Fiction

some things you just can’t speak about

I can feel you lying next to me. Your warmth is radiating through the blanket, but it can’t touch me. Not right now. Right now, there’s nothing to do but to wait, to hope, to dream. The hoping and the dreaming I can only do in moments like these.

I feel so selfish.

I lay here, a weight in my chest, in my stomach. It’s crushing me into myself and I know I should turn around and throw my arm over your stomach and pull you into me instead but I can’t bring myself to do it. I tell myself it’s because I don’t want to wake you or because I don’t want to use you so cheaply. Slap a bandage in the form of your warmth onto it and hope you make it better. An unknowing painkiller.

But neither of those are the real reason. Somewhere inside of me, I know it’s because I don’t want your warmth to encounter my pain. I don’t want you to be infected by it.

I don’t want you to be infected by me.

A part of me feels angry. Shouldn’t you just. Know? Shouldn’t you feel my profound badness from across the bed just as surely as I feel you lying there, just far enough away that we don’t touch? (I wish we were touching. Maybe if we were touching this would all go away and I’d never feel bad like this again.)

I make an attempt to volley this train of thought back across the net, that’s ridiculous, I tell my invisible tennis opponent. But it doesn’t work and this metaphor doesn’t work because my invisible tennis opponent is just me. The me who can’t be convinced, who wins every game. The me who meets every strand of logic with an impenetrable wall of fear and stands atop it with a navy-blue flag and not a shred of armor.

I wish you could be here with me, hammering against that wall together until we took it down. I wish you would be the one to roll over and gather me close and tear that flag from that other person’s hands.

I wish you knew.

So, I guess I’ll just have to wait, to hope, to dream.

For your epiphany.

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