Everything I owned was outside and in the truck, ready to be driven across three states. The only thing left inside of the home I spent two years calling “mine” was a couch I was going to sleep on and cleaning supplies for the next day. I planned on wiping away everything right as the sun came up. Fingerprints on the windows, my DNA in the shower, it would all be as gone as me.
I was and have always been fiercely independent; I don’t need anyone because I can take care of myself. But I would still bring boys home and see if any of them would try and fight through and stay. There have been numerous boys who went in and out, no pun intended. Some tried to make their mark, some couldn’t find the front door fast enough after they came.
But he’s there. Even though he tells me he doesn’t believe in love, doesn’t trust women. Even though he’s a little more country, I’m a little more rock and roll, he’s the only one who ever came close to making me say, “Yeah, this could work” again. Even though this is something we both say we don’t want, he’s there.
He came to say goodbye, came to wish me “Bon Voyage” in his own, Montana-boy way. We sat on my floor, drinking PBR and crushing cans while he made fun of my inability to adequately fill in nail holes on the walls and tried in vain to fix the staircase that never sat totally level.
And then in a second we’ve gone from eating pizza on a floor that’s not really mine anymore to being on top of each other. His hands are ripping my clothes away, pawing at me in a sort of desperation. Neither of us say it out loud but we both know that this will be the last time he gets to explore me, to do whatever he wants with me, for an unknown amount of time. We have no where to go, no bed to fall onto, so the floor is all that’s there to catch me when he turns me over.
I had rug burn on my knees for a week.
The sex was usually rough, the kind of sex that girls who wear a-line skirts and pink crop tops aren’t supposed to like. I would go to work in pigtails not because I wanted to look fetishized but just hoping that the way they fell would cover thumbprints on either side of my neck. Fingers in mouths, slapping, the kind of stuff that made my tamer friends tell me to “be quiet” about if I brought it up in public. But I ate it up and was never satisfied; I couldn’t get enough.
But this sex was different.
He was fucking me, and it was good, but instead of forcing my back to slope the way he wanted it when he pushed me onto all fours I felt his fingers graze my spine in a way I to this day cannot describe. Instead of strong-arming me around my neck the way he’d done many times before I found a hand just resting between my voice box and my sternum. Was he trying to feel my heart?
Was this his way of saying goodbye? Instead of leaving me with bruises, with muscle aches, to remember him by I now remember him searching for a pulse, reading me like I was braille.
Maybe he knew it was the last time he would ever really see me.