Less Than Human
As published on The Opal Club on June 19, 2018.
We were out at one of your friends again, like most Saturdays. The stale air was clouding the room, drunk young adults played mindless drinking games and pretended the world outside didn’t exist. And like most Saturdays, you drank a little too much.
The party started with you all over another woman and ended with you on the pool table crying again about missed opportunities and how you wished you were better. I got you to your car and into the passenger seat with your head resting on the window.
I did my job as your sober girlfriend and drove you home safe as you sat silently in the passenger seat watching the street lights go by and drifting to sleep. Never once thanking me for being there for you, cleaning up after you, listening to you and constantly supporting you.
We got to your house and I called your name to wake you, but nothing happened. I poked you, nothing. I shook your arm and was met with a, “fuck off” and those words were like a punch to the gut. I took a deep breath and held back my tears not wanting to anger you.
I finally got you out of the car and you stumbled to the front door. I punched in the passcode and guided you to the couch. Once you were stable I escaped to the kitchen to get you a glass of water, when I returned I covered you with the blanket your grandmother knit.
I sat beside you as you mumbled on about nothing. I brushed your hair off of your forehead and kissed your cheek. I was too scared to leave you, I wanted you safe and I wanted to be there if you needed me. Those days I was desperate for you to need me.
After you had some water, you kept insisting we have sex. I obviously wasn’t in the mood since you hadn’t paid attention to me all night when I did everything to get you to notice me. I wore makeup even though I hated it, I wore that dress you like even though dresses aren’t my thing and I acted cool when I noticed that someone else caught your eye.
But now your hands were all over me whispering, “I want to fuck you so bad.” I made excuse after excuse, “no, your parents are upstairs,” “no, you’re too drunk,” “no, I’m too tired,” but you kept persisting, saying you needed me and you loved me using those words like bargaining chips.
I don’t know why but I said I was sorry and that I was going home. Your face immediately clouded over, I could even see it in the waning moonlight. “Fuck off then,” you spat, tongue lashing like a whip. I kissed your forehead anyway as I choked back sobs.
I made my way to the front door and as my fingers touched the doorknob your hands were on either side of my head. You pushed my face against the front door, pressed your body against mine and stripped my legs bare. You whispered, “you’re so sexy I need you right now,” as if that would make me want you more. My heart beat faster but it was different, this time it was because I was scared.
I froze and did nothing because I was your girlfriend, I loved you and I thought I owed you something. Your hand moved between my legs trying tirelessly to make me like it, to make me want it, to make me beg for it. Your touch was rough and you kept asking, “do you like that?” I didn’t, and my eyes glazed over as my mind drifted to another place.
You hadn’t paid me this much attention for so long. I longed for you to touch me so this must be what I wanted, right? This must be you coming around, I’d done everything you liked and you were finally showing me that you were still attracted to me, right?
Then why were there tears streaming down my face? Why did I feel hollow? Why did I feel dirty? Why did I want to claw my way out of my own skin? Why did I hate you in that moment? And why did I still love you?
In the end, you got bored and retreated to the couch without even a goodbye leaving me to pull my tights up from my ankles to cover up my shame. I stumbled to my car, shaking, fumbling for my keys all while my mind was swimming with excuses for your actions.
That was the first time I felt less than human.