I Let This Ruin Us

*

I do not say anything.  I let this ruin us.  

I was turning 33, having finished my master’s degree and recently returned home to Vancouver, and he was 35, the only man I had ever loved.  We had broken up four years prior but so much had not changed.

When he asked me to come down to see him for my birthday, (or else he could come up and see me?), I had agreed.  He was the only one I wanted to spend my birthday with: reliable, loving, fun.

I had just been dumped by a 22 year old after only two dates for someone he “had a better connection with”.

*

We had Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits for dinner.  When he had asked what I wanted for dinner, he added, “Whatever you want” and I thought long and hard.  I was on a diet.  I was always on a diet.  But birthdays are automatic ‘cheat days’, those are just the rules.  It took an hour to drive there, and an hour back.  When we kissed after ordering, the girl at the counter cooed.  My cheeks were starting to hurt from smiling.

We laughed till we didn’t need to do sit ups.  He kissed my neck.  We drove home with our food and our laughter and our happiness.  He shared his fries.  He gave me his biscuit.  His love was heavy with generosity.  We watched the hobbit.

“Is it better than the first one?”

“Way better!”

And it was.

*

I don’t know how to say I think this love might be hurting me.  I don’t know how to say that I might have been wrong before, that maybe my heart isn’t big enough to hold all the caring, that maybe my heart doesn’t have room for all the men.  I am a writer who is speechless.  I can’t say that I might not want him inside me, that it’s not so simple, that I’m confused about how I feel.  I think this extended love might be fucking me up.  This fucking might be damaging my good parts.  I don’t know how to say it because I let it happen.

*

“Get on top for a bit,” he says.

I don’t want to.  It hurts my knees.  I’ve told him I don’t like to be on top.  Why can’t anyone hear me?  I say things and no one sees me.  I’m spiralling.

I get on top, but I don’t want to.  I’m not in this place anymore.  It hurts because we’ve been fucking too long.  Or because my vagina is saying what I can’t.  Or because it hurts my knees.  My mouth feels dry.  Why can’t I say anything?  Why won’t you say anything?!

*

I used to write that we had duct tape love.  That our love would fix anything, hold it all together; our love was makeshift and beautiful.  But now I have stuffed my face with gauze, put duct tape across my lips; I am silencing myself for this love.  This is not love.  This is love.  I can’t see straight anymore.  It’s not so easy.

“Get on top, it feels so good,” he says and kisses me.  “You feel so amazing.”  And he means it.  It would kill him to know he was hurting me this way.  It would kill him.  It would kill him.  It would kill him.

It probably wouldn’t kill him.  I am not so special.  Why don’t I say anything?

I smile.  I try not to cry.  It’ll be over soon.  And then I almost vomit because of how much this sounds like rape.  But I haven’t said anything to him, I am the only one who knows I don’t want this.  I am the only one who knows that I am conflicted, that this doesn’t feel right anymore.  I am the only.  I am the only one.  Only one.  I am alone. My heart is tight.

Say something I scream inside my head.  Say anything.  Say no.  Say stopJust get off him.  He’ll plead; he’ll cajole.  He’ll say, “but you feel so good, you feel so great.”  He’ll try to convince me with compliments my ego doesn’t care about.  He doesn’t know that you’re falling apart inside.  He doesn’t know that you’re shedding layers with every thrust.  He doesn’t know.  He doesn’t know.  You have to tell him.  You have to say something.  But, it’s my birthday and it’ll be okay, I think.  He already made me cum and I can’t leave him hanging and I love him.  I will always love him.

I do not say anything.  I let this ruin us.

*

Later, after he finished, and we snuggled, my head on his chest, his arms cradling me, I turned over in the darkness and cried.  At first, the tears streamed slow and quiet towards the pillow, but I am an emotional volcano, and I could not control it.

I cried because I fucked him past when I wanted to.  I cried because sometimes when I’m with him I can’t help but think of other men that I am dating, have dated, will date, and that makes everything feel so very complicated.  My mind never stops.

I cried because I thought my heart was big enough to hold everybody, but my arms are getting tired, and I don’t know how to say that maybe I was wrong.  I don’t know how to say that I am terrified about what life will be like if I am horribly wrong about how much space there is in my heart.  I cried because I don’t know if I want him like this anymore.

Everything feels so cramped and crowded.  I am heavy with diamond problems.  It’s hard to complain at the bank.

*

I do not say anything.  I let this ruin us.

*

The next morning he made me breakfast in bed, having already gone shopping for all my favourites.  He made me coffee because the last time I had visited we fought over coffee.  He didn’t understand how it was an addiction.  He didn’t understand how it was important.  I had thought it meant he didn’t understand me.  My friends said coffee was not such a big deal.  I said that after 40 years, arguing over coffee might start to wear on you.

My friends said that I am lucky to have such love.

It was hard to complain about coffee when he had paid to fly me home from Montreal for a visit.  He had paid to fly me across the country and I was complaining about coffee.

Ungrateful.  Ungrateful.  Selfish selfish selfish little…

*

I don’t know how to extricate myself from this love.

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Victoria Young

Writer. Dater. Masturbator. Don't worry my parents don't think I'm funny either. Grad Student. My breasts aren't ashamed of me either. You and me kid, we're going to change this world.