He was an open book.
One that flipped open and showed off its pages whenever I was around, eager to bare it all. It made feel a sort of isolation; as if seeing him so free reminded me of my own captivity. I did try to open myself to him, but in the end he was miles ahead, and I always fell short. I was helpless to the force of his sentiments: both diurnal and nocturnal. How he would balance himself with shivering tilts for hands while he slowly sunk into me; deliberate in his excursion. I often found myself overwhelmed by the muddle of his affections. He was so hungry, so wolfish in his appetite; shifting his attention from one part of my body to the other so erratically, that once he was done, I would lie shivering in his aftermath: his warmth still lingering on every part he nuzzled, brushed, or grazed.
I never told him about him, if you were wondering. The italicized 'him' being a certain man from my past (it seemed more appropriate to italicize him, since he was a secret that I could only allude to, and never simply state). I did try, but my tongue would always freeze at the very last moment; insisting on keeping him my own, after all this time. I hated having him as a secret, it felt like by doing so, I've somehow given him deeper meaning, let him retain some sort of importance that would continue to linger within me, rather than evaporate into air.
While we're discussing secrets, here's one that I've been keeping for a while now:
I'm starting to believe I'm incapable of love, or maybe I simply don't understand what love is. The truth is, I don't love him. I do care, with all the sincerity in my heart, but I do not love him. There was a time when I thought I would; I was right at the very
edge, barely resisting my eminent fall.
Then I came home to find him
with some woman straddling his hips. She was a brunette, or maybe a redhead, I don't know; she could've been a fucking plastic doll and I wouldn't have even noticed. Incidentally, they didn't notice me, either; she kept rocking against him while he held her with open
hands. Hands that would later tremble against my wrists as he begged
please, please, don't leave.
I had nowhere to go, so I ran towards the city. It was too late and too dark, and every street light
would violently flicker whenever I walked by, as if they were spelling out a code: Stupid girl, stupid fucking girl.
I felt eighteen again; without a friend in the world, and this cold,
angry city to call a home. And he immediately came to mind, with his pale, distant eyes and mocking smile. I felt a sudden yearning for the way he looked at me; half-affection, half-contempt, like I simultaneously disgusted him
and warmed his heart. Because that's what we were: filthy and disgusting
and beautiful, so fucking beautiful. It took all the strength in me not to run to him, to lose myself in the numbness of his embrace.
I was determined to make it on my own. To start fresh, once again, and forget the past altogether. I will not run towards the first man that smiles at me, nor will I scurry back to my family: this time I would do it completely on my own. My entire twenty-something years on this earth have been nothing but a series of slip-ups and mistakes. This time, I will pick myself up and carry on, and I will learn to stand without crutches, without someone's hand holding me up or holding me down.
So I made a home for myself out of a tiny studio apartment that was more cardboard box than living space. And two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant.