How strange it is that we should have met like this, on a night that was improvised, at a time when I’m realigning the pieces of my past – life has a weird sense of timing, sometimes.
I only wanted some fresh air, a break from the stuffy atmosphere, when you appeared on the stairs, looking as hot as ever, wearing your gold chain, the one you fastened around my neck one night in bed, in a feeble attempt to mark your territory.
You followed me outside, I’m not sure why, we talked, grasping for commonplace, the air heavy with our history. We pretended you didn’t know every inch of my body, and I of yours – we stood awkwardly next to each other as if we’d never spent hours talking about everything with my head on your shoulder, your arms around me.
We said safe, meaningless things while our past hovered between us —
how you first fucked me against a wall, in the rain, I banged my head and pleasure mixed with pain,
the play you took me to for my birthday,
our first argument when we wrecked your kitchen table having wild angry sex, sending plates and cutlery flying everywhere,
the passionate discussions late into the night about life, love, politics, philosophy, literature (when I first saw your bookshelves, I was halfway to being in love) and yes, Game of Thrones & The Walking Dead,
the traditional English tea in that charming place in the countryside, the scones and cream you pushed on my plate as you said I was too skinny,
that “thing” you agreed to reluctantly, just to please me, when I watched you and him, my body burning, but then he touched me and – your jealousy threatening to spill out and spoil everything – I could feel your eyes blazing with a different kind of fire than mine when he made me come and, God forgive me, I think it only increased the ecstasy. I still can’t believe you ever went along with this when you obviously loathed the idea – more guilt for me to feel.
We skirted around so many memories last night, outside – the wind wasn’t the only reason we were shivering.
From the beginning you were into “us”, so much more than I was. You rejected my warnings, ignored me when I said I could never give you what you wanted, you refused to let me end it, told me you didn’t need promises, that you could cope with things as they were, that you just wanted to be with me…and I chose to believe you could handle it, when the truth was plain to see — I was selfish.
I convinced myself it was safe because you also liked men, liked them so much more than women truth be told, I stuck a label on your gorgeous face and foolishly didn’t realise that your heart had the ability to be broken by just anybody.
Now, here we were, outside the club, acting, for whose benefit exactly?…until you deviated from the script and asked me if I was happy.
I was about to say yes when I paused and wondered which answer was likely to give you the least pain. It is a measure of how guilty I feel about the hurt I caused you that the truth stuck in my throat. Yet, if nothing else, I was always honest with you and I wasn’t about to start with the lies so I said that, indeed, I was.
How could I tell you, again, that I was sorry, without raking through dead leaves, you never did need nor deserved patronising – you were always far too clever (so sharp, so sexy) for me to even want to try.
The music from the club invaded our pathetic little party of two when a couple came out and started kissing furiously as if their lives depended on it. You looked at me, pushed the hair away from my face like you always used to do, and the familiarity of the gesture broke through the fog…I saw how easy it could be to fall back into it, to tear down those new walls between us, I knew you’d let me take advantage of your feelings all over again if I chose to be weak, because you are so very smart about everything, but me.
My sweet darling, I could never be so selfish, to reach out and squeeze my fingers around your heart a second time would be sheer cruelty.
Love will claim its casualties, you loved too much and I not enough, but… I loved, still.
We were lovers then became strangers trying to forget the same memories — to avoid any further pain, that’s how it should remain.