Tossing and turning in the unfamiliar bed, I came to a stop. My arm reached out to inspect whatever was in my way. Gently poking at the flesh next to me, I found his chest…stomach. I couldn’t go any further. He stirred, rolling over to the other side, away from me. This was our relationship.
I lay awake, waiting for the sun to peak its head out. The light on my phone sent my eyes into shock for a moment before I could adjust. It was only 4:27 am. I cursed myself for letting this happen…again. I shifted uncomfortably; I could never find my place in this bed.
By no means was I a stranger to this room. I remembered my first time entering. There was warmth I hadn’t felt in awhile. We’d only know each other for a short time but it was a whirlwind friendship. Quick conversations about our day soon turned into nightlong phone calls. I’d wake up to his soft snores coming through my speaker. Whispering “good night” I’d hang up the phone only to miss his breathing.
When he first invited me over I had butterflies in my stomach. Normally we’d meet at the park or a restaurant but that night he wanted to show me something. He met me at the train station; we walked back to his place. On the way he showed me his favorite spots: the library, a park, and a little Italian place. Each had a memory and story. It felt good to finally put a face to the name.
We reached his house and inside, I found a place on the couch. He offered me a drink. Of course I was thirsty. It was between water and wine. I eagerly took the wine. As conversation flowed so did drinks. As if by itself an empty glass was suddenly full. Not long after, I found myself lying in his bed, top off, pants being gently tugged down. Now, it’s not that I didn’t want it. Oh, I had waited for that day since I first laid eyes on him.
Breathing heavy, he pulled me towards him. We lay there; funk and sweat mixed with a lightly sweet air freshener. We smelt like heaven. Kissing the back of my neck, he whispered “good night. It was good to finally have you.” I wiggled closer to him, feeling I had finally found the perfect person to mold myself with.
Afterwards days passed before he returned my messages. I told myself he was just busy with work. Invites over no longer included movies and food due to a lack of time. My only option was a quickie. Time between us was fragile and limited so I hungrily took it each time. He barely looked me in the eye but when his sweat mixed with mine I forgot about all that.
Long nights turned into short conversations about our days. Conversations cut short. He had things to attend to: dishes, work, and other people. I was no longer a priority, only a burden to be dealt with at a later time.
The memories faded, and the warm, pleasant feeling of the apartment disappeared. In its place was a chill, heavy with regret. He got what he wanted time and time again. After he finished, he made himself comfortable, spread out on the bed. I found my place in his arms, almost like a puzzle piece. I didn’t quite fit. I stretched my leg up onto his. He tapped it. I moved my legs under his; we became intertwined summer vines, until he shifted his weight. I turned my back to him, hoping he’d pull me into his arms, but instead gentle snores filled the room. This was our relationship.