Between The Sheets: C2
Between The Sheets is an exploration into the people I have slept with, starting with losing my virginity to the present.
I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and an inexplicable craving for the taste of rolled cigarettes.
It’s probably because I drink cider and coffee instead of water and think that vitamins are a waste of money. It’s probably because I never wear socks and I tromped through puddles in San Francisco as if I was invincible. It’s probably because the seasons are shifting, I can no longer pretend like it’s 80 degrees and therefore appropriate weather for shorts, and my own idiotic stubbornness has gotten me slightly sick.
But I like to pretend my scratchy voice and weird need to taste stale tobacco on someone’s lips has to do with you.
Someone once told me that they thought my affinity for unpredictable men stemmed from my relationship with you. I remember staring at her, trying to absorb what she had just said. But instead of being able to agree with her or even process that she was essentially saying, “He is why you love bad boys,” all I could think about was how it felt when you kissed my shoulders. All I could think about was watching you smoke on the porch that first night I saw you and how I instantly knew, “I have to know him.”
It has taken me a month to find the words to piece you together. A month of looking at my hands and wondering if they would still feel minuscule compared to yours. A month of not knowing if you ever grew your hair out or always kept it buzzed off. A month of remembering how much I absolutely, blindly, and unapologetically loved you.
But it hasn’t just been 30 days. It’s been years.
It’s been almost eight years since you pulled me onto your lap, whispered that you wanted me, and showed me how you could wash all of my confusion away in an instant. Eight years since you brushed my messy, winter wet hair away with your big hands and cupped my cheeks as the snow piled down around that broken, little house. Eight years since you showed me that sex wasn’t just something I should hope ended soon but actually had the potential to make me feel beautiful.
It’s been eight years since you wrapped yourself around me and told me I had perfect shoulders and you would never stop trying to kiss every freckle.
So here I am, sitting here, wishing for the smell of morning smoke and leaning my chin over to the edge my collarbone and trying to remember what it like to have your face behind me. I wish I could hear those floorboards of that dilapidated house creaking from your roommates bumping around in the night. I’m trying to remember what color your eyes are and grasping for your name which hasn’t come off of my tongue in what feels like forever.
Because eight years have gone by.
My hair is blonde now and I no longer try to flatten my curls. Instead they are frizzy and untamed and I never worry about looking like some wild, free thing even if it’s a Wednesday afternoon. These days my hands are covered in rings that would inevitably get lost on your dresser or behind your bed. My ribs don’t stick out, my cheeks aren’t as rosy, and my view on the world is less cautious but more tainted.
My shoulders are covered in a new layer of freckles that you have never seen.
And even though my throat is scratchy and I am in a bed that is not yours and is not surrounded by a blanket of fresh, North Dakota snow I would ask you to kiss each one just so it was lucky enough to know what it’s like to be loved by you, even if only for a second.
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