Do You Feel Loved?

Toa Heftiba / Unsplash

You ask me how many people I have slept with. I never understand this question.

Tell me, what is it that you really want to know? What are you asking me truthfully, underneath it all?

Why don’t you ask me how many men I’ve taken into my heart against my better judgment? How many flawed and wonderful men I have ever truly loved?

How many men have brushed my hair from my face and told me I look beautiful in the candlelight? Or how many men I’ve danced with under a full moon to whatever cheesy song happened to come on the radio?

I don’t understand your question.

Are you talking about lust? As if it’s separate somehow. How many men have had the pleasure of entangling their limbs with mine?

Or how many of them actually filled me up in a meaningful way that went beyond physicality into intimacy? Is that what you need to know?

I don’t understand your question.

What answer could possibly satisfy you? What is too little? What is too much? And for who?

What internalized misogyny do I need to guard myself against? What Whore or Madonna do I need to falsely present myself as today? I thought we were better than this.

I’ve slept with nine, you say. I didn’t ask, I think. I would never ask. It means nothing to me.

I have questions I want answered, sure, but none of them lie in your past.

I want to know whether you are happy. Are you happy in this moment here with me?

Do you feel loved? Do you feel free?

Does my voice soothe you? Do you miss me when I am away? Do you reach out for me in the morning and feel sad when you find that I am not there?

Do you think of our future together? Do you imagine what our children’s names might be? Do you wonder what I will look like all plump and lined in fifty years time?

None of those answers lie in a number.

What are you really asking, my love?

Ask me again, please.

Ask better. TC mark

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