I noticed it this week, the change in his voice, the lilt and the lightness of his tone as he called me each night to catch up on the day.
Happy–he’s happy, I realized. This is what happiness sounds like, the regular everyday kind. The kind you trust in, when you feel secure that the everything is as it should be, that you have everything you need and you are working for everything you want.
The other week while out for late-night coffee at Naked Lounge on Q Street, my girly wiles prevailed and I snapped a few selfies of us together, semi under his protest. (I did warn him, that this was a thing, that I wanted to have my own picture of him, yes, with me in it. I also told him that seeing as it had been six months that we had been seeing each other and I had never before selfied us, my restraint up to this point had been heroic and admirable and worthy of some sort of medal of honor. Or at least a gold star.)
I looked awful in every photograph, which is what I get for holding the phone at any random angle while making silly faces and barely keeping it out of reach of his long arms while I clicked again and again, hoping something would turn out–hoping the picture would even have us in it, instead of ending up with random shots of the couch’s arm or part of a head.
Later, I looked at the photos for a long time, when I was back at home and missing him and already looking forward to our next weekend together.
Yes, I really did look terrible; that’s not false modesty speaking. I’ve got an under-the-chin angle on one that makes me look like a mutant snake-lady who’s ready to unhinge her jaw and swallow a village. In another, my face is so round I look like a blurry white wheel of cheese.
But him…in every picture, he radiates happiness. His smile is genuine; he is literally beaming in one, the snake lady one I think, when I was tickling his ribs. His teeth are showing in a wide, white grin while he is pulling me closer, rather than pushing me away.
Even as I am looking at these pictures, I cannot really believe it.
Is this really what he looks like, when he is with me?
Is he really so happy?
Is this what we look like, together?
For I look happy, too, with my wild hair and dimples and the fact that I am hip to hip in a deep, gold, double-wide chair with this tall handsome man, oblivious to the world as I am laughing and laughing and wielding my phone as a weapon to capture this moment.
We are happy; this is happiness. It is amazing, and frightening, and real, and fantastic.
**Photo Credit: http://goo.gl/C75ZRa**