It’s late. Really late. I’m driving home and I shouldn’t be. I glance at myself in my rearview mirror. I wonder if anyone looking could see the hurt in my eyes, the sinking feeling of disappointment in my gut. I’m hurt. Bad. I want to pull over and just cry for a while but that’s way too dramatic to do on Spring Street at this hour. I turn on my Pandora hoping it will drown out my thoughts, and to no avail. I look back at myself in the mirror and my hair is still perfect. Middle part, bone straight 18 inches of Eurasian weave laid for the gawds. My brows are perfect and my red lips accent my blue dress perfectly. I tossed my heels in the back and I’m driving barefoot trying to think of somewhere to go to drown my sorrows. I don’t want to drink anymore. No liquor can comfort the disappointment I feel. Not in him but in myself, because I knew it was a bad idea to go there in the first place. I’m replaying the events in my head.
As soon as I stepped in the door something felt off. Call it woman’s intuition or being skillfully perceptive, but the vibe was all wrong. That should’ve been enough for me to leave but I fought through it anyway. We planned to see each other my last night in town. I was looking forward to this for days and now I’m here and something is wrong. He can sense it, but I just say nothing is wrong because I don’t want to ruin the evening we had planned. I sat on his bed like I always do when I come over and I look to my right. There they are. There lies the reason I felt so off. The biggest, cheapest pair of Forever 21 hoop earrings you would ever want to see. They are tarnished to that rusted bronze color that all cheap jewelry turns to after a while, and I get that feeling. You know how your stomach feels on a roller coaster when it drops, or that flushed feeling where your whole body gets hot when you’re going through rough turbulence on an airplane? That. I felt hot and sick all at once. I wanted to cry and scream and throw shit everywhere, but after a person disappoints you so many times you grow numb. Time stood still as he came in the room and saw what I saw. It was that moment between two people where nothing is said but all is understood. All I could do was gather my things, put my heels back on and leave. He was talking but I couldn’t even register what was being said. “I didn’t have sex with her she just stayed over after she drove me home,” he tried to explain. “I just can’t stay here. I have to go,” I replied softly. The fight in me was gone. The rage I felt turned into a deep sorrow and regret all in one second and I just needed to get out. His protests to get me to stay fell on deaf ears.
I’m riding in circles through midtown trying to think of somewhere to go or something to do and I feel lost. So I call the one person who I can always call in moments like this. He knows me better than I know myself. He loves me like no one else. Since I was 18 he’s been the person I call when I’m in the most trouble. He rescued me from myself time and time again, and I need him to save me now. “Hey can you talk?” I say in a low voice just above a whisper. “I have company but what’s up? Are you ok?” I know what that means. That means the girl I gave him away to is there and I hate that I called this late. I moved away to chase my dreams and gave him away to someone who could be what he needed. In this moment I feel completely alone. “I’m ok. I’ll talk to you later,” I hang up before he can protest. I finally give up and hit 85 south to go home and I pray no one is awake so I can just go to sleep. This is all too much for one night.
I get a text: Muffin, are u ok? I’m worried about you. Do you need to come over?
I want to say yes I need you, but I can’t be that selfish. I text back: no I’ll be ok I just need to figure some stuff out ttyl.
He replies: are you sure? You know I’m always here for you. We’ll talk tomorrow if you want i love you.
I love you more, I text back and put my phone on Do Not Disturb.
In three hours I have to catch a flight back to New York and tuck all of this away. It’s late. My hair is perfect. My makeup is flawless, but my heart is completely broken. Sleep.