I bet the carpet is still warm where he was sitting.
We hugged by the door, tightly. “Did you have a good birthday?”
I played it cool. “Good enough.” I smiled.
He let himself out and looked over his shoulder to say goodbye again.
“Bye,” I chirped.
The sobs came as I turned the second lock.
I wished that he’d forgotten something so he could see me like that: raw and hurting.
With every touch, every innuendo, every nice fucking thing he did and said tonight I wanted to break my face open and weep and let the torrent of emotion run out of me like hot diarrhea.
I told him I didn’t know him anymore, that he’s not the man I knew. “You do yoga now, you hike, you wake up before 9 am. You swore you’d never do those things.”
He shrugged and said I’d known a different version.
When I told him I was concentrating on inviting people into my life who treated me like I was important he said he was doing the same. I left it alone, vibrating with fear that he was alluding to a new woman.
At the chef’s table, with the heat of the kitchen on my face and bubbly rosé in my hand, he told me again how he’d gone to hot yoga this morning with one of those people, someone who was positive and hopefully a new value to his life.
I finally took the bait.
“A girl?” I prodded gently.
His face blanched a little as he saw my meaning. “Yes, but not like that.”
I didn’t believe him for a fucking second.
There’s a woman out there who has convinced him to wake up early on a Saturday morning and go to hot yoga. I couldn’t even convince him to go to breakfast with me at that hour in 3 years of knowing him let alone fucking yoga. I don’t care if he wants to fuck her or not. It’s yet another example of how I wasn’t important enough to him on some elemental level.
I felt my chest constrict and my face fall. “It’s also why I hang out with you,” he quickly added. “You’re also a positive influence on my life.”
I stared at my drink infusing the liquid with my pain, leaching it out of my body like a magic spell. I couldn’t fall apart there. I nodded and smiled vacantly, but he seemed to buy it.
He’d stared at my breasts all night and flirted. I looked good: thick, healthy, bouncy. Men ogled me everywhere we went. In the parking garage, the waiting area, the mini-mart on the way home. My breasts felt heavy and I’d cum multiple times throughout the day with a sadness wedged between my legs alongside the vibrator. I wanted him to reach out to me so badly, to touch my face, to cup a heavy breast, to feel his warm fingers on my neck and his sweet breath on my lips that I feared it was obvious. But he kept his distance for every minute of the night. Not one slip; a calculated, iron grip reigned supreme.
We played another game — one I’d win — once back home. Naturally, he was tired. I waited for something to shift, for a new attitude to indicate he wanted me back, wanted me, something daring, anything, but I couldn’t bring myself to say the words that burned in my throat.
“Is it natural for you yet to not touch me?” I wanted to know. “Do you not love me anymore?” But those words never left my lips.
My plan all along has been to treat myself with this last night together with him, as friends and former lovers, and to take my emotional temperature after. How did I feel? Was it excruciating? Was it bearable? If it was excruciating, I promised myself I would exorcise the source of my pain, but even thinking about saying goodbye to him forever guts me, draws me inside out and wrings me out.
I feel trapped between complete heartbreak and hope. I miss him, I still love him, I still want him, but I don’t want that old relationship. I want this new man wrapped around the good man I know he could be. The shady, distant man I knew can go fuck himself. The idea of him with another woman is so repulsive it proves that what I’m doing with him today is not a friendship. I’m sleeping on our grave. It’s a lie.
I can’t go on like this. I can’t expose myself to this level of pain over and over. I would advise anyone I knew to cut it off, but taking my own advice seems impossible. Never seeing him again is raw loss, a primal wound re-exposed to the light that I can’t imagine bearing. But I don’t see any other way through this. My tears make it impossible to see.
I had the most excruciatingly wonderful night tonight. He did everything he knew I loved. We played games, he took me to a fancy restaurant, we played some more. We talked about our lives as safely as we could. He touched me here and there in a friendly platonic way. It felt like lightening.
A sadness hung around us when I hugged him goodnight. I don’t know if it was mine or his. Maybe both. Surely he knows this is hard on me. Or maybe he doesn’t. All I know is I can’t keep going. I just can’t. I have to end this. The most sensitive parts of me are becoming blackened bits of shit. When the tears are dry I’ll cry some more. Love is the most important thing in our little lives. I feel its truth in my marrow; it’s not true for him for me. It’s time to scorch the planes of my aching heart and let it rebuild anew.
I didn’t know I could hurt even more, but I seem to be an endless pit of despair for unrequited love.
That must mean it’s time to say goodbye.