H took my hand and we took that long walk towards the door. His other hand was pulling my suitcase behind me, our steps slow and calculated. I heaved my tote bag over my shoulder, letting out a heavy sigh.
I saw him glance at his watch, and I knew it was time. My cab was arriving in about ten minutes, and I was going to leave. I was going to finally fly home after a year and see my family. I was going to be away for two weeks.
He stood there, right next to me, the door unopened before us. He has been silent for a couple of hours already, and I was fine with that because I didn’t want to talk either. I just want to feel his presence, his touch… him… because I know I wasn’t going to see him in two weeks.
I know, I know… fourteen days is a short time compared to the weeks or months that I barely see him when he’s on tour. But I guess it was a combination of all of his fears and mine—I was going back to the place of my last relationship, and there could be a chance that I was going to see him, The Dreaded Ex. I know in my heart that I was already up for it—the year with H has helped with the growing up, moving on, and healing.
His fear, well—I guess it was a misplaced fear, since I think I had proven myself and my love to him—was that I would go back to The Dreaded Ex. That and the fact that he’s scared that I wouldn’t come back anymore.
After all, I did run away from him twice already.
He made me face him, and he reached up, tucking a stray lock of hair behind my ear. He leaned over and kissed me, tenderly and sweetly, and I smiled at him, saying the words he wouldn’t say right now. I can see the fear in his eyes, and I wanted to kiss them away. I wanted to not leave but I have to—I do miss my family.
“Yeah, you’ll miss me,” I tried to joke, and H flashed me that blinding grin, nodding. “You betcha.” He pulled me in for another kiss, my hand on his collar, and I felt him sigh in the middle of the kiss.
“I have something to say to you, and give to you,” he said, his voice turning low. I stepped back, my question an unspoken one.
H fished something out of his pocket, a glint flashing momentarily in the incandescent light. Between his forefinger and thumb were two rings, both platinum, with a thin line of turquoise stones on both edges of the rings. I swallowed the lump in my throat.
Enlighten me: engagement rings don’t come in pairs, right? Or did I miss the memo?
He held the rings in front of me, his fingers now shaking. His eyes were intense as he began to speak. “One for each of us. These are promise rings. With this, I swear that I won’t look the other way. I promise you to stay true, honest, faithful, and loyal. I promise to trust you, and that I should cast aside my fears.”
I sighed, shaking my head. “We don’t need the rings for this, H,” I told him, and he gave me a lopsided smile.
I stared at the rings. Turquoise because we’re both born in February. And while a part of me was nagging at me to just turn down the rings because they were unnecessary, I know the rings would do us both good.
I took one of the rings, inspecting first if that was the one for him, and then I held his left hand. I slid the ring on his, er, ring finger, speaking softly, “I promise to stay true, honest, faithful and loyal. And I promise… to come back, because I’m going to hold on to my word when I told you that I am staying. I swear I will trust you—that you wouldn’t look the other way and that I wouldn’t trust anything that media is saying”—he grinned smartly—“and that I will fight. For you and because of you.”
H let out a contented sigh, and then he did the same to me, sliding the ring on my left ring finger, where an engagement ring is supposed to be. He pulled me in, drawing me into a deep, long, and sweet. The honk of the cab outside interrupted us, and I drew back, not too far but still close enough. He pressed his forehead against mine, and then exhaled.
“I will miss you. And I love you so much.”
I repeated his words, and then I pressed my lips on his forehead, whispering against his skin, “More than this.”
He nodded. “More than this.”
The cabbie honked again, and we separated. He opened the door begrudgingly, and then walked me to the waiting cab. We kissed one last time, and then he put me in the cab, tapping the top of the cab after he closed it.
While in transit, I slid the ring off my finger and inspected it closely. It was only then did I notice that the inner edge of the ring had an inscription, a tiny inscription designed to fit the small space.
Love you more than this. H + K.
I smiled, and then I texted him: Saw the inscription. Love you too. More than this.
He didn’t reply, but when I checked his Twitter, he had posted a tweet, a few minutes after I left: Countdown to 14 days. Day 1. #morethanthis
I grinned while reading his mentions, and I know that this would spark a bunch of conspiracy theories among shippers again.
Fourteen days to what, exactly? was the common question.
Well, dear fans… fourteen days till I come back. But they don’t know that, do they?
Because they know about me… yet.