A Laugh Like That

I can’t make him laugh like that. Deep, loud, hearty laughter. He has never laughed like that when he’s with me. Sure, he laughs, sometimes deep enough when I say something remotely funny or strange, but not like that. I couldn’t see him now, as I hear him laughing from the recesses of his heart (and probably his lungs too), but I can imagine him laughing –his head, thrown back from the sheer force of it; his eyes, crinkling on the sides; his hand, holding on to the side of his tummy. I can see him happy. And I wonder: can I make him this happy?

I know I’m just being selfish. I’ve seen a lot, and perhaps I just want to see more.

I’ve seen him shed man tears, wide-eyed, as he listened intently to a certain choir sing a song which moved him unexpectedly. I’ve seen him try to discreetly wipe away those tears from the corners of his eyes, as if there was something stuck in them. I’ve seen him see me watching him do that, suddenly composing himself, then suddenly asking, “What?” in the most defensive tone known to mankind.

I’ve seen him smile that shy, sheepish smile, after receiving a present. I’ve seen him touch his face to check if he was blushing. I’ve seen his ears turn red, and his cheeks too, because he, indeed, was blushing. A deep red.

I’ve seen him silent, as he drives, but his eyes laugh and speak. I’ve seen him smile, his brows relaxed, like there’s nothing in the world that’s bearing down on him, like everything is where it should be. I’ve heard him sigh heavily afterwards, as if reality has suddenly drawn him back.

I’ve seen him bow down with his elbows on his knees, bringing both his hands to his temples in deep thought, worry, or hurt. I’ve seen how his brows and eyes slant downwards, when he can’t make things out because I’ve made it difficult for him. I’ve seen him lonely. I’ve seen and I’ve decided that I will not make him look like that again.

I’ve seen faces, probably only a few other people have seen. Each and every single one of them, a wonder. True enough, I’ve never seen him laugh like that – that lengthy, light, tears-in-your eyes laughter – at least, not yet. That only goes to say that there’s a lot more that I can uncover. A lot more to know about him. A lot more to share with him.

Of course, I want him happy, with or without me. I would never wish him to be lonely, especially when we’re not together. I would rather hear him laugh like that, than not at all. And maybe, my role in his life is more of the quiet listener, the calm companion.

But someday, maybe someday, I wish I can say with certainty and pride that I can make him happy. Someday, I wish I can say: I can make him laugh like that.

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