Her mouth opens once, twice, like she’s trying to tell me something that’s forbidden, that’s cruel, that’s…releasing. My feet hit the floor.
And she does, silently, stopping only to slip on her shoes and I watch as her arms move to button her shirt. Her body slips around the doorframe, sliding smoothly through the long hallway. I drink in her curves, her sway, her incomprehensible beauty and I try not to choke on it. This is my last glimpse of the person I once revered; I will no longer have to hold my breath in her presence and pretend to be strong. I have seen the fragility behind the strength and it has weakened my own perceptions of perfection. My throat clenches around rising vomit.
From the next room, I hear the clicks of the locks being opened, then the small woosh of air as the door gives into her pressure. The fact that her fingers left evidence of her arrival, of her confession, of her departure makes my stomach turn. She was here, suddenly, and now she’s not and I want to kill her. How dare she disturb this life I’ve built? What right does she have to take everything I’ve ever found solace in and destroy it with one fucking admission of love?
I remember her nervous smile as I sit on the bed again, drained, exhausted with my efforts not to go beyond what limits were already broken. I remember, and it fucks with my mind.
The knock. I have to talk to you… Walking to the couch. Sitting. Seeing her without her façade of calm. There are things… Knowing. Knowing before she say it. Knowing and wanting so bad, so urgently. I’ve never known how to tell you…I know it’s so wrong… And then her lips against mine, expressing a little more than she could ever put into words. Clothes miraculously falling open. Feet traveling and suddenly my back on the bed and I see her eyes searching mine with a vulnerability unknown to me before this moment. My fingers sliding away from her heat, my mouth unable to form words to tell her why. Her face falling, plunging into confusion and sadness and that constant weariness she always wears. I tell her nothing. I’m sorry, I…
This can never… I can’t say it. Just go.
I stand and float towards the door, staring at the place where her fingers must have touched. She was here, and I know why and I almost let her have it. I almost gave it to her. She was searching in me for a burning solace she hadn’t found anywhere else in her life. She had hoped I would be the one to make the nightmares go away, that I could soothe the torn and raw part of her over-worked soul. I can’t love those who are incapable of loving me back.
On that bed, I saw the cracks around her body, the small portion of herself that she’d only exposed to few people. I saw how breakable she was and I knew she couldn’t have me.