I feel so helpless with her in my arms. Stroking lines up and down her arm with her breath. Light kisses on her head as the minutes pass. The beat of her heart was close to matching mine, just a fraction off. I feel it find its rhythm. I feel my own ache. My charm culls her closer, perhaps I hope it smothers out this pain. Her reciprocating words draw a deep sigh, those are not her words to say to me and the guilt squeezes around me. She mistakes it for affection as my body tightens, enveloping her. My eyes follow the blue string lights above the bed, half listening to her mumbles of anything but remorse. Other guys are the worst, unlike me, I was better than the rest and she never wants to let go. Even as she falls asleep, I kiss her head and start to trace different shapes on her arm with a fingertip. There is much I have done and want to do, I do them still but they feel empty. I close my eyes and the swelling remorse reaches through me, her hair is not blond, her eyes are not blue, she laughs at my jokes but not the right ones. I couldn't compare them, I shouldn't but I long for someone else in my arms. If things had been different, if I had a different heart I might have been able to remember this moment for what it is instead of what I want it to be.
Her and I have something, I convince myself of that every day because she deserves a chance. As do I. I convince myself of that too. How do I move on if I don’t move on? Yet, year after year, woman after woman, I find myself yenning for what never was or will be. So many hurt faces haunt me from when I tell them I cannot continue what we have. They saw everything as perfect and going places while I feel stagnant and guilty. I take myself away from them. No one deserves to be under this pain of being someone they’re not.
Then I meet another perfect woman later, if only I was ready but why not give it a shot? Another hurt face. They are great in so many ways, better in some ways yet it is not what I want. I want her familiar touch that makes everyone else's feel hollow, the warmth her embrace built deep in the well of my heart, and how the world felt right whenever she was around.
It was another six months since the last attempt and here was another, different yet I suspect it will end the same. Except for one thing: I tell her everything. I hold my eyes on my drink through every word, uncertain why I was telling her what I have never told a soul. Her response catches me off guard and I look into her eyes, her hand cupping the outside of me. Instinct tell me to put walls up.
“You’ve lost someone Important to you and you won’t be able to get her back, I can’t begin to imagine how that feels but I know how I feel about you. I want to work with you through this, you don’t have to suffer alone anymore or pretend, I’ll be real and I can acknowledge her presence in your life. If you miss her, tell me about her and I’ll listen.”
It feels like a decade of built up tension is released in a moment, along with the tears. I refuse to put up any walls, I let everything out and everything in. Whatever the future holds, I think I will be okay and already I don’t care that her eyes are not blue and her hair isn’t the right shade of blond. I’m living in this moment with her. I want it to be her.