She was quiet on the way home from the party, despite her earlier enthusiasm at getting home and being held all night. She got annoyed at her faulty cd player, and didn't smile at my gentle caresses like she usually does. I tried to make her smile with my goofy jokes, but it didn't seem to work. She had been tired after work, so I put it down to that.

I noticed that she didn't hold my hand all the way down the stairs to my room out the back, like she usually does. I would hold it out for her, but she either half-heartedly held it and then let go as we came to an obstacle, or not take it at all. Well, it was dark, so perhaps she didn't see it.

I let her into my room, and went up to the house to the toilet. The light was off and she was in bed when I came down, which was also strange; we usually play a few little flirting games and undress each other before bed, even if we're too tired to have any further fun.

I climbed into bed and put my arm around her; it was a warm night, and the heat of our touching bodies was slightly uncomfortable, but as usual, I ignored it for the greater pleasure of holding the one that I love. I drifted off to sleep.

I woke a few hours later to find she had moved from my reach, and when I put my arm out to her, a bundle of blankets was in the way. I pushed my way past them until I was touching her. 'I just want to be wrapped up completely, like a cocoon.' she said, half asleep. I let her have her way, content with our legs slightly touching, savouring the heat her body was giving off. More sleep.

She got up to get a drink of water, and when she got back in bed, I tried to put my hand on her side, my leg against hers. She picked my hand up, moved it from her body, then closed the blankets around her, separating her from me. My stomach sank as she turned away from me. I turned to face the wall, the memory of her pushing my hand away bouncing around in my head; she'd never done anything like that before, she's always loved my touch, my hands. 'Why doesn't she want me touching her? Have I done something wrong?'

The insecure, paranoid thoughts bounced back and forth in my head, increasing in strength until they brought forth silent tears. I fidgeted, hoping I would get her attention and she would ask what was wrong. I wanted to say something, but what would I say? I didn't even know if I could speak, my words would be choked as I tried to push them out. Tossing and turning next to her, trying to discreetly get her attention but not to disturb her if she was sleeping, I worried, and cried.

I placed my hand gently on her leg, on top of the blankets, softly so as not to be obvious, then lay there as if trying to sleep; I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. She moved, turned to face me; 'You're so cute, you can't not touch me'. She hadn't realised the effect her rejection had had on me.

Her arms reached around my neck, she kissed me gently. 'I just don't feel like being touched tonight, I shouldn't have come over, I wish I'd gone home'. I managed to choke out a 'why?'; if this was the first time she realised how upset I'd got, she didn't react particularly strongly. I held her close, relieved at her touch, relieved that I could cry in front of her, relieved that she knew how much anguish she'd caused me in the last hour, unintentionally. I'd never cried in front of her before. The next couple of hours were a blur of kisses and touches, holding her tight, not wanting to let her go for anything. A blur of my quiet questions, and her distracted answers. 'How can you understand what I'm feeling, if I don't understand it myself?' I just wanted her to feel better, wanted her to feel like she belonged.

She had to leave early; she had work to do and she was behind in it. I dressed her, my eyes downcast; she didn't seem to understand completely how I was feeling. I lay with my head in her lap until she decided she had to leave. She kissed me, and I held her. As she got up, I looked into her eyes and willed her to say the words that would make me happy, the words that would make it alright for her to leave me like this. She walked out the door, and I cried out of helplessness, out of confusion, and out of sheer love for the woman who had just hurt me so much.

I've probably made this sound a bit more dramatic than it was, but not overly so. She has times when she doesn't want anybody, when she wants to be alone, when she's questioning her life, her friends, and occasionally, she questions her relationship with me, which hurts. I wish I could be there for her when she's in this state of mind, but I don't seem to be able to help her.

We've talked since then and discussed what we were both feeling and why, and all is right again, as expected... but during that time last night, my insecurities got the better of me, the paranoid thoughts just took over. One of my shortcomings.

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