He hasn’t answered so he can’t be there. He’s always been there. And he’s always answered my knock. Always waiting, but acting as if he hasn’t been. As if I wasn’t expected. Wasn’t wanted even. I mean, he’s been that way from the start. He told me from the start. He set out the rules. His dominating, suffocating rules. I knew the score from day one. I knew there’d never be any more than what he offered me that first night, after we’d staggered home from the club. After we’d carried each other back. I knew then.
He’d told me then, and he told me after – repeatedly – whenever something I said or did made him think I hadn’t understood how it was. ‘It’, the relationship, the relationship that isn’t, a non-relationship, a . . what? An arrangement? A weekly outlet for his needs? For my needs. A thing with no name, so that it can never be called anything. A thing that I look forward to every week, yearn for, knowing beyond any doubt that this is all there is. Understanding brutally what I am to him, what he thinks of me. Or doesn’t.
There was a day once, early on, when I questioned him. Felt I had a right to be named as part of his life. That I was the only female in his life, only friend, only lover, only significant other. That was the only week we missed. Oh he answered the door even then but sent me packing, lecture in hand. But a week later I was back again. My feelings never mentioned again. Never considered.
How often I’ve wished he wasn’t here. Hoped he wouldn’t answer. Wouldn’t shame me again. Yes, shame on me.
A look through the front window. The room is cleared, empty. He’s gone. We’re over . . I’m free.
Maybe I should text him . . .