No matter how good you think you are, you will always be the villain in someone else’s story.
We’d just had sex, relishing in the warmth of post orgasm cuddle play when he looked me in the eyes, “You know I really like you.”
My chest swelled with euphoria and fear and I smiled, “Me too!” But just as my reply reached his ears the sparkle disappeared from his eyes, his lips curled down ever so subtly – the post coitus warmth had dried up and my bed felt like winter.
“It’s okay, I know you don’t.” He said, the eye contact was broken now.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
He was looking out the window, his thoughts were now as far as the mountain ranges in the distance. He started speaking, “You don’t want a relationship. You don’t want a boyfriend. You’re so lonely but you only want guys that are temporary but then when they are willing to stay in your life you back away because you’re so scared of getting close to someone.”
All I could do was nod. I didn’t know what to say but I couldn’t disagree.
He continued, “I feel sorry for you, I don’t know what happened to you but I’m really sorry that it happened. In all the time I’ve spent with you, I still have no idea who you are.”
Just like that it was gone, my jig was up. An act even I wasn’t actively conscious of up until that point.
Again, I just nodded and looked down at the messy linen sheets, really deep into the thread work and imperfections – speckles here and there, lumps and bumps.
Slowly I took my gaze up to my reflection in the mirror where I only saw myself. He was all but gone.
Rather than looking at my reflection, I was looking through myself in the reflection. My eyes glazed as I floated out from my body to imagine me viewing myself alone in the room watching myself look through my own reflection.
I felt so empty.
He checks his phone and notifications when he’s out with you but you’re sure you recall him saying he prefers to be disconnected and live authentically.
He says he doesn’t have enough money to go out but his stories show that he’s taken up the company of someone more generous and desirable than you.
He promises that he isn’t some jerk who fucks people around but after he’s cum inside you his contact thins out to the point where you question whether he even existed at all.
A ghost? No, my bank account says otherwise.
Surrounded by familiar faces asking you why you’re still alone. But you’re such a catch they all say each and every time. They can’t believe it.
You say you can’t believe it either but that’s not true is it?
Because you’ve been busy when you haven’t been busy.
You preach the authentic life with a convincing veil but deep down you’re just as consumed.
You have definitely pretended to be broke and put your company out to the highest bidder so someone would pay for your evening out. You absolutely have.
And yes, you have been the jerk who made promises he cannot and knows he will not keep and when you get what you want you tactfully withdraw, deflecting questions and suspicions with convenient and perfect answers because you you’re so damn clever.
So when you’re asked why you’re single despite your qualities. You know that deep down you are flawed just as he is, you have hurt others like he hurts you.
All you do is smile and throw your hands in the air and make some cynical joke to lighten the load.
Somewhere else, at some other time, he is having that exact same conversation with himself over and over again.
Love is patient and understanding. It doesn’t run away as soon as things become difficult. Love communicates in its own special way.
You all may not think much of me and read me as shallow but I want you to know that I take love and life more seriously than you think.
I remember when we had nothing but each other and we could laugh about anything while lying down together on our single bed.
I’m hugging Gina goodbye outside Wine Shop and people watching over her shoulder as we embrace. During our moment peppered with parting words I catch a glimpse of a ghost turning his head to look back at me. The sound distorts around me and the warm embrace of the past beckons.
I find myself standing across the street watching him and I have breakfast the morning after at Code Black near Rosslyn. We’re sitting outside while he smokes, I tell him to get me a croissant and a latte. I also add in that I’m not paying and he laughs while he blows his inhaled smoke out away from me. He leans in and kisses me. I give him that stupid smile I do when I’m nervous and trying to seem like I couldn’t care less.
And that was it.
Once we shared stories and intimate nothings. Now we’re nothing but each other’s past.
We lock eyes for the briefest of moments before becoming part of each other’s past once more.
Gina gives me a tight squeeze and says she’ll see me soon. I pull out of the embrace and turn to see Erin looking up from her phone, scanning the cars for her Uber, hand firmly on her hip.
Once I was pink, everyone looked and longed,
they got closer, prodded and poked.
Then I was red, every angle, greedy hands taking,
not giving back and,
each piece of me torn saw the red fade away.
Now I am gray, no one wants gray.
Pink shimmers in the distance.
Oh look, they’ve all run away.