I bought him a present for Christmas.
It arrived at his house after he left on his travels and getting it to him had been an issue.
He finally got it today.
He sent me nearly 20 photos of him opening it: He knows I like to see his face. They start off incredibly silly and the tenor of them changes as he opens the package, the box, the bag, and then when he puts it on. It is a bracelet of soft leather and rope for every day wear, hints of cuffs and bondage subtle in it.
I have one of his photos on my screen still, many hours afterwards.
“Smiley-misty-eyed,” he said to me as he sent the shot.
He is holding it in his hand, his fingers curled into a fist and resting against his cheek, his face partially hidden. He is looking straight into the camera, his eyes soft, he is smiling, though I only see half of it.
I feel a pull in my stomach when I look at it. So different from the others. There is not a hint of the cocky playful silliness that I had seen before, and would see again soon after. Instead there is a softness in it, a hint of vulnerability, an incredible sweetness, the face of a happy, touched boy. It makes me smile back, makes me want to pet that cheek, kiss that mouth.
Heart meltingly beautiful.