Being single for the better part of five years teaches you how to be alone, but never lonely. My god, I could find happiness anywhere in those days. Who needs sex? Who needs affection? I had this. There were times when I craved a man’s body as much as a heroin addict craves the needle, but the need would pass, and I’d return to being that self-sufficient, strong, independent woman.
Then love came along and shattered that.
Suddenly, there was sex on tap. There were hugs on tap. There was the going to sleep spooning and waking up to make coffee for him. There were parties and visits and spankings and marks. I was spoiled. Utterly spoiled.
These days I go to sleep thinking of what it would be like to touch his eyelids again with my lips. I sleep thinking of what it might be like to have just one minute against his body again. I fall asleep thinking, always, of him. I wake up, always, alone.
In just three months, I’ve forgotten how to be alone. I learned how to be lonely instead. I learned it when he shut down and left all but his body behind in our relationship. I learned it when I spent more hours missing the warmth of his eyes than I did looking into them. I learned it going to sleep night after night after night without him.
I’m less lonely now than I was with him, but sometimes missing him feels like a serrated knife is carving right down the centre of my psyche. It’s the nights that hurt me the most. Falling asleep next to him was the most precious time to me. With no words being spoken, with only our naked skins against one another, I felt closest to him. I felt love and I felt loved.
Some days I think the pain will destroy me. It never does. Emotions just don’t have that kind of power. It just feels as though they do.
Every single day I wish I could go back to our first month and relive it in a way that assures a happy ending, and it’s when I realise how impossible that is that the tears won’t stop falling. I don’t know how to make them stop. I only know that we were never a fairytale. We just thought we were for a while.