It just kind of popped out of my mouth:
“I love you, too.”
And we started talking about marriage. I said we should get married someday. You know, like in the future.
Belinda and I apparently have a different definition of future.
The next thing I know we´re picking out an engagement ring. Nothing fancy. She´s not like that. But, still, an engagement ring? She´s so excited I want to buy it for her. I love it when she´s happy. So we chose a nice little ring that cost about five hundred dollars. She didn´t want us to spend more.
Now she´s talking about how we should move in together to save money for our future.
Yesterday, it was me and now. Today, it´s our future. I just graduated from college and started my first real job as a computer programmer. She´s working as a waitress while finishing school. I can´t think much beyond tomorrow morning.
But she´s talking as if time is something she can see through, like fog as it starts to lift. She´s going on about having children and buying a house and growing old together.
I´m twenty-two and she´s twenty-one. I have no idea what growing old even means.
It´s not that I don´t want to be with Belinda forever. To be honest, I´m afraid not
to be with her.
That´s my problem, isn´t it? I´m afraid.
I´m not waiting for someone better to come along. I don´t think I´m ever going to meet anyone better. But, man, I´m scared.
I tell her I love her, and I mean it when I say it. At least I think I do. But love is something that two people have who´ve been together a long time, like my mom and dad. Love is like glue. My dad said that once. It´s the stuff that keeps people united, even when they get so mad they hate each other. My parents can scream and say horrible things, but once they calm down, they talk and work out what´s gotten them so mad. That´s love.
Belinda and I haven´t even had a real fight yet. I mean we disagree sometimes, we argue, but I worry if we´ll even want to stay together after a real fight.
How can I tell her what I´m thinking?
How can I not? Aren´t we supposed to be honest with each other?
Honesty? Who knows where that might lead?
She´s so damn happy wearing that engagement ring. And it makes me happy seeing her so happy. Maybe that´s at least the start of love.
I wish to hell I knew.