Your apartment was cramped, I was cold, I forgot my coat all the way back in my apartment almost a thousand miles away. You said it was supper time and we should eat - I should eat, specifically. So I followed you up town, through this shitty town in the autumnal cold, feeling a weird combination of tension in my chest and relief that you were real in my stomach.
How is it that all my friends live so far away?
And yet here you are paying for this terrible take-out chinese, not at all like what I had gotten used to in Los Angeles or even in my college town that is heavily populated with Chinese immigrants. But I ate it, knowing I needed the food, and then I stuck it in your fridge and told you to eat it later, that I even made sure it was vegetarian so that you would in fact eat it.
I played with my fingers and criticized your decorating skills, made jokes about how you must be going blind in your old age, continued to text my husband throughout the evening as we watched that lip sync show on Spike. I actually really enjoy that show, as stupid as everyone says it is.
Then you got jealous, you started railing against him, as you tend to do, going through your list of why he doesn’t deserve me, why I should stay in that oppressive apartment with you. Why I should stay and we could take care of each other, we could live happily ever after, just like you always wanted and you know I always wanted.
I went quiet, not quite believing that you had the audacity to ask me to stay when I was finally some kind of okay and content. You took my silence as agreement with your plan and I was pressed into you, your hands finding my hips and pulling me into your lap. You pressed your beer-sour lips to mine and you tasted wrong and I wanted to cry because you weren’t anything I wanted anymore and you weren’t a comforting presence anymore; you were just another boy who ruined me. Maybe you aren’t one who physically harmed me, but you ruined me just as much.
I tore into your life and then you tore into mine. I kept you from the ledge for years and you kept me on it. You were my knight in rusted armor and I was your beautiful, innocent, perfect lush.
Before I went running out, looking for a taxi, I told you maybe in a different world, and you laughed in the most bitter way. I wanted to be bitter, but I spent most of my time knowing you that way, so I laughed so hard and so gleefully I imagine that was some of the realest fear you’ve ever looked at me with that night as I ducked into the cab.