He walks around the room getting ready, picking up his watch, strapping it on with efficient movements. I am lying on the bed flat on my stomach and it is quite something to watch him move, so sure of everything—of his place in the world-when all I do is constantly wonder.
“I’m sorry I have to go, you’ll have to make your own way out.”
“Are you comfortable leaving a woman loose in your mansion?”
He laughs. A lovely unencumbered sound. There really is no doubt in his mind.
This complete trust I don’t deserve makes me bury my face in the pillow. I close my eyes and think I’m not real…nothing is, and the sky will swallow me at some point and I will just cease being and wouldn’t that be wonderful, and peaceful?
I feel his lips pressing on the hollow of my back and he sighs.
“You’re mine” he whispers against my skin.
I bristle at that, though I don’t show it. Those are the words of the vampire. They immediately transport me back to a time when I was fading, when everything about me was being annihilated.
His tone is different and he is nothing like that bloodsucker, but there is a tight feeling in my chest all the same. Pure knowledge does not eradicate raw feelings.
He carries on, oblivious to my inner turmoil.
“Why don’t you stay? Instead of coming home to an empty house, there you’d be filling it with everything that’s missing.”
I don’t bother replying, we’ve had this conversation before. I won’t do anything that resembles commitment and so far he’s tiptoed around the issue, but how long till he gets bored?
And while we’re at it…how long till I stop using the past as an excuse? Do I purposefully wreck anything good in my life because that’s just who I am? Some kind of fraud, ultimately unloveable.
He rescues my face from the pillow and kisses me deeply and tenderly, and sweetly. This act dispels the clouds but the fog is waiting just behind the door, patiently. It knows there will be an opening shortly, there always is.
I watch the effort he makes to pull himself together and leave me—there is real regret etched on his face. Why does he put up with me? It’s a mystery.
He simultaneously makes me feel happy and sad and nostalgic—for something I couldn’t articulate even if my life depended on it—like an 80’s playlist.