You Left Me Wondering What I Did Wrong

black and white photo of a woman smoking
Emma Lopez

You and I. We were lying next to each other on a bed in that sketchy room we stumbled upon as we both struggled to find our way home. The room was dimly lit with walls so thin you could almost hear the person on the other side breathing. The sheets were white but not too white. It’s the kind of white you know that’s been used and carelessly washed over and over like an elderly whose all life’s experiences are vividly marked on their skin.

You reached for your cigarette pack in your pocket and took one. You looked at me – a kind of look that would draw anyone to you.

And I was drawn to you.

“Will you be okay here?”

You put the cigarette between your teeth and lit it up.

“Yeah, I guess.” I took your cigarette and gave it a drag. “It’s not so bad.”

You smiled at me and then you threw yourself on the bed extending your arm towards me as if inviting a scared little girl to her safety.

“Come here.”

Tempting. Everything in that moment was so tempting I forgot how sketchy the room was. I stopped hearing people’s breathing on the other side of the room divided merely by walls you would never consider walls. It was as if I am warped into an entirely different world.

And I did. I lied down on the bed with you – your face was so close to mine I can almost feel every breath you breathe. We’re there, lying on the bed face to face; sharing the same air polluted by your cigarette smoke. I took another drag, allowing poison to enter and take over my lungs.

You and I on the bed. Just the two of us looking at each other. I am drawn – like a moth to a flame.

Next thing I know we were kissing – gently, then passionately, then too aggressively.

You began to touch me in places I never wanted to be touched.

You began to grab me in ways I never wanted to be grabbed.

You began to hold me in ways I wanted to run away from.

The safety I felt gradually wore out and it was instantly replaced by fear.

I look away and sat up. I can feel my heart pounding so hard it was almost going to explode out of my chest.

“I don’t think I’m ready for this.” My fist was clenched. My heart was still pounding. My head was buzzing. I felt sick. I didn’t want to do this. I was not ready for this.

The sketchy room turned into its sketchy self. I could hear the people’s breathing again.

I was no longer in an entirely different world.

Utmost silence consumed the room – a mere sign of me screwing this up. I knew I screwed this up. Your face that was glowing so brightly instantaneously turned dull and ghastly.

I couldn’t look at you.

But instead of you storming out as I was expecting, you stood right in front of me. Going down to my level, gently touching my lap.

“Look at me.” You gently touched my face with your fingers. I looked at you ruefully – my eyes on the verge of tears.

“I’m not going to make you do things you don’t want to do.”

And in a snap, I was brought back to that entire different world – a world I preferred. A place so beautiful, so safe. A place where nothing matters but you and me. The sound of people’s breathing on the other side of the room vanished. I was back.

You went back to bed and reached for me. There we were lying next to each other. We spent the night talking. Sharing secrets – the darker the better. I discovered a lot about you – your awful childhood, your fuckups, your plans suddenly including me – as you discovered a lot about me – my fears, doubts, my mistakes that led me to this darkness that was my past. We stayed that way for hours until we fell asleep. I fell asleep in your arms and I had never slept like that since forever. I slept like a baby that night.

It was beautiful. That night was beautiful. You didn’t force me to please you. You didn’t storm away in disappointment for not being able to give you what you want. You didn’t give in to the lust that seemed to have possessed you. You made sure I’d wake up in that same entire different world I preferred with you.

The next day I tried to ring you, but all my attempts were ignored. I sent you messages only to be left unanswered. I asked about you from people we both know and they couldn’t give me a straight up answer about where you are. I waited for your call. I waited for your messages. I went to our favorite places thinking maybe you could be there.

I waited for you for days that turned to weeks, that turned to months. I waited so long it felt like I spent half my life waiting. Until I stopped waiting because I ran out of reasons to.

You left me.

You left me alone in that entirely different world wondering what I did wrong. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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