Sometimes I think that I could marry him. At those times, I don’t even remember his past or what he’s done, or I think that if he changes, none of that will matter. I think that I just don’t want to be alone, and I would never be alone with him. Sometimes.
Like the other night.
I was curled up in bed on one side – my huge bed, and I barely took up any of it. I felt so small. There are times when you just feel so small that a gnat would have a greater impact on the world than your existence. And I was so alone.
It’s the kind of alone that makes you ache, that makes you forget that there’s anyone who loves you. Everything that I stared at looked like the whole universe was going on without me. I felt like I was the only person hurting.
It’s like I knew that I wasn’t, but I couldn’t convince my emotions otherwise.
I was just alone when I didn’t need to be. I was too weak to bear it all at that moment on my own. I needed someone. So I curled myself in closer and tighter trying to find that person within myself. I closed my eyes hoping that I could sleep through it.
I knew that I had God. I had His words, His comfort, but I needed skin. Maybe if someone else was in the room. No…I needed more than that. I wanted to hug my mother, but I couldn’t. I wanted to hold someone – not just anyone. Someone who would understand.
I didn’t cry. It wasn’t that sort of loneliness. It was just the type that makes you ache. My body was so enormously tired from bearing all of that weight.
Maybe I needed a distraction. Something to just take my mind off of it. I don’t know. I just know that I needed someone.
He entered like he always did. A shadow. I never heard him. My heart jumped when I felt the slight weight shift on the mattress. But who else would it be but him? His fingertips grazed along my spine and touched my neck – his way of letting me know it was him, – and it settled in the curve of my waist.
I didn’t move. It shocked me a little. I used to get chills, and then I would simply get annoyed – if I felt anything at all. But I didn’t feel annoyed this time, or anything like usual. It felt…comforting, like my emotions were warming up inside of me.
He never tried to make a move, but it still usually always made me so angry. Like, who was he to think that he had a right to be there? To touch me? I would get so offended. I would shove him away and push him off, and he would always laugh. He would never get offended. It’s like he knew that he would never be good enough – not in his eyes or mine, but he never gave up.
I didn’t push him away this time. I listened to his breathing. It was steady and matched mine. I wondered about his heartbeat. He brushed his thumb back and forth across my back like he did sometimes as if he were trying to ease me off into sleep. I closed my eyes, but it didn’t feel like enough. It was like this distance was keeping something away. I just needed someone there to comfort me without words. To encourage me and make me stronger without making a sound.
Why did he keep coming back? Why did he never give up?
And suddenly, I just felt too tired to fight him off. But we weren’t fighting. He was my friend. He was always there to comfort me. Come to think of it, he had always been there for me.
I turned towards him. I left my body curled only it was towards him. It was immediate. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me tight. His breathing sounded louder, more powerful. I realized just how strong and large he was compared to me. His chest felt like a rock.
For a moment, my mind wandered to how many other girls he had held this way. It was almost comical. He had never held anyone tightly like this. I knew better than anyone how girls were like toys to him. He’d never told any of them that he loved them – not even as a lie. He was so handsome that he didn’t have to lie to get what he wanted… Wicked man. But the way that he looked at me. I would catch him sometimes. And I could tell by the way he held me. The weight just shifted between us. He took that burden from me. He took it, and I wasn’t lonely.
He really loved me.
I blinked in the darkness before finally closing my eyes. I didn’t bother hugging him back. I didn’t need to. He covered me like a blanket. I felt like a princess in a castle of iron. Nothing would hurt me with him. Nothing. It had been so long since I’d felt this safe.
Wicked man that he was, I wanted to feel loved. It was so confusing because I didn’t know. I had always denied it, but now, I wasn’t so sure. Maybe I wanted his love. His protection. Maybe I could marry him. If he changed, I might could see it. Maybe.
Photo: Thomas Leuthard