The double-edged text message – Cowboy Appreciation

*Caution: this post discusses my romantic life and might induce vomiting. Please stop reading now if this post might offend your senses. It pretty much offends mine.*

This week, I decided to make an extra effort to appreciate Cowboy and to let him know that he is in my thoughts. On Monday morning, before I left, I took an extra ten seconds to give him a kiss and tell him I loved him. He was still sleeping, so I could only kiss a vague corner of his beard. I don’t know if he remembers me doing this. He did mumble something about driving safe, which led me to assume he must have been conscious on some level.

Mostly, this appreciation for him started on Sunday night, when I was generally intolerable with panic and stress. Rushing back and forth between the kitchen and my desk, sighing excessively, and with much holding of my head in my hands, I managed to do some of my school work, but had to abandon the other part. In my misery, I asked Cowboy to help me with household chores. The way I said it made it sound like I had six hundred tasks to do in a mere forty minutes, and without his assistance, the entire house would cave in and kill us all. He agreed to help me. He agreed several times, because I had to ask him repeatedly for my own peace of mind. It’s a bad habit of mine and I’m trying to stop. I blame the British in me.

He waited patiently for me to panic about having a shower and washing my hair, and when I stepped out with my head weighed down with my turban-towel, he was ready to go. I was not. He waited patiently while I panicked and dried my hair. More sighing, more panicking noises. I took solace in a chocolate hobnob, having stocked up on some British comfort food last week.

HOLY MCVITIES AND BRANSTON AND TEA, BATMAN. The homesickness apocalypse has been staved off for a while.

“What do you need?” he said, meeting me in the kitchen where I was gently having a meltdown.

“A hug,” I said, falling on him with as much drama as I could summon. He obliged, until I think he realised I was just avoiding the housework.

“OK, what do you need me to do?” he asked.

“Fold all the laundry,” I told him. Off he went to do as I’d asked, while I tackled the washing up. It had all looked rather worse than it actually was. Within about ten minutes, we had both finished our tasks. He came back to get more orders.

“What now? What do you need me to do?”

I looked around. “Um… Nothing, I guess. I think that was it.”

He gave me a look, like I was losing my mind, but he didn’t want me to feel bad about it. I felt just a little bit silly, particularly when it transpired the next day that the homework causing me so much panic wasn’t even due in until next week.

Yesterday morning and this morning, I made the extra effort to find ten seconds to send him a text message to remind him that I love him and wishing him a good day. He has responded each time with similar messages. It’s like old times when we were an ocean apart. It makes me feel more connected to him even though we don’t see each other much for the week.

The flip side of this effort is that I miss him all the more. Coming back to my bunk each night and lying down to sleep without him is harder. I wonder what I am doing all these miles away from him. The end to this is in sight, though. Just eight weeks left of school. For these eight weeks, I will try to continue my Cowboy appreciation efforts. Whether or not he appreciates my efforts.

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