her feet under the blanket. I hear his voice in the quiet of the house telling me to relax, and for the first time in a long time I am.