Jason sat opposite Amir on the train home. They had spent the day in the city meeting up with friends and doing some casual shopping. It had been a great day filled with fun and laughter, only now, as the setting sun drew the day to its end, Jason wondered about something his lover had said to him earlier.
“I love how strong your arms are,” Amir had commented as they Jason modelled a shirt he was trying on.
It wasn’t the first time that such a comment was made and had it been a one off remark he may have even brushed it off as nothing more than that. However, with his insecurities settling in, he thought that there might have been more to it than that.
The pair had not been in a relationship for long even though they had been close friends for a time, so everything was still very new. Jason was recovering from an illness that had knocked his confidence leading him now to question things that in the past he might not have. He knew that Amir too had struggled with illness although when he looked at him now he could hardly believe that underneath the smiles, laughter and coolness that there was a man who was still tender inside.
Maybe it was because Amir was so confident in some ways that had an influence on Jason’s thinking or maybe it was admiration he held from him that confused him. No matter what it was Jason felt that his heart would burst with anxiety if he held onto his thoughts any longer.
“Amir,” he began. “Can I ask you a question?” It was a weak start to a conversation and he knew it.
Amir pulled his gaze away from out of the window where he had been watching the lights of each passing town zip by. “Of course you can. You never need to ask me that.”
Jason had Amir’s full attention. The words were stuck in his throat, refusing to come out. With great struggle he set them free.
“Are you with me because you like the way I look?” Now that his thoughts were out there he felt embarrassed and foolish. He looked down to avoid eye contact.
“Is that what you really think?” Amir asked, his voice a soft kiss of air. “You are beautiful in my eyes, yes, but that is not why I am with you.” He paused before continuing. “It is your charm that captured me. The warmth of your heart as you care for your friends. How you help with those that need it when you see them struggle. How you listen to what is said and genuinely show interest. It is your honesty; if an idea or situation doesn’t feel right you speak up and say so. There is no angry or aggression in your heart, there can be no room with all that love. The way you hold me in your arms, filling me with warm affection. How I feel safe and comfortable and, most of all, happy when I am with you. These are the reasons I care so deeply for you.”
Jason couldn’t look up despite all of the lovely things that were being spoken. His shame in asking the question was controlling him.
Stretching across the table, over the discarded newspapers that were scattered about, Amir took Jason’s hand into his.
“My dear one,” Amir went on. “Had you any other face, form or shape; or if I was born blind and never once saw you; the love I have for you would be no less than what I have for you now. There will come a time when we no longer look as we do now and I will still hold you in my heart and arms.”
Jason let go of Amir’s hand and stood up from his seat. With slow movements he came to sit beside his love. There was no need for words now. He wrapped his arms around Amir’s broad should, holding him tight to his chest. With Amir’s arms clinging on equally tight they remained joined for several long moments listening to their breathing sync together with their heart beats.