I lay silent on his couch in the middle of his living room and watch a fly wander from the television to the window, unsure of which glass to break through to return home. I too, am unsure of which reality to accept. Glen sleeps soundly, even with my head on his chest. I wonder how he can do so without any loss of comfort, without waking up from the added weight. I wonder how heavy my doubt weighs in my own skull. In my mind, I can see his sternum collapse from the density of my regrets. Every relationship has an expiration date. Although we haven’t reached ours yet, I know it’s coming soon. I believe the smell of its impending decomposition attracted this fly into the living room.
Glen’s chest rises. I hear a soft current run through him. When we first met, I wanted to puncture his skin and screw a spigot into the wound, drain him of all the bad blood he’d collected in his past. What’s worse — I wanted to drain him of all his good, too, but after a few years, well, that well’s run dry.
In my experience, there’s a half-life of loneliness between every worthy relationship. Glen and I have been dating for nearly two years now, depending on who you ask. He would probably differ, say we’ve been going out for only a year and six months, but I prefer to count the unofficial months as well, because often those are the best months, those are the months you begin to understand who you are from the other person’s lens. That’s when you don’t have to be emotionally vulnerable with the other person; you can still hold onto the barriers you’ve created.
But the half-life theory, it says because Glen and I have been together for two years, I’ll have to be alone for one after we break up. What will I do in that year? How will I improve who I am?
Or am I already as perfect as I can be, albeit imperfectly? Maybe when this ends, it will be my fault, or maybe it won’t be. Not every conclusion requires fault. Sometimes things just end, for no reason at all. Sometimes that’s the harder one to accept, because then there’s only the universe or God to blame, if you believe in that sort of thing. Glen believes in God. I’m glad I don’t though. I’d blame everything on Him, when really I’ve learned it’s best to take responsibility for your own mistakes, and also your own successes.
I think about rescuing the fly as Glen naps. I know that, if I try to catch him with my hands, he’ll zip loudly around the coffee table, rush head-first into the window. Instead, I stick my palm out like I’m balancing a full teacup. There are only so many places for him to land when he gets tired. Eventually he’ll want to rest his wings on the sweet, sticky warmth of my skin. Once he does, I’ll either close my fingers around him, or let him be, trust he understands I never wanted to hurt him at all.