The other day you asked me why I never sleep over anymore, why I always leave in the middle of the night instead of waking up next to you in your bed.
I told you it was because I have trouble sleeping with the TV on, because I can’t deal with the noise, because I’m a “picky sleeper”.
That was a lie.
I don’t leave because of the flashing lights or the sound of your snoring or how your dog always seems to hog only my side of the bed.
I leave because I feel more lonely when I’m with you than when I’m alone.
But I would never tell you that, would never say that out loud to your face. Because if I said it, it would make it true.
Instead I sneak away at midnight, once you’re fast asleep. I go home to my quiet apartment and crawl under the covers.
And I wake up alone. Alone…but not lonely.
See, when I’m away from you, when I’m snuggled up by myself, I can pretend everything is ok. I can pretend like you’re a couple of miles away, laying in your own bed, missing me. I can pretend you’re wishing I was there.
I can pretend you care.
But when I’m actually with you, I can’t do that. I can’t pretend because it’s so painfully obvious. I can’t pretend like you want to know about my day when you would rather drink a beer. I can’t pretend like you want to kiss me when you push me away saying you want to watch football. I can’t pretend like you want to take me on dates when you choose to go out with your boys instead.
When I’m with you, I’m lonely.
Because you choose everything over me. That’s how insignificant I am, I’m like a piece of furniture collecting dust, like an old coat hanging in the closet, like the throw pillow that’s just there to look pretty.
And like that throw pillow, I’m ALWAYS there. Waiting for you to choose me, waiting for you to decide I’m worthy of some attention.
There is nothing lonelier than waiting.
At least when I’m alone in my bedroom waiting for your text or your call, I can pretend. I can live in a fantasy world, imaging that your phone is dead or you’re busy planning a romantic date or buying me flowers.
But we both know the truth. We both know you’re probably playing video games with your friends or out getting drunk or maybe even texting that cute girl you work with.
So that’s why I leave at night, that’s why I’ve been distant.
Because I’m not strong enough to be without you but I’m also not strong enough to be with you.
Instead I’ll stay in this middle ground, in this made-up dream, waiting, wishing, pretending you love me. And while I may be alone, I won’t be lonely.