Friday, June 3, 2016
Free Fiction: Constancy
Aaron hardly ever said the words 'I love you', but his love was evident in everything he did. Even if sweet words of adoration never dropped from Aaron's lips, his actions spoke louder than mere words could ever have sounded.
The love was there when Aaron woke twenty minutes earlier than Riley almost every morning to put the coffee on so it would be piping hot by the time Riley climbed out of the shower. The love was there when the fridge was perpetually stocked with cream and the sugar jar filled to the brim.
Riley fell asleep with Aaron's warm body next to him, and covered in the love that was the drudgery of making sure the sheets were washed and changed out every week. The fresh scent of drying out on the line lulled Riley to sleep, keeping away anything but dreams of cool mornings and open fields of flowers.
It was in the silent way Aaron would crawl out of bed to deal with their dog, either snoring too loudly or needing to go outside in the middle of the night. And in the way he made sure that the dog went to the bathroom in the morning even before he'd started brushing his own teeth and combing his own hair.
Aaron's constancy was ever present in tasks large and small. The toilet paper roll was always changed promptly. The ice trays were always refilled. The oil changes for the cars scheduled, bills paid on time, and spills immediately mopped up from kitchen counters. If Riley came home late, the lights were on to welcome him home and snacks were waiting on the counter.
Favorite foods, wines, and desserts stayed ever stocked. Trips to the grocery store were more like an a date night than a chore, and Riley never tired of seeing Aaron pluck out a longed for treat, or sometimes an entirely untried product. Unusually flavored teas, cookies and crackers of local origins, and any previously undiscovered sauce went straight into the basket, to be tasted and judged.
No birthday or anniversary escaped Aaron's keen record keeping, and sometimes small gifts popped up on random days in-between.
Riley felt cherished, and returned that love with all his might, saying the words he so seldom heard himself. He showered kisses onto Aaron's face and hands, taking the time to kiss every knuckle. Each time, Aaron would hum and tuck his chin, a tinge of blush crossing his cheeks. Then he'd busy himself, making plans for projects and lists of things to be done, and Riley would know that he was loved back. It was in the constant attentiveness to their lives.