What Sex is like When You’re a Consolation Prize

His arms are beautiful, soft but firm, a completely even shade of deep beige. The bones behind his chest hold up a proud and strong set of collarbones. You trace the lines of his appendages until you reach his hand, specifically his left one, and you cringe. It’s his tattoo of the letter of her first name.

It’s been this way for years. You pined for him and thought giving him your virginity was a way to solidify your connection. But he saw right past you, right through you, to her waiting in the wings.

Even before this her, there was the First Her. There was always Another Her and that kills you. You were never a Her. It doesn’t matter the effort you put into perfecting your laugh in front of him or the quirks you’ve created in order to appear endearing and give him little things to fall in love with.

My Bed (Tracey Emin)

And he does love you, for the fifteen minutes it lasts. He loves you more than you’ve ever felt before and you feel the heat of his passion flowing through his body, in his mouth, parted, on your lips and your neck and your breasts, in his fingers, desperately clawing at you for more, more, give him more.

You just bask in these minutes. You spread them out like a map on the hood of a car, surveying the road ahead, preparing for your glorious journey. You two ride the curves and the bends and fuck, does it feel good. His warm body on top of yours feels like the sun beating down on you and so suddenly, it’s summer.

Then before you know it, winter. The show is over and the unused space of the bed is freezing cold. The blue glow of a phone being checked adds to the frigidity of the room. If there were any words to say in these moments, you’re sure you would be able to see your breath.

The rejection would be lesser if you knew you weren’t in second place. If it was disinterest without a competition, you could live with it. He’ll love you for those fifteen minutes, fiercely so, but he’ll never stop loving her.