I’m Beginning To Wish I Could Protect The Woman I’ve Been Assigned To Love -The Toast

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bodyguard3This was supposed to be so simple. Get in, develop complicated feelings for the girl, establish a relationship after a dizzying number of back-and-forths designed to produce the maximum amount of sexual and dynamic tension, then never get out. I was only supposed to fall in love. Wanting to protect her — that was never part of the deal.

I was just supposed to discover I had feelings for her. I never expected that I’d find myself wanting to do my job.

Get in, never get out, stay forever: that was the plan. But plans sometimes change.

I’m a professional. I’m supposed to receive my assignment, then fall slowly and irrevocably headfirst into love with that assignment. That’s it. Simple, easy, clean. No muss, no fuss, just eternal and unswerving devotion.

So why do I feel this way? Why is it that whenever she turns her trusting, grateful face towards mine, all I can think about is how badly I want to do my job at her?

There are times — Christ, there are times — when I’ve got my strong, sinewy arms wrapped around her, and I wish it was because I was teaching her how to discharge a rifle, not because we were making love.

There are times — God and his angels in heavens, there are times — when I hold her door open when we get into the car, and I wish I could push her inside while looking coolly and perceptively in every direction, instead of asking her where she wants to go for dinner. Then when we get to dinner, I wish I was picking idly at half of a cold sandwich in an alley while she takes a nap, instead of sharing an order of osso bucco with her at a table.

There are times — times that I don’t want to acknowledge, even to myself — when I’m cradling her tenderly in bed and I think, What ifWhat if I left her cold and alone in her bed and huddled bravely outside her door, periodically jamming my fists into my biceps to stay warm and awake, scanning the horizon for an enemy that might never come?

I know that can’t happen. I know I’ve been assigned to love her, and I’m going to do that, even if it kills me. But there are times at night, when all the world’s asleep, that I slip out from under her arm, army-crawl out into the hallway, lean against the doorway, and I protect her. Goddamnit, do I protect her.

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