He soothes me, settles me in a way no one else did, does, will ever do. His knuckles digging ever so slightly in my shaking shoulders, grounding, easing the mounting panic that shackles me, my throat, my voice, my heart. Making me think, genuinely believe, that I am going to die, when in fact it is but a figment of my vivid imagination. His blue eyes, frozen but not freezing, bore through my own, hazel, warm but not burning.
In between is the chill, our winter beats, our beautiful everything, the frozen love that thaws and bleeds, as the warmth radiating from the pulp of my fingers settles on someone else's palm, which then incurves and closes around my hand. The closest we ever got to a lover's touch with none of the love and all of the touch, that is neither soothing nor settling; with eyes as earthy as mine, lacking the warmth but burning through my inner lens and then I think not now, not here, not like that, not with him, not fucking ever, and I sometimes feel sorry, and I am so so sorry, for the man I could've loved who is alone and burning and the man I should've loved, I love, who is with me and chilling and thawing in a never-ending state of perfect nothings, of us knowing that we soothe and settle and anchor our insecurities to let our beautiful everything blossom. More than a status quo, a state of mind, really.
And then I close my eyes and shut out whatever maybes I had hoped for because the mind and the heart and the soul and the body are resilient, and mine even more so, a reminder of pain long lost and terrors long forgotten and the mounting panic that seldom gnaws at my core but still does, sometimes. And then your knuckles dig in my shoulders and your blue eyes bore through my own and I know it will be, not only okay, but pretty damn awesome too.
Six years and seven Christmases later and the fairy lights in my head shoot through your sky blue and it means everything, every single thing, to me.
I oh so love you even when I don't know how, but I always, always know why.