His favorite time of day was when the shadows grew long and lean – just an hour or two before the sun peaked behind the horizon. The way he described it to me was like I was witnessing him create a work of art. “When orange and dark yellow are splattered across the sky, and the air around you starts to nip at the hairs on your arm, forcing you to wrap yourself in a sweater. It feels like home.”
It really was poetic. Romantic almost – the way he could group words together in a way that gave me goosebumps. He made me want to live in that moment forever. That time of day.
My favorite time of day used to be early morning. Before anyone else was awake. When it was just me, my warm and crinkled sheets, and the seconds I had before the sun woke up. That was peace to me. That was home. When everything was quiet and mine.
Thinking about it now, it’s fitting that we were so opposite in things we held dear to us. He loved the moments before the sun set, and I lived for the moments before the sun rose. That was just the way it was. He liked something, and I liked something completely opposite. We were just . . . different.
He didn’t like the music I listened to or the movies I watched or the people I hung around with. He didn’t like the food I ate or the clothes I wore or the things I wanted to do. Or didn’t want to do. In hindsight, I probably should’ve known what would happen. But I didn’t.
He just made everything sound so beautiful. In fact, he was such an amazing wordsmith he always had a way of making me not like the things I liked anymore. He was that good.
All of the things he liked and loved and wanted to do – the way he spoke of them -made me like and love and want to do them too. Except for two things in particular. Two things I wouldn’t budge on. But my dislike of those things didn’t matter to him. He did whatever he wanted to do whenever he wanted to do it. And one day that happened to involve me.
I woke up to a loud knock on my door. It was nearly 5 o’clock in the morning, and I wasn’t expecting anyone. But I had a feeling it was him, and I was right.
I slowly sauntered over to the door, my eyes still half closed from being awakened from my slumber. As I unlocked the dead bolt and proceeded to swing the door open, I could already smell the alcohol escaping from his lips. He was drunk, of course – the first of the two things I didn’t like.
Before I could even say anything, he opened his mouth and began pleading with me. “Baby, I know what you’re going to say; I know you don’t like it when I drink, but I just wanted to come and surprise you,” were his opening lines. I didn’t really want to let him in, but he told me he wanted to talk, so I closed the door behind him as he stumbled in.
As he followed me into the other room, I could hear him walking from chair to table to chair, trying his best to hang onto something so he wouldn’t lose his balance. It made me cringe; he was almost too drunk to function and I hated when he was like this.
We talked for a while in the kitchen, but it’s pretty useless talking to someone who’s had a few too many. He tried playing it off like he wasn’t that drunk, but I could see right through him.
“Why do you always have to go and do this? We were doing so great, and then you had to go and drink,” I whimpered.
“I love you but I just can’t be around you when you’re like this.”
All he could do in response was yell at me and tell me it wasn’t his fault. He was mean and rude and started raising his voice. It just made me so sad because he didn’t always drink; most of the time he was perfect – until he wasn’t. I couldn’t stand to see him like this, so I ran into my room.
I knew he would follow me in, and I knew he would try to apologize for being drunk again, but I didn’t know he would do what he ended up doing.
I was laying on my bed looking out the window. It was still dark outside when he walked in. He sat at the bottom of the bed, running his fingers up and down my leg while he apologized. “I’m so sorry I upset you. I shouldn’t have gone out drinking. It was the wrong thing to do and I know it hurts you. I just feel terrible,” he cooed.
As drunk as he was, he was still able to make me believe his apology was heartfelt and real, but I just wanted to be alone. I asked him to leave; I told him I just needed some time to gather my thoughts, but he didn’t listen.
He told me I was being stupid. He told me to be quiet and to roll over. He told me I was just playing hard to get. “Leave!” I yelled. “Stop! Leave me alone!”
In that moment I realized what it was he wanted from me when he came over – it was the second thing he couldn’t change my mind about. The second thing I wouldn’t budge on. He’d wanted me to do it with him before, but I told him I wanted to wait. I was scared because I’d never done it, and every other time he was a little more understanding. He listened to me, at least. But tonight was different.
As he pushed me down on my own bed and pulled my underwear down, enough for him to force himself inside, I fought it. I fought him. I kept trying to push him off. I hit him. I tried getting out from under him. I cried. I told him to stop 100 times, but the only words he repeated over and over again were, “You know you want this.” Nothing worked, so I gave up; I let it happen.
All I could do was stare out the window and cry while he did what he did to me. And right before he finished – right before he put his pants back on and said, “See babe? It wasn’t that bad,” I saw the sun wake up through my window. The same sunrise I used to love. But now, the moments before and during my favorite time of day were ruined. Ruined in my own bed. In my own warm and crinkled sheets which now had the smell of a drunk him all over them.
He always had a way of making me not like the things I liked anymore. He was that good.