We’re lying in bed and he’s lying.
The signs are not as obvious as one might think; no lipstick smudge on his collar, or used condom in his car.
But I knew that another Goldilocks had been sleeping in my bed; sitting on my chair and dipping her finger into my porridge.
The signs aren’t obvious but lately, I noticed that;
during the nights when I map his familiar terrain, I knew that someone else had been there. I see the invisible marks that you’ve left behind, your temporary claim.
And I wonder where you went, what you did and if he liked it.
When I tell him that I love him and he merely echoes my words; like being alone in a cavernous hall, I hear myself bouncing off the walls, like dating a parrot.
He doesn’t look at me any more when we talk. Perhaps he’s afraid that his eyes might give you away.
His affection is rationed, his smile forced. And that slight recoil when I reach for him? I wish he had slapped me instead – it would hurt less.
The signs aren’t obvious; they are subtle, quiet.
But his hesitation, reluctance, and nonchalance are deafening.
He told me about you one night when we were both lying in bed.
Something about how you made him feel alive. The way you set him on fire with a well-timed touch and a careless whisper.
He said that I wouldn’t understand – but I did.
I knew exactly how you made him feel because that used to be me, until you.
He told me that he was sorry. I did not listen. I did not want his apology. I wanted him to want me.
I could’ve confronted you, call you up on that number he’d saved under a guy’s name. I could’ve threatened to burn your house down or kidnap your cat; I could’ve fallen to my knees and beg you to let him go.
But I won’t because I knew that it was a conscious choice.
You chose him though he belonged to another, it was his choice to succumb and this is mine to walk away.
So you don’t have to let him go.
We were taught our whole lives to hold on,
but it is equally as important to know when to let go.