This Is How You Lose Me

Brad Hammond
Brad Hammond

The sink is running in the bathroom as I lay naked in bed. You brush your teeth and tousle my hair and tell me, “I’ll see you later, kid.” At your touch I shiver and bury my body under the duvet. As you close the door behind you I realize that my body feels warmer than when you were laying beside me, and for the past few weeks it’s been this way.

You’re going to lose me because I can tell you’ve grown complacent in some ways, and restless in others. We go out to the movies and I glance over and another man’s name is on your phone. You’ve stopped squeezing my hand three times like we practiced when we’re out in public and you want to silently tell me ‘I love you.’

You tell our friends about our future like it is set in stone and I forget whose future you’re even telling them about anymore- is it yours? Or is it mine? Sometimes I forget. Every day with you feels like the same script played out; one filled with empty promises and vague stage directions. You’ve grown comfortable in the life you have built- you figure that this is all there is.

I see you on your laptop, typing away at online clothing stores and YouTube videos and it is these banal things that have begun to fill our conversations. We used to talk about your fear of spiders, and my fear of being locked in an air-tight box. Speaking to you has felt much like the air-tight space you knew I always feared the most. You grow accustom to the kindness I treat you with. The snacks I bring you and the loving encouragement I’ve offered is commonplace so when I stop offering up these kindnesses, you assume I’m mad instead of screaming out for you to pull me closer.

We fight and we fuck because you had once read in a magazine that it brings people closer together. I tell you I need to shower afterwards and you don’t check on me even though the water has been running for forty minutes to muffle my angry sobs. When I return to bed we don’t hold each other because I tell you I’m too warm to lay in this bed with you wound around me. I ask you to turn off the fan blowing on me, I ask you to stay on your side of the bed. I ask you for water but you’re already snoring too loudly to hear me.It’s the morning again and you wake to your routine. You tousle my hair and tell me, “I’ll see you later, kid,” but I know that when you come back tonight to lay next to me, you’ll be even more distant than you were before. This is how we separate, this is how we finish cemented the walls you’ve been too blind to notice I’ve been constructing. You’re going to lose me before you even realize that I’m gone. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

eBook ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ out in 2014.

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