The words tasted bitter on my tongue. I told you to leave first thing in the morning, but for our last night together, I couldn’t help being selfish. I could not help keeping you close, your breath on my neck, your hands on my waist. It felt like goodbye. It felt like a fresh start, tears pricking my eyes. It felt like the last thing I should be doing and the first thing I should have done a long time ago. Because you were never right for me, and I knew, but I took that thought, that lingering doubt, and shoved it into the back of my head. Just for the night, I told myself. Just for the last night. I buried my face against your neck and when you turned around, I felt your pulse race against the tip of my thumb. Your eyes were bright, even in the dim light, and I could barely look at you. I shouldn’t have allowed it. Shouldn’t have let you come this close to me when I knew I would end up having to push you away. But I couldn’t resist the rush, couldn’t resist the pain, and now there I was, my mouth dry as sandpaper. I told you to leave. I told you to go and find a new home with somebody else, a new home that I knew would feel empty without my laughter, that would feel empty even after somebody else’s laughter had moved in. But I couldn’t be what you wanted. You thought I was, but you were always wrong about me, from the very first time we met.
The words tasted bitter on my tongue. I told you to leave first thing in the morning, and I told you to never come back, not even for another night.
just for the last night
an excerpt / n.j.