I leaned over the window, letting cool air fan the heat on my face. I could smell the alcohol on my skin, could feel my tongue heavy in my mouth. My heart ached in a way that it hadn’t for days, and when I felt his hand rest on my shoulder, gentle, soothing words urging me to step away from the window, I began to cry.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, concern etched on his chiseled face. When my mind was clouded with the taste of rum, he always appeared cuter. Now, he looked like a god.
I shook my head. “Nothing.”
The truth was, I was consumed by the knowledge and clarity alcohol provided. My reality was clouded with silly thoughts and make-beliefs, but with the liquor running through my veins, the hard, pressed truth that the love of my life had stopped loving me weighed on me like it had never before. I knew then, if I hadn’t before, that he was never going to love me again.
“You had me worried. Don’t do that shit. You’re really small and you’ll probably fall right over. I don’t need you to haunt me.”
I laughed as the tears continued to spill over. He didn’t ask me if I was okay. Instead, he wrapped an arm around my shoulder in the awkward way a male friend hugs a girl.
Falling in love was easy. The moment was perfect for the magic to happen. He was a good person, a familiar face, an attractive guy. I enjoyed his company and the silence we shared. By all means, I should have lifted my chin, puckered my lips, pressed blindly ahead and hope he didn’t reject me.
But I didn’t. Because falling out of love was much harder. My heart would remain chained by another who had no interest in holding the key. I would wish hopelessly that I could love someone who was better for me, who was easier, who was near arm’s reach, but the dream would never come true. Even in the arms of another, he would be the only thing on my mind.
He inched back a bit. “Want some more?” He looked at the bottle on the tiny table in the middle of his room, empty red cups frighteningly bright in the darkness.
Nodding, I held out my cup and waited for it to be filled. I laughed as I took a sip, choked on the bitterness, and wished once more that I could love him and not him.