Jerry doesn’t care about what I want. Well, not like that anyway. He’s a good boyfriend, might even be a better husband, but his idea of romance is just…
I’ve grown used to comfort. When a man tells me he loves me, I expect more. You love me, and…? I want him to tell me how I make him feel. How he spends nights thinking about me. How kissing me makes his fingertips tingle, and his knees weak. I want all of that and more.
If you hear him tell it, he isn’t one for a lot of words. Why use four words where one would suffice? But I’ve heard him go on and on about financial policies and how Ghana is being grossly mismanaged, you know the stuff that indirectly affect you but you can’t bring yourself to care about. He talks a lot when it suits him.
The first time Jerry told me he loved me was after a lunch at his place. Two days before that my ex boyfriend had died. We hadn’t spoken much since we split up but his death shook me. Jerry understood. He cancelled his Saturday plans so he could spend time with me. He cooked for me that day. After we had eaten, we sat in the backyard. I had a glass of wine in my hand, and he had a cigarette in his.
I asked why he still smoked even though he was asthmatic. He laughed and called it a bad habit.
“Just one of those things I don’t think I can ever stop,” he said. There was a brief pause as I downed the contents of my glass. He watched me pour myself another glass.
“Like loving you,” he said. It wasn’t muttered, like he was shy; or said softly, you know, like the way you whisper into your partner’s ear as you hug them. It was just matter-of-fact. It came out clear and loud, but not to loud, in the same kind of voice you use to ask if your child has eaten. It wasn’t packed with romantic emotions, but it wasn’t lacking it either. It was almost as if he was giving me something, and demanding that I give nothing in return.
Chuckling, he reached towards me and took the glass out of my hand.
“I’m not going to let you finish all this by yourself,” he said.
I said Jerry didn’t care about what I want, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe he knew exactly what I wanted.
Because at that moment, I was completely satisfied.