by Melissa Maney
The once unattainable had become decrepit.
Faded hair dye, skinny body, sloppy kisses, stripper money. Jameson and cigarettes on her breath. That was all that remained of her. She was not the same woman I had fallen in love with. This was a stranger.
Five years ago, she was at her best in every capacity. But now, her health had declined and her spirit had dimmed. She was struggling, suffering, and barely surviving. She had chosen this life for herself.
I wish she hadn’t.
“I want you,” she said, with almost a sad, slurry choke. She touched my face.
Her words left a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t want to hear it. In my head, I kept screaming, “Stop, stop, STOP.”
“You’re drunk,” I said, with a nervous laugh.
“Only a little,” she responded, smiling. “Can I tell you something?”
“I think there’s a reason we keep coming back to each other.” She paused. “I still love you.” She looked deep in my eyes. “Do you still love me?”
An immediate “no” popped in my head.
“I don’t know,” I answered aloud.
She was saying everything I had always wanted to hear, all of these years later, and in that moment I discovered how much I no longer wanted it. I didn’t want her love. I didn’t want her mind, her body, her sex. I didn’t want her.
“I think you should go now,” I said, looking away from her.
“Why?” she responded, hurt.
“Something doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel good,” I said.
“Let me try to make you feel better,” she said. She came up behind me and kissed my neck.
I shook her off. “That makes me feel worse.”
She stopped, confused.
Suddenly, my discomfort turned into anger. How dare she come crawling back to me. Now that she had no one, including all of the lovers she had cheated on me with, she was trying to get back together?
“You have to go now,” I said sternly. She looked at me with sad eyes. It broke my heart all over again. Maybe I did still love her.
“Please,” I said, looking away.
She slowly got up from my bed, gathered the only few things she had, and walked out, closing the door on any possibility of “us” ever again. I wondered if I had made a mistake. I reopened the door to watch her leave.
Finally, I closed the door.
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