Long(ing)

She lay on her side, naked under the covers, which she had pulled up under her chin. The bed felt lighter, colder, and the blankets fell down over her shoulders and the small of her back more snugly than they had half an hour ago, when she’d last woken up and felt his chest swelling and compressing behind her with each passing breath. A creak in the floorboards. She opened her eyes, peeking through crescent slits, careful not to open them the whole way cause then he’d know she was awake. Secretly spying, she lay there, still, breathing through the desert of her mouth, only now she saw the fuzzy outline of his head, his shoulders, his bare torso bent over the clothing draped across the chair in the corner of the room. With his jeans in hand, the dimple in his ass cheek tensed, frowning at her over the top of the blankets piled at her feet. Her eyes barely open, still, watching him rummage around for the rest of his things. She couldn’t let him know she was watching. That would somehow make it more painful, awkward. The exit. They always leave. Sure, they say nice things, make it sound like they’ll hang around a while, until the next morning. Always leaving. On to the next warm body.
Another creak in the floorboards. She lifted her head and saw him tip-toeing through the door, hunched over, his arms full. He dropped a sock and reached over to pick it up and lost his boxers from the top of the pile. She sighed, and fell back on the pillow. “You even gonna say goodbye?” The floorboards quit creaking down the hall. She listened. “You there?”
“You . . . uhh . . . you wanted me out,” the awkward voice returned. “That’s what you said. Said you wanted me out first thing.”
She sat up in bed. “I said that?”
He nodded, confused, naked, and embarrassed down the hall.
“Made a big deal about it, remember?” He reached down with his wadded-up boxers and covered his man parts. “Told me to get out last night but I was too fucked up to drive.”
“Huhhh. Guess I did.” She fell back in bed, looking up at the patterns of light sneaking through the curtains and playing across the ceiling. Her head still awash, blinking. Through the alcoholic haze, she began to recall telling him to fuck off cause he wasn’t fucking her right. Just get off me. Stop. Leave me alone. He was sweaty, eager, and the coke gave him turtle dick. She heard the floorboards creaking down the hall and a moment later the front door shut.
They always leave.

The Exit

Jason Ed Collins