Haunted House

“I’m not supposed to be in here,” I say to the room. It is filled with hopes, and fantasies; deepest wishes and longings.

It hurts to be in here. But it hurts just as much to leave.

I cry inside the room. I kneel and I sob, and rock forward, then back, then forward again, this time putting my forehead on the ground.

I want to stay just a little bit longer. I know I’ll regret it, I know I’ll be hungover, but the crying helps me sleep.

He’s there, where I left him. Waiting. Patiently. So is she. So is my house. Several houses. There I am, too.

There are a couple of new people. Up in the corner, a few more brighter spots than the last time I was here. That’s where it’s best to go, so I slowly push myself up off the ground and make my way there. I rarely stay there long.

I always look back. Every. Time. I can’t help it.

I cast my eyes to the door to the other room; it’s wide open and I can see most of the bustling going on inside. They are all are engaged in various activities, wearing certain expressions, and I think about how at some point it pained me to see them there, too. I would overhear their conversations and feel physically ill. They all started out in this room, as well. Some are in both rooms. Others are only in one.

I peer over at myself, the one where she’s on her bed beside him, her eyes shut, but I know they are shining under the lids. And I can see it. She’s aware of me. She’s laughing, hysterically, having the best time she’s had in a while…but she knows I’m there, looking at her, shaking my head at her, silently asking her if it’s worth it, and that I’m asking this me the same thing. Is it? Was it?

She’s saying “yes” but she doesn’t know how bad it is, yet. And I still haven’t decided on an answer, even now.

I see the one of myself where she can’t even catch her breath, she’s crying so hard. Probably her third time that day. She wants to believe I am watching her through the door, she wants it more than anything. But at that moment there is a part of her that is terrified that I’m not. I remember her. I remember her so vividly. I want to tell her that I’m here, but there’s a roar in her ears that is deafening, she wouldn’t be able to hear me. And what I have to say over here wouldn’t bring her much comfort. How would it make her feel to know that she’ll get the reprieve she so desperately wants, and that I’m there and I’m better, yes, but she’s still going to do it again? And be heartbroken. Again.

He breaks out in a laugh and distracts me from her. I turn around and see his smile, and his tan skin, his Adam’s apple bouncing in his neck and I want to press my face against it. He won’t let me. I won’t let me.

I’ve told us both I won’t beg. It takes everything in me not to….but I won’t.

It’s degrading to do it in the first place. Even more so when the answer remains unchanged.

There’s going to come a time when he’s not in this room anymore. He won’t be allowed and I won’t want him there. I’ll probably only see him from time to time, through the door, watching him throw his overnight bag in the backseat of his car, hugging me, with a muffled, “This sucks,” said into my shoulder.

But right now he’s sitting across from me at a restaurant and he’s laughing at something I’ve said, which I then turned into something sexual and completely inappropriate for a public setting and has put images in both our minds; we’re anxious now to get the check.

I stay in this room for much longer than I had intended, watching different scenarios unfold in front of me and feeling equally sad and aroused, and only occasionally, peaceful.

I don’t want to come back here. I don’t want to keep doing this. I don’t want to see him through the other door either.

But I will.

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