The buzzing sound of the light bulb above my bed is making my head spin. I wish I could just fall asleep, lay down my thoughts of her altogether with my body. How beautifully convenient would it be if we could switch off our feelings whenever their presence got too blinding for us too think straight.
Sometimes you see better in the dark.
My fingers slide across the light switch and I exhale the breath I’ve been holding for God knows how long, the raven air closing around me like a reversible cocoon. My eyes no longer find her picture that I know is sticking to my wall, nor do they catch the soft swell of her sleeping body that’s lying next to me. Although this temporary blindness soothes me in a way, I can still feel her in every possible way. My hands aren’t touching her but I feel her so close it makes me panic again and soon enough there’s that buzzing sound again.
I’m so afraid of losing her that I can’t handle her being here. The duality inside my heart is playing dirty tricks on my mind. Inside all this worry, there’s no space left for anything else, not even me. It takes all of me. Can’t even sleep because I want to make sure she’s still breathing. Can’t convince myself to stay awake much longer because I am tired, angry. She takes all of me.
Her face smiles at me although she could be smiling at someone else in her dreams. I wish I could steal some of her carelessness. She never steals anything from me, she just makes it her own.
“Come a bit closer…” she murmurs, a gentle swiping of her hand looking for mine underneath the sheets.
“Did I wake you up? I’m sorry about the light…” I hear myself apologize.
She rests the palm of her hand on my cheek, not opening her eyes. Her hair glistens like a halo around her head and I can’t help but press my lips to her forehead. She’s like my favourite book, from which I haven’t read the last chapter yet; so beautiful but I have no idea what the story is really about. Endings scare me. I tend to avoid them.
I wait for her lips to move again but her nose twitches and I know ,she’s fallen asleep again. It shouldn’t surprise me, after all this time, but I still feel a sadness heave me from deep down. In every little gesture, every tiny detail or slightest habit, it is never about me, always about her.
Never has she asked me, why do you keep the light on at night? Not once did she wonder, why is it he is constantly awake? When I kiss her goodbye, she never kisses back. If I come home with any sort of good news, about work or anything else, she smiles at me whilst her eyes are already focusing on something else. I am always the first to tell her I love you. She never tells me first.
And it hits me, why I keep up with the unreason of this all. She might not treat me too nicely, but at least she’s here. She makes me forget about myself. It’s just easier, but it’s wrong, in every possible way. When you worry over someone else, you have no room left to linger on your own problems.
Like a child that’s home alone and watches television all day, but doesn’t remember what programs he watched afterwards. At least he didn’t have to deal with the fact his mom or dad weren’t there. A subtle distraction. I abandoned myself and started worrying about someone else. I am the child and parent all in one.
I’m tired of fighting the night with cheap imitations of daylight. For the first time in this long relationship, I start to worry about me again. Maybe I should choose not to say goodbye in the morning myself. Keep my I love you for someone else. Switch off the light because I gotta make sure I keep breathing, take care of myself, get some sleep, rediscover how it feels to open my eyes in the morning. Every single day a new opportunity to make it a better one than yesterday.
An unfamiliar calm nestles itself inside my ears, as the buzzing sound dies out. I untangle myself from her claiming embrace and turn my back to her. I used to sleep like this when I was little, always on my left side. There’s something extremely comfortable about this one particular sleeping position.
I smile. This is the first time I feel my body relax inside this enormous bed. She normally sleeps in my arms because she gets cold easily.
A funny feeling sensation then takes over my muscles. I can feel it tingle at my lower back and it crawls all the way up to my neck, making the tiny hairs stand up.
I have done something for me again.
My past will soon catch up with me. I know this is just the beginning, but although I’m afraid to meet my fears, my problems, even my dreams, I know it’s the right way, finally a choice I make for me.
“I love you,” I whisper to no one else but me.