I sneak out of his bed around 3 and gather my clothes from the floor. I don’t bother picking up my heart; I think I’ll leave it there to collect some dust. Maybe it’ll get swept up by the maid on Friday and make its way to the landfill by next week.
Outside, I dissolve under the porch light. I miss you. He’s everything you are not, and I hate you, I hate you so very much.
Back home, I reach for the top drawer to my armoire, dig my finger into the wound again, and find comfort in twisting it. I pull out the only tangible thing I’ve ever had of you. A Gap V-neck t-shirt – 100% cotton, navy blue, and soft – that you probably don’t remember sending me home in. I never washed it, but it’s long lost your scent. Some of my makeup from that night is still smeared at the neckline and, elsewhere, I can see some faint white stains from the contact it made with those places your cum marked my flesh.
I came over that night dressed like the whore I always was to you; corset, stockings, a garter belt, already wet. You had told me before that I always took you by surprise, that you could never get bored of me, and I never wanted to disappoint.
We never bothered with small talk, and you were so pleased when you pushed me up against the wall and felt what I was wearing underneath, that you tore the straps from my blouse, and sunk your teeth into my skin. I stood in front of you when you sat down, let you take your time taking me in. Then, you to told me to get on all fours.
“Crawl,” you said.
I can still feel the carpet burn.
That night, you fucked me perversely and mercilessly, threw the power back in my hands, and begged for a taste with your head between my knees.
After, we lay breathless and spent, each one devoured by the other. You told me you loved me, then broke my heart when you asked me to leave, handing me my cotton consolation prize and kissing me.
I slept in your t-shirt that night and cried until dawn.
Saturated in Clive Christian No. 1, I am dizzy with the scent, all of me smells like all of him. I can still feel his saliva on my breasts, his semen is sticky between my legs, and here I am, taking off my clothes and wearing your shirt again.
It’s the only thing you’ve ever truly let me have of you.
I think he wants to give me more.
He’s everything you’re not.
He asks about the scars under my skirt, reads the books I’ve brought up in conversation, wants to know my plans this summer when I tell him I’ve never gone to Italy, wonders when I’ll go to lunch with his kids, doesn’t press further when my only answer is a smile.
He holds me when I tell him I broke down and sent you the link to a Joni Mitchell song. He wipes a tear away, tells me he’s always preferred Stevie Nicks, and spins me around his kitchen.
Yes, he knows about you, and he knows about him, too; he can tell one wound from the other.
Two weeks ago, he surprised me with a royal blue dress.
“Thought it would look great with that red lipstick you always wear,” he said.
He zipped it up for me then and there. He took me to dinner, holding my hand in his car and out on the street, not knowing another man would bend me over in the same dress, and hike it up above my waist a week later.
He’ll read this and tell me there is nothing to forgive.
He says I could move in, strings or no strings, says the guest house is all mine, if I need it. Tells me to think about taking the time to focus on my novel.
I don’t think any part of him is ashamed to be falling for any part of me.
I’m certain he doesn’t want to tuck me away where I can’t be seen.
He’s everything you’re not.
I know exactly what he felt when he woke up, reached across his bed, and found me gone.
He texts me way before the sun has risen, ten minutes till six, and says: I want you in my bed, even if you’re thinking of someone else.
I tell him I don’t want to be, that I want to want to be in his arms, instead.
He answers: I want you stay. Please stay. I want you here until you’re thinking of me.
He’ll take me any way he can have me. I’ve always wanted to know what that felt like. It’s not anything like I imagined. I feel indifferent, a lot like you must.
I want to stick the blade in your gut, see how deeply I could go and how far I could twist, before you cried out in pain, yet, you’re the one I’d die for a thousand times over.
He’s everything you’re not, and I’m probably going to break his heart.