I can’t get up. I’m watching the clock, knowing that I have to be up in a half hour and wishing I could stop time, wishing that the morning wasn’t really here. I have to get up, though. I have to finish packing my stuff because we’re moving it today. These are the last moments we’ll have like this until… who knows, though, and I just can’t tear myself away. It’s been such a lovely weekend.

I look over my shoulder and see that he knows nothing of my internal struggle. He’s got that half smile on his face he sometimes gets when he sleeps. I doze off again.

It’s 7:55 and I have five minutes until I have to get up and go. He pulls me a little closer. I can’t move. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t leave this. I look again, the smile is still there. I tell myself that 15 minutes won’t hurt anything. I can stay until 8:15. That won’t be a big deal…

I put my hand on his, thinking over the past few weeks. I try to pretend to forget the few months before that. I realize the power of a look, a comment, and a touch in how I feel about myself. He makes me simultaneously want to keep getting healthier and feel perfect just how I am.

8:30, I can stay until 8:30. Clearly 15 more minutes won’t matter that much. I can’t pull myself away. I feel his breath on my shoulder and his hand in my hair. I can’t help but smile. Sneaking a look at him again I think about the progression of how he’s become more affectionate and open over the last few weeks.

I’m finally past that unbearable anxiety over every detail of my life so I can actually enjoy these moments without wondering when it will fall apart. I can let it go where it will without agonizing over each detail. I’m not going crazy this time. I’m not losing it again.

He’s seen me at my worst and yet here he is.

Here I am, holding things together with a new apartment, the possibility of a new job, and still losing weight (despite my lack of official weigh-ins, my scale was still in a box this weekend). I’m not falling apart again.

Just a few more minutes, I tell myself, surprised that no one else is up yet. I’ll get up before 8:45 if no one comes out to wake us up. I’m too comfortable, too content. I think about how comfortable he makes me feel in my skin. Despite the fact that last night I was looking in the mirror lamenting every sagging inch of my body, this morning I feel beautiful. He doesn’t point out my flaws or avoid those parts of my body that I cry over. He makes me feel like every inch of me is worthy of being adored. His affection washes away the shame I felt over my body and choices for the last few months.

My body image and self love is my responsibility but it doesn’t hurt to have someone else reaffirming it.

At 8:44 I finally gather the strength to slide myself out from under his arm and get up. I look forward to what comes next. We’re moving all of my stuff out of my dad’s to my own apartment. The amount of stairs we’ll be climbing alone certainly counts as a workout. I’d better have a significantly perkier butt after this!

I wake up my mom who I’m driving to work before taking one last look at that half smile and putting on my poker face for our families. They know but we all pretend it’s a secret.

As I drive back to my dad’s I wonder how it will feel having him in my room, my space, and moving my things. I get home and my stepmother points at my neck and smirks. Oops, I forgot about that. A scarf might just be in order.

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