Imprisoning Myself

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I sat on the floor, legs thrown out beside me like a rag dolls, but I was comfortable which is how one should be when they're about to engage in a serious conversation.
I already had the answer to my question, but I felt it would be different hearing it from him though I was half-expecting to hear a lie. He had this proverbial inability to be truthful.
He sat like the king he thought he was in the plush new chair his parents had purchased for him along with an ample amount of other living room furnishings for his first apartment.
I was slowly beginning to realize just how much I resented him.
I had already uttered the four dreaded words.
"We need to talk."
I then proceeded to search his face for guilt. It was there, lingering like a ghost, in his wide, nervous eyes, and his downturned pout which, to my great amusement, resembled that of a child’s.
"What baby?" he asked.
The use of the all too familiar pet name caused me to full on cringe as my inner organs all pinched together tightly in disgust.
To my intense surprise I was far from being unnerved and frazzled, I was actually quite collected.
I chose the tone I would use carefully. The words, unfortunately, would be difficult to put delicately while attempting to ask such a straightforward question.
I kept my voice soft and tried to radiate a timidness I didn’t feel.
"Have you ever… cheated on me?"
He sighed, hanging his head low in shame.
I was baffled. Usually questions like that provoked extraordinary defensive responses of anger in him.
I often felt like I was trying to have a conversation with a threatened grizzly whose only logic in a potentially hurtful situation was to react with violence.
I had grown so used to his verbal attacks that this calm reaction nearly paralyzed me with shock.
"Honestly, yes." his tone was flat with defeat.
I nodded. Hearing it from him didn’t cause me to feel any differently, I was not suddenly the emotional wreck that I had expected to be.
In fact, my emotions were unwavering.
While I repeated his words in my head, trying to feel some kind of change, he looked up; eyes submerged in tears and started begging.
It was pathetic to a sickening degree, though it wasn’t surprising. He had been babied his whole life, he had been given whatever he wanted and he certainly did not know how to cope when something was being taken away from him.
I blocked out his pleading as I tried to identify the strange feeling that surged through me like electricity. I didn’t feel wounded or angry, but like I finally had control, I felt powerful.
I reveled in that feeling.
He begged for me to stay and I told him I was unsure of whether or not that was something I could do.
It was bizarre, I so wanted to leave but I also had an intense desire to stay. I didn’t want to let go of the power I had finally obtained.
This desire was nothing more than selfish and disgusting but it seemed incorrigible.
I was torn between two evils.
"Can I have a hug?" he asked, cheeks damp, nose dripping.
I looked into his familiar tawny eyes, one of which had three small perfectly aligned dark brown markings that stretched in a horizontal line below his pupil.
Those markings, that unique trait, had always been one of my favorite things about him
I huffed the word out in one heavy breath. "No."
“I'm going to get sick."
He ran out of the room, I didn’t turn around to watch him go but I listened to the soft padding of his feet fade with the distance that grew between us.
I sat still on the floor, observing my surroundings.
Everything was solid blue, not bright vibrant blue but pale and dusty blue or dark navy, the walls, the carpet, the furniture, the curtains.
The drab effect that the color already seemed to have on the dreary room was enhanced by the bareness of everything.
The walls were vacant, there were no knickknacks, no pictures, it was a room filled with empty spaces.
His apartment looked more like it should have belonged to a depressed middle aged man who spoke in monotone rather than 21 year old college student.
It irritated me that everything was so dull, though it coordinated nicely with his bland personality.
I wanted to scream, sitting there on the floor, sweating from the sticky summer heat and the phobia I was developing about those dull blue walls closing in on me.
I could hear him heaving in the bathroom. He had done it to me so many times before, upset me to the point of vomiting, to the point where my skin burned hot with a fever which was something I didn’t think possible until I actually experienced it.
Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with guilt.
No one deserved to feel that way.
Empathy bubbled up from beneath my temporary hunger for dominance, from beneath my long and well concealed resentment, from my inner most depths.
I found him balled up on the bathroom floor, shamelessly weeping into the toilet.
I sat down beside him, leaning against the tile wall and appreciating its coolness on the damp, blazing skin of my back.
“I'm not going anywhere." I sighed, defeated.
He sat up to look at me with wet eyes.
"Really?"
I nodded. "Let's go to bed."
Exhausted from the excruciating evening, we retired to his bedroom where he wrapped his arms around me like iron bars and whispered apologies that dissolved into my brain and were quickly forgotten.
He fell asleep whispering promises I didn’t care about, his open mouth breathing his uncomfortably hot breath rhythmically into my ear.
I lay still as the corpse I might as well have been, drained of everything I had left in me.
The humid air was thick and heavy in my lungs as I tried to steady my breathing to prevent from breaking down but the tears were already warm, building in the corners of my eyes.
I had been so close to freedom, I’d had to chance to escape, but my own fear and guilt had trapped me again.
As the tears gushed over the rims of my eyes and slid down my cheeks, he, oblivious in his blissful slumber, pulled me tighter against his body.
In that very moment, I realized that despite his happiness, I had made the wrong decision as I lay there, miserable, wanting to crawl out of my skin.





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CKaye said...
Feb. 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm
I love this pice. It was so consuming. I was intrigued and could feel the emotion eminating from the words.
 
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