I have to decide what I’m hiding from. Loneliness. Myself. Love. Sometimes it feels like all my thoughts have left me and my body speaks for its own.
This aching, there’s only so much a person can bear. Reality hurts but our lies, they hurt even more.
It was never my intention to bring all of this up. A quiet weekend away, just the four of us. Mark and me, David and Elle. My loving husband Mark, my best friend Elle. My secret lover and Elle’s fiancé, David.
But I can’t. I don’t know how to do this anymore.
I’m standing on the porch, the reckless wind ripping all warmth from my body. David stands a few feet away, but it feels like he’s right next to me. I can smell his cologne and it reminds me of the traces it leaves on my body after he’s been with me. I imagine an uneasy feeling in his belly. I hope his chest feels as heavy and his conscience as guilty as mine.
My eyes try to focus on the sunset, a giant orange ball slowly being swallowed by the lake. I wonder why I let my emotions triumph this time. The four of us, we’ve often been out and about together. This time, I can’t stand Elle touching David when I know she has every right to. I can’t stand the fact David sleeps next to her, makes love to her in the room with the view. I hate myself for avoiding my husband, for keeping my eyes on David during breakfast, during dinner. I can’t believe how I ever got into this mess. How I lie to those I love the most. Poor Elle. So happy but naive. To think I’m the one person who could ruin her relationship is almost unbearable. But I know I’m up for it. Because David, I love you.
When I told him all these things just minutes ago, he was terrifyingly quiet. It made me feel hysterical. Like my words didn’t really matter. Like none of it was a big deal. A sudden thought popped into my mind. He was doing all of this just for fun, just another way to spice up his life. I thought, he doesn’t love me. It makes me want to scream, but I can’t. Elle and Mark are inside, playing Yahtzee. The banality of this all makes me feel sick.
So we’re just lingering here, in between what I said and what will happen next. His hands are deeply hidden in the pockets of his jeans, but I wish they were touching me. This desire is more than dangerous, it’s toxic.
I tilt my head back, my eyes looking for something, anything in his. He quickly casts his eyes down, as if he’s apologizing for not feeling the same as me. How I wish he would say, baby I want to be with you. I choose you. But he doesn’t say anything. He just stares at the empty space between my broken heart and his uncaring one.
There’s tears in my eyes, but I won’t let them fall. I don’t want it to hurt. There’s nothing but shame coloring my cheeks bright red. My fury has changed into powerlessness. You can’t make someone love you back. I have to stop the thousands of promises ready to flow from my lips. David, I promise I will never leave. I swear I will give you anything you want.
It doesn’t matter, because he doesn’t want any of it. All he ever loved about me were my soft curves, the way my body would respond to his, the thrill of being with another woman.
My hands grip my jacket and pull it close. I want to cover myself up, never reveal myself to him ever again. He doesn’t even try to make me feel better. His silence says more than he ever could say with words. For him, it all ends here. For me, everything has only begun; the hurt, the shame, the endless sorrow.
I hear Mark call my name and I cringe. My sweet Mark, who I love very much. Not like David, though. He was just so much more. I wish he never was. How can one person make you feel on top of the world one moment, only to let you plunge into a ravine of pain later?
The sun has now completely sunken down the golden water and I wish the sun, it was me. I would hide myself for the night, only to rise high above all the hurt the next day. Still shining, still warm inside. On top of the world, without anyone’s help. While I feel this messed up, the thought makes me feel slightly better. David and I, we’re over. I’m no longer the moon, hiding in the dark. I am the sun. I will survive.
As I turn my back on David, I turn my back on every lie I ever told myself and everyone else. With a nagging feeling in my stomach and a lump in my throat, I walk inside and wrap my arms around Mark. This agony, I will accept it to be the punishment for all I ever did. Like the sun, I’ll try to rise above.
Try to rise above your mistakes.
It doesn’t hurt unless I think of you.
I don’t think of you unless I miss you.
I don’t miss you unless I remember.
Remember how much I loved you.