There is one thing of which he is certain: she will leave him.
One day she will look at him with contempt instead of affection, touch him in anger instead of tenderness, and speak to him with hatred instead of care.
It will destroy him; he knows this.
So he plans, and he prepares, and he begins to collect little pieces of her, memories that he selfishly hoards to himself as he braces for the inevitable.
He traces the constellation of freckles on her back with his fingertips and follows with his lips so that he will never forget the feel of her warm skin against his.
He buries his face in her hair and breathes in so that he will always remember the scent that is uniquely hers.
He memorizes the coy smile she has when she’s about to convince him to do something he swore he would not do, the lilt of her voice when she teases him, her deep even breathing when she sleeps tangled up with him in bed, and the little wheezing snore she has when she falls asleep as he reads in the library.
Even her frustrations and tears are treasures to be savored for the days when she will spurn his comfort.
He counts and saves every touch, every kiss, every fond look and word of love, curating his collection so when he has nothing left he can walk in his own private gallery of her in his mind.
He drinks her in and savors her. He waits for the end.
It doesn’t come.