It happens almost exactly how I imagined it.
The knock on the door late at night, I'm not expecting anyone. I am wearing my pajamas. I am making myself a cup of chamomile tea, hoping it will help me sleep but knowing full well that nothing can touch my insomnia. I open the door, and he would be there. He would tell me he loved me. Had always loved me. Everything would be all right. It was about time.
He comes to my apartment after , and when I see him I feel a little light-headed, like the sheer force of my desire and imagination has somehow finally managed to call him forth as an apparition. I reach out, touch his arm. I look at his face and see not the declaration of love I had hoped to find, but the unasked question that always lies between us.
Yes, yes. Always, yes.
A desperate woman will belly-crawl through any stretch of wasteland for the smallest hint of succor, will pray for even the slightest hint of elixir on the tongue to save her from the scorching sky, the rocky earth, the hole in her existence that she has stumbled into. He came to me that night looking for sanctuary in my body, for love that he knew was always his for the taking, and he would wrap himself in both and sleep soundly.
This would be enough to sustain me for a while. Always, yes.
He’s thinner than the last time I saw him. His cheekbones are sharp, predatory, an unsettling contrast to his soft brown eyes, eyes that belong to a small, earnest child who longs to be everyone's favorite. His pants are too big for him, I tell him he looks like a hobo. He smiles, teeth still charmingly crooked. He bit me once on my left hip and I was glad I when it became a scar.
Into my bedroom now, he slips out of his clothes and sits on the edge of my bed, tracing the flowers and vines on my quilt with a finger. He waits for me to get a glass of water, to make sure the doors are locked. He knows my rituals, and there is comfort in that, for both of us.
He is gentle with me, sliding his hands underneath my hips because he knows I like it. I can't relax, this is all too surreal, his sudden appearance, the way his skin feels coarse and dry underneath my palms. I cling to him, press my face into his chest, smelling the familiar mix of Irish Spring soap, tea tree oil shampoo, deodorant and spearmint gum. I wrap my lips around him, and his come is sharp and bitter in my throat. He must be on his medication again. Milk and honey on my tongue, nothing could ever taste finer.
He is asleep now, and in the morning he will leave me. I will watch him dress; I will offer him coffee although I know he doesn't drink it. There will be an awkward kiss goodbye. But for now, he his mine and mine alone, and I watch him, admiring his muscular legs, the curve of his fuzzy ass. A penny falls out of his pocket; it's on the carpet near the dresser. When he leaves, I will tuck it inside my wallet.
The streetlights are off now, the neighbor's alarm clock buzzes. Stops. Buzzes again. I am still awake, still watching and oh, how I will crawl through the desert every time for just a taste, a souvenir, a chance for yet another scar.