Monday mornings were perpetually bad, especially after exceptional Sundays with Chris. It’d been a year since you officially became a couple and things between the two of you were still as good as it’d been on your first, second, and third dates. The flames of romance and passion were effulgent; the level of strength of your relationship described as incandescent. The longer you thought about Chris, the wider your smile became. There were a few reasons as to why he was on your mind: one) you were that knee-deep in-love with the man; two) you were using your Minnie Mouse travel mug, to which he had a matching Mickey Mouse one; three) you were drinking the coconut chai tea McKenna Grace recommended to him which he then recommended to you. You didn’t know when it happened, but you’d become a half of one of those co-dependent couples whose lives were intertwined to the point where you couldn’t even be in an elevator with strangers without imagining what it’d be like with Chris there.
The silence was deafening in the elevator; you were the only one not in a suit of some kind possessed with a vacant stare. You thought about what Chris would say if he were stuck in that uncomfortable elevator with you and stifled your giggle by biting down on the rim of your travel mug. It was an accurate assumption of his that your job, though taxing, was better than “being stuck in an office doing that nine-to-five thing like a ritual.” Perhaps it did occasionally take away the excitement of going to a new place, but at least you were going to a new place. You had opportunities to take in the fresh ocean breeze while swaying with the palm trees, and you’d rather do that than breathe a stale air in a stuffy office standing still next to a water cooler. You still had to drop in at your publisher’s office every now and again, but you already had it better than most people both professionally and romantically.
You had to admit though it was hard to enjoy your romantic privileges sometimes. You were dating Chris Evans, an A-Lister who many thought you didn’t deserve. In your field, your success and stature would’ve been on par with Chris’ in his. You were highly successful and thoroughly respected, even renowned enough to be invited to certain A-List events. Yet in the eyes of his fans and the Hollywood media, you were still a nobody. You were reminded of that every time you walked by the magazines in a bookstore, or a grocery shop. You’d see the headlines: “Chris Evans dating out of his comfort zone, a travel journalist?”, “Chris Evans’ new girlfriend spotted with another man!”, “Chris Evans attends the People’s Choice awards alone, was it out of Y/N Y/L/N’s league?” It was frustrating to have a relationship feel like it was on trial, and this was a relationship with an actor who stayed out of the limelight as much as possible. What would it have been like for the others? You could never just be, there was always someone lurking, waiting for a mistake to be made so they could make their case to a jury of people who had nothing better to do. It wasn’t always easy, but you and Chris made it work. No matter the verdict, the choice was clear: it was you and him against the world.
You were fortunate in other areas, like how Chris wasn’t the kind of guy who had bad breakups. You had to admit when you first agreed to go out with him, you were a little worried about being dragged into an encounter with one of his star-studded exes. But so far, so good. All those rumors and warnings about how the ghosts from his past were waiting to jump out at your with their lipgloss smiles did nothing but amuse you now. The love was yours, it wasn’t for anyone to speculate. If there was doubt, the two of you would sit and talk. The relationship was important to the both of you, important to the point that you even ignored your father’s snide comments about his tattoos. But Chris knew your father liked him despite that, so he said nothing either. It was fairly obvious how much your parents adored Chris, just like it was how much his parents loved you. Things were going to last with him, there was no doubt there.
Chris pushed himself off his car when you walked out of your apartment building. He smiled as soon as he caught you in his sights. “Good morning, beautiful.” He called then laughed at your shocked expression. You had no expectation to see him today as Mondays were usually chock-blocked with work meetings for both of you. “Hi,” one of his eyebrow quirked along with the corners of his mouth as he pulled you in for a kiss. Your arms immediately made their way around his neck and you pulled your body flushed against his. “How are you?” He whispered, resting his forehead against yours.
“Wondering if I can still breathe after that kiss,” you responded then giggled when he smiled. “What are you doing here?” You asked, pulling away from him. “I thought you said you had a meeting today, shouldn’t you be halfway there?”
He glanced at his watch before answering, “three quarters of the way there, but I had to come see you first.” You bit the inside of your cheek to prevent yourself from squealing at how adorable he was. “I wanted to ask you to join me for dinner tonight at the Van Heusen Steakhouse, seven-thirty if you don’t already have plans.”
“You couldn’t just text me?”
“I could, but I couldn’t do this…” He trailed off, dipping his head to meet your lips again. “And I’d give anything to do that,” he winked as he pulled away. You giggled and playfully shoved him, making him laugh. “So dinner, can I come pick you up at seven-thirty?” You nodded. “Awesome, there’s something really important that I need to ask you tonight.” You felt your heart skip a beat at that, then completely stop when he admitted “I’m actually kind of nervous” with a soft chuckle.
“Did you freak all your other girlfriends out too, or am I the exception?”
“What do you mean?” His innocence made you scowl. “What?” He laughed. “What did I say, Y/N?”
“You can’t just ask me to a fancy dinner, tell me there’s something really important that you need to ask me tonight, and leave it at that.” You bit and he laughed when he realized what his choice of words must have insinuated. “I love you, Chris, but I don’t think we’re ready to-”
“I’m not going to propose,” he cut you off, chuckling. You let out an audible sigh of relief and it was his turn to scowl, “okay, don’t sound so relieved.” His smile returned when you giggled. “I’m a romantic, I’m not an eccentric. We’re not even living together yet, you really think I’ll propose before we take that step? What if you’re a pain in the ass to live with?” He joked and you scoffed with a smile. “What if you talk during my football games, or force me to do the dishes immediately?” Another scoff escaped because you did do that; he laughed because he was obviously joking. “I can’t live with that for the rest of my life.”
“You know what, jackass,” you slapped his arm, “even if you did propose I’d say no.” He pouted, giving you signature puppy dog eyes as he grabbed you by your waist. “Get off me,” you laughed and playfully pushed him back when he tried to hug you. “Chris!” You shrieked with laughter when he lifted you off the ground, crushing you in a tight encasement created by his strong arms. “People are watching,” you giggled, “put me down.”
“I love you, baby.” He smacked a loud, scruffy kiss on your cheek before planting you back down on your feet. “Do you want me to drive you to work?” He asked as he released you. “I’m already late, I might as well be a good boyfriend while I’m at it. C’mon,” he took your hand and started to pull you towards his car.
“Can you be a good boyfriend and tell me what that really important thing you have to ask me tonight is?” You asked with a wince; the hope that laced your voice was not present in the next sentence after he shook his head. “Chris, come on. Have mercy, you know I’m just going to fixate on it until I see you tonight. Do you really want me distracted all day? I have meetings today, I can’t afford to be distracted.”
“But you’re so cute when you’re distracted.”
“Chris,” you tried not to laugh while you were being terse, but you failed.
“Why are you always so impatient?” He turned around, smiling. “Do you know how many surprises you’ve ruined because of your impatience?” He rhetorically quizzed and you scoffed; he smiled because he knew what you were going to say in defense.
“Are you serious? I could ask you the same thing,” you bit back playfully. “You’re the one who always hints he has a surprise for me. I wouldn’t even know if you didn’t say anything, but no, you always have to open your big mouth. So if we are really looking for someone to blame for my ruined surprises, shouldn’t it be you?”
“Okay, fine.” He rolled his eyes dramatically and you laughed. “You really want to spoil the surprise for yourself, fine.” He dug into his back pocket and pulled out a classic Disney Castle keychain with a single key. “Here,” he held it up in front of your confused face. You didn’t get it, you already had a key to his place just like he had one to yours.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve already got a key to your house.”
“You have a spare key to my house, yes, but this is your key to my house.”
“What are you talking about?” You laughed and he sighed with a smile. “It’s a key, it doesn’t-”
“I’m trying to ask you to move in with me, idiot,” he cut you off, chuckling. “The key was symbolic, okay? I know you already have a key and it works and it doesn’t matter if I call it a spare key or your key. I’m trying to ask you to move in with me.” You pressed your lips together, trying not to laugh at his semi-rant. “God, I’m glad I’m doing this now. If I did this at dinner, I’d be too worked up to eat.” He joked then laughed when you did. “Will you please move in with me?” He wiggled the key in your face, a hopeful smile on his lips.
“Of course I will,” you swiped the keychain from his hand then wrapped your arms around his neck. He smiled and rested both hands on your waist before rewarding you with another tender kiss. “Just out of curiosity,” you began when he broke the kiss, “does this mean we’re on the path to getting married?”
“I’d answer that, but I don’t want to ruin any more surprises for you.”
You awoke with a hoarse throat and a stuffy nose; every bone in your body ached and you knew you had come down with the flu. You cleared your throat then grimaced at the discomfort as you reached for your phone. You had to text your boyfriend, Chris, to cancel the day you had planned together; the last thing your superbly busy actor boyfriend needed was a cold to slow him down. You sent the text off then fell back asleep as you waited for a response.
Chris arrived at your apartment shortly after he got your text because not even the plague could’ve kept him from you. With him were a paper bag filled with groceries from Whole Foods so he could cook you proper food, and a plastic bag from CVS filled with lozenges and medicines that will hopefully speed up your healing process. His keychain jangled as he entered your apartment which was quieter than usual. The assumption was that you were sleeping because that was all you did when you were sick, you barely ate and always forgot to take your medicines. Hence why your boyfriend had to come over, to make sure the love of his life got the care she needed.
He quietly lowered the bags down on your kitchen counter top then padded down the hallway to your bedroom where you were asleep with your phone still clutched in your hand. He leaned against the doorframe and chuckled softly with a shake of his head before moving towards you to gently pull your phone from your hand. He put it aside then carefully adjusted you, your pillows, and your covers before leaving you to rest. He pulled his phone out of his pocket as he made his way back to the kitchen, dialing your home phone to speak to your grandmother. You’d always raved about her chicken macaroni soup when either of you had the flu, claiming it had magical healing powers. You’d made it once for him before and it did make him feel better, so he figured he’d make it for you too. But first, he needed the recipe.
When you woke up again, light clanging noises could be heard coming from your kitchen; you figured it was just your mind playing tricks on you. You breathed in then cough, choking on your own stuffiness. You groaned as you sat up, gently massaging your neck with your hand. God, you hated the flu. For such a common illness, it really was a bitch. You shuddered even though it wasn’t cold out and grabbed your fleece throw, wrapping it around you like a cape before shuffling outside with small steps. The closer you got to the kitchen, the louder the noises got. Your eyes narrowed; had someone broken into your place? You stayed close to the wall then poked your head out around the corner, eyeing the mysterious man standing over the stove. A smile broke out when you realized it was Chris because did you really expect him to leave you alone?
“What are you doing here?” You chuckled softly and he turned around, smiling. “I thought I specifically told you to stay away from me and my apartment today.” He walked over to you, wrapping you into a warm hug and kissing the top of your head. You can’t afford to get sick, Chris.“ You tried to push him away but he only hugged you tighter.
"I can’t afford my beautiful girlfriend to suffer alone,” he pulled away and cupped your face in his hands. “You’re so warm, do you have the fever too?” You shrugged and he chuckled, dropping his hands. “See, how can I not come over? You’d be the death of yourself.”
“It’s just a cold, Chris,” you rolled your eyes.
“Well then,” he smiled, “let’s kick it together, shall we?”
You smiled and took the hand he was holding out, he led you over the sofa and sat you down. “I got Mulan in the player and The Princess and The Frog ready to go straight after, ‘cause Lord knows those are the movies you watch when you need motivation and strength.” You chuckled as he turned on your TV, pressing play. “Assortment of medication on the kitchen counter that we’ll get to after you have some food.”
“I don’t really feel like eating, Chris,” you told him what he’d expected to hear.
“I’m sure you’ll change your mind once you hear what I’ve got for you to eat,” he said with a smile that peaked your curiosity. You took your eyes off the TV and looked to where he was, scooping something out of a pot and into one of your ceramic bowls. “I gave Grandma Elsie a call,” he began as he made his way back over to you; the smile you had on your face told him that you knew exactly what he’d made.
“You didn’t.” You gasped when he nodded. “Chris,” you cooed then pouted adorably. “Thank you, baby.” He passed you the bowl which was insulated by a Minnie Mouse tea towel. “You’re the best.” He pointed at his lips, gesturing for you to kiss him. “No way,” you laughed. “I’m not getting you sick.”
“Fine,” he huffed. “How about one on the cheek?” He asked, turning his cheek for you. You sighed and leaned in to give him a quick peck, knowing he wouldn’t let up. “Ah hah,” he turned right at the last second and you got him on the lips instead. “Don’t worry,” he chuckled when you shook your head at him, trying not to smile. “I took anti-viral pills before coming over here, I had a feeling I was going to want to kiss you. I was very right,” he chuckled when you laughed.
“I love you,” you told him and he smiled, carefully wrapping an arm around you so you wouldn’t spill your soup. “And I love that you went through so much effort for me, you’re the best.” You spooned some soup with macaroni and shredded chicken into your mouth, grinning when it tasted exactly like your grandmother’s.
“The soup’s pretty good too, right?”
“Pretty good?” You chuckled. “Sweetheart, you nailed it.” He smiled and kissed your forehead before letting you enjoy your soup. “Honestly, Chris.” You turned to him, smiling as you watched him intently. He turned away from the TV and raised an eyebrow at you, “I don’t think I’ll ever meet another man like you.”
“God, I hope not,” he chuckled and you smiled. “'Cause I’m a lover, not a fighter.” You rolled your eyes, chuckling. “But you know something?” He pressed his lips against your head and whispered into your hair, “I’d fight both heaven and hell if it meant keeping you in my life.”
“Yeah,” you smiled, “I don’t think I’ll ever meet another man like you.”
I think it’s because you’re all named Chris, and you’re all kinda scruffy and squinty and jacked, but in a sweet way. You’re always at the airport wearing raggedy tees that are tight just around the pecs. And you have bracelets with wooden beads, from Bali or wherever.
— Kate McKinnon