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I fell in love with Andre watching him pick out produce at my neighborhood’s Farmer’s Market. His concentration, his obsession with perfect, shape, and scent was remarkable. It was actually rather adorable to see a grown man in a fine wool coat admire apples like he was picking out diamond jewelry. I offered to buy him hot cider. He accepted, and we ended up meeting for dinner.

Dating a ballet dancer has its ups and downs – and its side to sides and leaps across the room. When he is not practicing, he’s at the physical therapist; when he’s not getting preventative treatments, there’s rehearsals, costume fittings, photoshoots… busy busy!

After almost a year of this, I told Andre I thought our relationship was strained by not only his schedule, but the fact he lived on the other side of town from me. He was rarely ever home anyway so I suggested, why not move in with me? I could see in his eyes how much he wanted to say yes, to wake up in the morning spooned against me, to receive those backscratches I did so well, to allow more moments for spontaneous sex to happen. He said my house was just a bit too far from the studio to live there together. I told him he meant the world to me, and I would see what I could do. Andre looked puzzled, but his lips curled up at the corners. “Oh really big guy? Show me then.”

Five weeks later, I ushered him blindfolded into my basement. My house was built etched into a hill so the basement half jutted out into the backyard (the top half was really the main level as the driveway connected to it out front). I particularly liked this because it meant the basement had windows and would fill with natural light in late morning. I picked this time to lead Andre down there by his elegant, manicured hands. I ignored his pestering questions and guided him.

“What? What is it baby? What sort of Valentines Day present did you get me?”
Finally I halted him in place. “Not ‘get’, ‘had made’.” I removed the blindfold. Andre’s jaw dropped. I had turned one of my storage rooms into a practice studio for him, all for him.
“I know what you’re thinking,” I put my hands up in a reassuring gesture, “Yes, it’s insulated, and I actually hired a woman who specializes in building dance studios. She said it’s all at professional standards, down to how slick the floor is…” but he wasn’t listening, he was just staring.

“Oh my god it’s perfect! It’s PERFECT! I can’t believe you had this made for me!” he screeched, throwing his arms around me and nearly knocking me over.
“Ooof!” I wrapped my arms around his slim, muscular waist and hugged him back. “You said my house was far, so maybe, this might encourage you to come here more often, not spend so much time at the studio all alone?”

His face was beautiful, on the verge of tears. “You want to see me so badly…?”
“Yes baby,” I kissed his full lips. “Don’t laugh, but I fell for you the day I saw you buying apples. I am in real danger of falling into deep, stupid love here and I had to show you I was serious about this relationship.”
He was still looking at everything as if he mildly stunned. I set him down and he walked over to touch the bar and admire himself in the mirror. “It’s just perfect.” Then he did begin to cry in earnest. I held him and kissed him passionately, to tell him it was alright without saying a word.

Remember how I said I knew he wanted more opportunities for spontaneous sex? We ended up christening the studio right there on the brand new floor. I caught Andre watching himself in the mirror as I thrust between his sculpted legs. I knew it pleased him, to see how much I was enjoying myself, to hear our cries mingle and echo in the empty room he’d claim as his own space. This was this thank you gift to me. 

Now, we have dinner together at least four nights a week instead of one or two. Instead of texting Andre, pestering him about if we can hang out, I just stick my head downstairs and announce “dinner’s ready!” and he comes bounding up the stairs like a gazelle. He really might be part gazelle.

I have no idea what I’m going to get him for Valentine’s Day next year, but more than that I’m looking forward to one more magical year together, this time as lovers sharing the same home together. Our home.

Text is 100% fictional. The dancer is Ricardo Santos in 2007. Source of the photo is here. Santos is a Brazilian dancer, now with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago (goddamn!).


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