By Lilly Gelman
I wish I could re-do that night. Maybe if I had been better, he would have loved me. I still have flashbacks to the feeling of his hands on my hips; they made me nervous, so I stepped away. After spending all day together but a safe distance apart, trying to deny the desire building between us, the feeling of his touch overwhelmed me. Maybe if I had leaned into him, if I had let his hands linger longer on my hips, it would have been different.
The vision of my chin resting on his bare back flashes before my eyes. Why did I just leave it there? Why didn’t I kiss his neck and slowly move my fingers across his shoulders? The fear of doing something wrong overcame me, but maybe, what I thought was wrong, would have made everything right.
I left so early that morning. I woke up next to him thinking I could lay there all day, but I had a meeting, a train to catch…or something. So few words passed between us. Maybe if I had told him how overwhelmed with emotions I become around him, he would have loved me. Maybe if I had made him laugh that morning, he would have wanted me to stay. But we remained silent. Avoiding the elephant in the room that was the night we had just spent together.
Is it really him that I think about when my heart starts to pound with loneliness and my stomach begins to feel empty? I question whether it is him, or the idea of him. The thought of having someone to lie with, someone to kiss, someone to hold on to at night in the dark. Could his form stroking my hair and kissing my lips be replaced with any other in my visions of what would make me feel full? Or will I always be thinking of his smile, his smell, his feeling?
My heart beats fast when I think of that night. Sometimes it hits me when I least expect it, and I need to squeeze my eyes shut tight to make the image fade away. But the feeling always lingers. The little seed of want that the image plants grows and sprouts into a tree with branches of desire, longing, loneliness, and regret. It grows, and it spreads until it has entwined every fiber of my being with an emotion or an image from that memory, and I am paralyzed. Nothing makes sense, and I am lost. Stuck in a void that I fear can only be filled by him but never will. I am stuck.
And I am weak.