Absence is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect. Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same that it ever was. There is absolute unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you. For an interval. Somewhere. Very near. Just around the corner.
All is well.
Thank you for taking off your mask.
We’re madly, head-over-heels in love with each other, flirt relentlessly with each other, and pine for one another on the days we’re apart. Our secret? Believe it or not, friendship. We’ve tended our friendship first for the entirety of our relationship, and made sure that, no matter what else happens, we’re always happy to see each other when we get home at night. We have fun together, and give ourselves room and permission to be apart when we need to. She makes me laugh like a madman, and takes my awful puns and maniacal ideas and turns them back on me whenever she can. We play video games together. We make pointless romantic gestures to each other whenever we can. We respect each other, and help without hesitation when the other needs it, no matter what. Every day, I fall in love with her all over again, and each day is better than the last, because I don’t just love her, I trust her, I like her, I’m impressed by her, and I’m inspired by her—and she says the same about me.
If it were just love, we probably would’ve parted company long ago. What keeps us together, what makes our relationship vibrant, is everything else. I don’t just love her. I’m not just attracted to her. Both of those things are true, in fairness.
What really does it, in the end, is the fact that I’ve never in my life had as much fun as I have when I’m with her