When Zachary would look at me or just touch my shoulder my body would forget that it was part of a larger world. He wanted to protect me and I wanted to be protected. Most of my life people had considered me too independent; now I wasn’t.
He would take his hands and push his fingers together to show how we were two people, seperate but better together. My body believed him; I had never been so willing or compliant before. Though I disliked public displays of affection, I would let him kiss me on street corners, in stores, on the entrance to our apartment. We were forever entangled together as one.
Then he would call me “pum’kin.” I would shudder; the mood spoiled. Terms of endearment were just so many words to me. I tried to explain how meaningless I found the verbiage, but he would never listen. Or maybe not understand.
I had never been easy to read. I wanted to be. Most women I knew wanted to be as loved as much as he loved me. People thought that we were the perfect couple.
I couldn’t explain nor did I try to tell the feelings that had flooded over me the first morning when I tried to leave to go to work:
“Stop,” he said not once but at least five times as he barricaded himself at the door, “you’re a prisoner of love.”
Was I the first woman to feel repelled? Was it normal to feel that way? As hard as I would try I couldn’t bury the feelings. But when he touched me my body responded as it never had before. I felt somewhat distant from myself; and somewhat more in tune than ever. Was it normal to be schiziod? I felt as if I had never been in love or lust before. It was amazing; it was a gift. And I wanted to run; but I needed to stay even more.
Lowell, the timekeeper, glared at me as I came to work a half hour late. My manager couldn’t stop smiling:
“You’re in love, finally.”
“Lust, I think it’s called.”
That night Zachery and I spoke on the phone for four hours, and the next day somehow seamlessly we moved in together.