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“Stay”

Published 07/10/2015 by aleenas0510

At the base of my throat, where my pulse throbs in unsteady rhythm, blood pools. The wound is fresh, but numb. The monster’s kind in that way. It doesn’t hurt when he comes to suck my life from me.
I don’t know how long I’ve been in this hole. Time has ceased all meaning. I stopped counting the minutes against the steady, slow drip-drip of water from an unseen pipe long ago. My eyes stare, wide, into darkness, but I see nothing. The cold has raised gooseflesh on my arms and legs, but I don’t feel that, either.
When your light shines on me, I don’t even throw up a hand to block it though it stings my eyes worse than anything else has, lately. I look at you, a dark silhouette behind the golden circle from your flashlight, and my mouth forms the shape of your name. I’m not sure I’ve even spoken. I’m not sure if I remember how.
I thought I’d forgotten the strength of your arms but when you gather me into your embrace, your breath warm on my cold flesh, I remember all of it. You. Me. The promises you made, and broke, and the one you’ve finally kept.
You take me home, to the house in which you refuse to live but visit often. You bathe me. You dress me. You put me into bed and stand guard at my door until I sleep.
I think you’re afraid I won’t wake, but I do. I open my eyes and wince at the sudden stabbing sensation in my wounds…but I welcome the pain. It means I’m still alive.
You open your eyes at once when I touch your face. The chair jerks as you do, and your hand comes up to catch my wrist hard, not quite flinging it away. You see it’s me within a second and the embrace softens. I frown when you let me go.
“Go back to sleep,” you say, as if I could. As if all that happened can be put behind me the way you so often have done.
But I’m not you.
Days pass this way. I wait for you to leave, and one day you do. You come back stinking of blood and garbage, your hands in fists, and I know you’ve killed it. Hunted it down and taken its life the way it tried to steal mine.
I would be happy but for the fact that this means, at last, you’ll go for good.
“Stay.” It’s the first time I’ve ever asked. I know the score, the rules, what to expect from you. Your life circles mine and only sometimes intersects.
You shake your head, your back to me, the duffel bag I’ve grown to hate thrown over your shoulder. Outside your car awaits. I don’t want to see the taillights. I hate them, too.
“I can’t.”
“You can. If you want to.”
Your shoulders hunch. I want to touch you. To offer comfort. But you don’t want my comfort, do you? You don’t want me…. And too late, I realize I’ve spoken aloud.
I’d be frightened at the way you turn and the fire in your gaze except that now I’ve faced much, much worse. You grip my arms and I love your touch, even as it bruises. I can see you want to shake me, but you stop yourself. You let me go. You step back.
I step forward. “Stay. Please. I want you.”
I open the buttons of my shirt and offer myself. Shameless, ready to be embarrassed when you refuse me, but not caring. I want you so badly I shake. I need you.
“I can’t.” But I see in your eyes that you can.
I touch myself as if my hands were yours. Your gaze follows my fingers as they caress my body. Your hands are shaking.
“I promised to keep you safe.” Your voice is thick with loathing.
“You promised to find me,” I remind you and let my shirt fall to the ground. “And you did. You came for me. You saved me. Please don’t go. I need you.”
You shake your head. “It’s my fault you were in danger.”
I know you think this, and maybe you’re right, but I would not trade the safety of being insignificant to those who stalk the night for one single moment in your arms. A year ago I wouldn’t have believed the monster under the bed was real; now I know better. And I know that you’re the man who keeps us safe.
You keep me safe.
“Stay,” I say, and hold out my hand.
You are a man, after all, and you take it. When I kiss you, your sigh shudders out of you like the wind through trees. I undress you carefully but without hesitation, and trace the pattern of your scars with my hands and mouth until your breath comes fast and harsh in your throat and you wind your fingers in my hair to pull my mouth from your cock.
“No,” you say, and haul me from my knees. “Not like this.”
We’ve fucked on my kitchen floor before. We’ve done it in my bed, too, and in the shower, on the counter, in the backseat of your car. This time, you take me out into the grass of my backyard, under the stars, and you spread out the faded quilt I keep on the porch for picnics. You lay me down and follow my lines and curves with your hands and your tongue, your lips reading the entire story of my body as easily as if I were made of words.
I’m already coming by the time you slide inside me, and it’s as if the stars themselves have descended to hover around us, dancing. They fill me with fire. I lift my hips to take you in deeper, eager to hold on to you as long as I can. You thrust into me. Your mouth finds the scar at the base of my throat and you whisper against it.
“I’m sorry…”
Your voice breaks. Your head dips to press against me. I hold you tight as your body shakes and mine shudders beneath you. I don’t have to forgive you. I know you won’t forgive yourself.
You give me the night, but when the morning comes you’re gone.
But I know you’ll be back.
*

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