Oliver and I were sitting on the couch watching a romantic comedy together, eating popcorn and having a laid-back sort of day, just the two of us. I wasn’t sure how much he enjoyed the movie, maybe not as much as I did, but he agreed anyway because it meant spending time with me. I sneaked a glance of him by my side, his dark hair was tousled and his brown eyes concentrated on the screen ahead. He looked handsome, even with a plain T-shirt and sweatpants on. I suddenly felt a sense of gratitude, of how lucky I was to call him mine.
A scene came in whereby the lead guy was promising something to the lead girl, how they would love each other forever, no matter what happens. Forever and always. Oliver leaned in to give me a kiss on the forehead at that. I grimaced. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
I reached for the remote and paused the movie. “We’ve been dating for seven months now, right?”
“Yes?” He looked puzzled. “Is this a trick question? If it is, then it’s seven months and fifteen days–” He looked at the wall clock,”–and twelve hours and twenty-four minutes. More or less.”
I ignored how silly he was being. Under normal circumstances I would’ve laughed, but I was being serious at the time. “Remember two months ago we talked about our future together, and you said the same thing?”
“How I promised to love you no matter what happens? I meant it, Kara.”
“I know at that time you did, but can I be totally honest with you? I don’t want you to make promises like that.” There, I said it. When he first uttered those words, the whole atmosphere by the beach was so romantic, I didn’t want to ruin it. Plus, we just started dating, I was hesitant about being upfront with him. Now seemed like the perfect time to talk this through.
“You know I don’t make empty promises, Kara.”
“I know, but that’s not what I meant. You see, we can’t predict the future and no matter how much we love each other at the moment, we may not feel the same way, say, three months from now. I’m being realistic here, and if for whatever reason we decide to go our separate ways, I don’t want to be reminded of your promises, of how you broke each and every one of them.”
He was quiet for a while, his eyes staring right into mine, searching for something, like he wanted clarification if I was saying this sincerely, not driven by some other source. I had this thought after I broke up with my first boyfriend, the moment we were done, all his promises weren’t valid anymore, neither were mine. And they kept haunting me for weeks, until I finally managed to get over him. I didn’t want to go through the same thing again.
After moments of silence, Oliver finally said, “What do you want me to say then?”
“That you love me, but that’s it. Don’t mention anything about forever. Can you do that for me?”
He held my hand with both of his. “Do you know how attractive you are to me right now? I’ve honestly never had any other woman say anything like that to me before. I love how mature you are about us, sweetheart.”
“So you’re not mad at me for not voicing this out sooner?” We agreed to be honest with each other about everything, and for me to hide this was not exactly the kind of honesty we had promised.
He shook his head. “I know it’s not easy for you. Thank you for telling me.”
I smiled, no, beamed, I didn’t even know my mouth could stretch that far.
“I’m in love you, Kara. I don’t know if I would feel the same way tomorrow, or we’d even still be together by next week, but right now I know what I feel is true and I’m determined to make you happy.” He smiled. “How’s that?”
“That’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me.”
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