The man walked out of the bathroom and turned off the bedroom light and lay down beside her on the bed. Her perfume was potent and still he rested his face by her neck after brushing her hair up and under her head so it was between her head and the pillow.
They lay there for a while like that, and he ran his hand over her bare leg up to her underwear and ran his index finger under the hole her left leg was through.
She turned around to look at him because she wanted to see his face and they put their arms around each other and held one another tightly. The man was happy in this moment and comfortable and oblivious to how she really felt. She did not kiss him back when he kissed her upon the lips. He noticed this and, pulling his head back to look at her more clearly, asked her why she did not kiss him back. She did not give an answer and instead turned back around so her back was facing him. She did not want to tell him that she was no longer in love with him, but how could she not? She understood she would only make it worse and yet she was afraid to answer him honestly.
The man would not let it go and eventually he sat up in bed facing the opposite way to her. He could not understand what was wrong.
After pressing her for an answer, she then told him how she felt, and the man in his hurt did not know what to do and so he sat there for a while longer and asked her how it could be so. And she said she did not know. The blinds were up half way and the light of the moon, for it was bright that night, cut through and illuminated his back as he sat. And they sat there for sometime.
In the early hours of the next morning they were asleep side by side. The man woke up first and he lay there for sometime looking down at her gentle sleeping face, and wondered what she was thinking. When she woke up he did not know what to do. She did not love him. They would not have sex. Her beauty had made him weak, undignified and that was why she had stayed.
Weeks later the man still felt bad. He was sure of his love but he was also sure she would not love him like he loved her. His mood would change from moment to moment over the following months. Sometimes he would feel awful and the pain he felt meant they could not be friends even though she wanted to be. Sometimes he would be tempted to see her but it always made him feel worse. And sometimes the man would feel good and right and it would not seem so bad.
Early February 2018
Words, Callum Martin
Image, Adri (Flickr)