"It's so good to be back here!" Cayden said, dropping his bags in my hallway. "I just love your apartment. It feels so... homely."
Had he not said "homely" in an earlier conversation, I would have taken offense to it. But his version meant "like home," not "unattractive and unkept." I loved that he felt at home at my place.
"Well, then move in!" I said, already in the kitchen pulling out two stemless wine glasses and popping the cork on my $4 Lucky Duck wine.
"If only it were that easy. Damn your government for making it nearly impossible for me to live here."
I knew he couldn't just pick up and move here, as bad as we both wanted him to, but a little piece of me was still praying for a miracle. My dad escaped Cuba on a boat. Surely Cayden could do the same.
"Hungry? I can call for delivery. What do you want? Chinese? Thai? Pizza?" I handed him his wine glass and wrapped my arm around his waist, pressing my cheek against his chest. I heard him take a sip of his wine and swallow as he wrapped his arm around me.
"I'm not quite sure. I'm not all that hungry just yet. Let's have a snack and think about it."
I knew one thing that might work up an appetite.
But instead I reached for my favorite snack: pretzel sticks and Nutella. I discovered this little treat after I'd run out of Wheat Thins, which also taste heavenly dipped in the hazlenutty chocolaty deliciousness. But then again, what doesn't Nutella taste good on? If only Ben's Cookies created a Nutella Chip Cookie...
We cuddled up on the couch and took turns dipping the pretzels in the jar and washing it down with our cheap cabernet. The snack of Champions.
"So this girl next to me on the plane was telling me about how she was in a long-distance relationship once, and she moved to Houston to be with him, and then 7 months later he broke up with her."
"Hey, awesome story. Why don't you tell it again, punk," I said, slapping his stomach and almost making him choke on his pretzel.
"Yeah, but I told her all about you and our story and she said it sounds like we have something special."
What I would have given to be a fly on the wall during that conversation. I'd love to hear Cayden tell our story to a stranger. How would he tell it? Would he tell her about the night on my roof? Or later that night in my bed? Would he tell her the part where he broke my heart and I thought my world had ended?
"This just feel so right, just hanging out on the couch with you," Cayden said, interrupting my internal conversation. "It's not fair other couples get to do this whenever they want."
It was true. It just wasn't fair. So many other couples take that for granted. They look back on their dates and remember the end of the movie or the price of the tab. They don't think back on what it was like to hear their someone's heartbeat through his shirt or notice how one person dunks his pretzels while the other person spins hers. They don't savor the moments the way I was savoring Cayden and Nutella.
Cayden and Nutella. Cayden and Nutella. Not a bad combination. Suddenly all I wanted was to smear Nutella all over Cayden's body and lick it off. Screw the pretzels.
I took another swig of wine, set my glass on the coffee table and turned to Cayden. "Bedroom. Now."