So, today's words:
*I mean really, how could I not use a list of words that has "love fern" in it?? So, here we go.
The scowl I send to Dean is only half fake.
"You gotta get better at your turns," he says.
"You need to get better at not antagonizing me," I tell him. Darn boy. He loves to intentionally try and run me off the road whenever we play this infernally-addictive game. Blast him and his Mario Kart.
Dean sits cross legged in front of the TV, jeans stained with ketchup from lunch and his shirt wrinkled. I both want to beat him with a leftover breadstick and make out with him. This is how men win us over. They are too cute to stay mad at.
I set my controller down. "I need a breather."I collapse onto the couch, and peer over our take-out boxes from dinner to Dean. He showed up at midnight last night, and we stayed up hours talking. Today we've hit his favorite restaurants in Atlanta, and the Mario Kart marathon has been going on for - I glance at my phone to check the time - 3 hours now.
"What would be be doing if you hadn't brought your Wii down with you?"
Dean laughs. "Been very bored." He leans slightly to the right as Mario does onscreen. I bite my lip and suppress a laugh.
"Is it a mandate in the Geeky Boyfriend Book of Conduct that you bring it when visiting your girlfriend?"
"Kace, you're not supposed to know about the book of conduct. Now you won't think I'm romantic."
I consider throwing an empty soda can at him - think of my carpet - and lob a pillow at him instead. He yelps as Mario skids out of control on screen. I lie back and curl my toes under a cushion. Me and my shamrock socks and sweatpants, and I've never felt so adorable in my life. All because of the cute video game-crazed man in front of me. He drove all day after work to come see me, just so we could eat take out and play Mario Kart.
But it wasn't a big deal to him. Dean's solid and so decisive - a good balance to my erractiness, I guess. But at the same time, I've learned over the past six months that he's so gentle with me. We've hurt each other, and I know we'll do it again a million times over. But he's the best balm for that pain. If he hurts me it's like he can bind the wound up himself with special Dean duct tape and the broken places would heal right up.
Dean hoots and I watch Mario flash across the finish line. "Another win for the master," I say.
Dean looks over his shoulder at me and smiles. "You know what?"
"You think I should make you a shirt that says 'Mario Kart Master' for your birthday?"
"No." His eyes bore into mine. "I haven't told you yet that I love you. And I do."
Time freezes and it's like my living room just got zapped with magic. It's not one of those weird fake feelings, like in movies when people sing christmas carols and everything is rosy and perfect, but in real life you're freezing and people sing off key and it's nowhere near as breathtaking. This moment is so simple, but so stunning in it's realness I can hardly breathe.
I stare at Dean. "I love you, too."
Dean sets his remote down and climbs onto the couch. He grabs my arms and pulls me up, my legs entwined around his middle.
I press my fingers to his face, because I can't not be touching him. He leans and kisses the palm of my hand. "I love you," he says again.
"I love you." I rest my forehead against his, thinking this is not at all like in the books, but so much better I may never read again.
Dean runs a hand up my back and then tickles my side. I yelp and jump, but he holds me in place, tickling me until I cry uncle. He pulls me back up again in front of him. "So, there's something I wanted to see if you would do for me?"
"Ah, you tell me you love me and now the favors start. What do you want? For me to buy a love fern and keep it for us?"
He laughs, and I love that he's getting a reference from a girl movie I made him watch. His hand slides down my body again and I grab my side to block his tickles. Gah, at this point I would do anything for him. Bungee jump. Eat Indian food. Go dancing at a club.
Dean looks at me, serious eyes and stinging truth ringing from his features. "I want you to meet my parents."