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December With You, January Without You

My body fights sleep. Waking up with your name on my tongue. These dark days between the holidays spent stagnant and silent. Friends are out of touch and distracted. Morning turns to early afternoon. Afternoon to evening. I stay motionless in bed, eerily alone, hoping answers will appear out of thin air.

Being at home with you over the holidays tore me open, turned me inside out, and left me confused. I should have known that l needed to stop visiting ghosts of Christmas past.

Yet there I stood in your house as you undressed me. Hungry for each other, our clothes came off with ease. Our bodies swept up together in a tornado of fury. Sleep wasn’t a priority that night, we were energized by the presence of the other. Sex came and went, then came again and again. After each time, you locked me in close with your legs. Holding me in that moment, only to let go.

At some point, we fell asleep messily and restless. Strewn out and splayed across one another. Sweaty, sticky, and dehydrated.

The morning light crawled across my eyelids and with it the thoughts came flooding in. I reached for my phone in a puddle of melted ice cubes and spilled drinks on your nightstand. As I scanned my call log and texts, the memory of all the words spoken out of my mouth resembled regret. Thinking back to the seemingly loose-lipped-subtly-domineering-needy person I was the night before. Every truth I told about feelings and our history seemed to only propel you further away.

Days following, plans were made and broken. They would say you are too caught up in your own life, but “He likes you. He would be crazy not to.”

Still, there was nothing of substance transpiring from our conversations, and there was no sense in staying to wait for answers. Time dwindled and life out west called.

Flash forward 2 weeks, I called you 3 times. The remainder of New Year’s Eve and Day were spent on the bathroom floor. A tragic ending and beginning for someone who works tirelessly to have it all together. As I heaved into the toilet, I heard my phone ring over the speaker. Despite my inebriated state and the concerned chaos breaking out around me, I knew it was you. Endemic of our relationship and bound by my own doings, I was rendered voiceless and literally unable to reach you.

I am glad we didn’t connect that night. There was nothing to say. I have been taught carefully by others to believe someone the first time they show you. With you, I let the complication confuse me. The kindness in your eyes and the plans you drunkenly lay out tell a different story from the reality where you fail to show up.

Thinking back to high school when you told me you liked me, and after college when I returned those feelings. Only this time it was you who didn’t return the sentiment. Now here we are, 29, single and forced together as we stand by the sides of our friends on their wedding day.

I stare at the dress hanging on my closet door, wondering what will come of the wedding night 5 weeks from now. Ambiguity surrounds me in the same air I search for answers. Anxiety eats away at me. It lives in the corners of the dark rooms in my soul, next to abandonment. The worst of them all.

Will you show up for me? Of all the questions you have left to answer, will you leave this one unanswered too? TC mark



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