You’ve stopped needing me. I think you’d be relieved, at first, if I left, but after a while, you’d miss the idea of me. The me you knew in summer, but then you’ll remember the me of the fall and shrug. I don’t know how to excite you anymore, to hold your interest, to have you find me desirable. You’ve stopped. You pretend you haven’t when you kiss me goodbye in the morning, but the whisper of a thrill is gone. We moved beyond initials, now we’re knee-deep in power struggle. Each day, I worry that I fail you. I’m growing more insecure, in me. In us.
I’m not afraid you’ll leave or awake to find you’re not happy. I’m afraid we fight too much because we both have strong stubborn personalities and butt heads too often. I feel tumult when it happens this often, the discord. While you are a safe place for me, I’m still unhappy being so off balanced, so off sides with the one I love. I need time to myself, to be a girl, to cook for you, to have you over for wine and dim lighting, for music and making out. I miss making out. I want to kiss you more. To build to something, toward something.
I talked last night about roasting you a chicken. Polenta. Mushroom and leek stuffing. Maybe apple and sausage. Root vegetables. It sounds nice, coming home to that. I don’t want to become her again, the one who tries and ends up looking like the chump. The one left standing, wondering how she got there, with an oven mitt. I don’t want to be nice to you, to give to you, because it prevents me from giving to myself. And it scares me because if I break down and really give to you, it means you can take from me. It means getting hurt. I know I cannot prevent. I know the wall won’t help, but I shouldn’t be this scared. I shouldn’t be checking your web history wondering how many email accounts you have, wondering what you’re hiding, which thoughts you’re too scared to say. A guy in a committed relationship who is pressed for a step forward will lob the excuse, “scared of marriage,” because you say, “he’s not very well going to say, ‘I’m really scared of having to start over, of the online dating, and the moving out thing, much more than I’m afraid of losing you.” And I hear you say it of the men you know, tell me how they won’t reveal these things, and I wonder what it is you won’t reveal to me. What are you hiding? How many email accounts are there? Do you have a dating profile up on an online dating service site, or do you just window shop it when you’re bored to see what’s out there? It makes me not want to shop for you, for clothing, for more shampoo, for chicken. It makes me want to withdraw, these thoughts of what you keep for yourself. Makes me want to run away, leave, and find an apartment of my own instead of a house for us. Because I don’t trust. Why? Because. I can’t even come up with a reason. I know I’m wonderful, pretty, smart, talented, and expressive. Why would you ever risk losing us? I need to hear that though. I need to hear that you wouldn’t, without just the actions. I need to hear the words without having to ask for them. To hear, “I want you to know I know just how lucky I am. Thank you for choosing me. I will never do anything to fuck this up. Ever.” So instead of complain, I’ll say it to you, say it because I mean it and I need it back. And you’ll respond: “nor will I. I won’t fuck it up.” And that will be good enough. I’m so scared you will do something to dissolve things, but I have to trust that you won’t. I have to remind myself that you’re not him. At all. And wouldn’t be because you have integrity, because you’d know and wouldn’t like yourself. I have to hold onto that instead of what has come before.