I’ve imagined you a hundred times, a hundred thousand times. The teardrop shape of your mouth, the white scar in the arc of your left eyebrow. Yet I am unprepared for the smell of you, and the blackness of your eyes.
I cross my legs, trying to ignore the throbbing along the seam of my jeans. My mind replays scenes like you forcing yourself up the front of my skirt, like one of your hands on my lower back and the other over my mouth.
I close my eyes for a moment, shut these things out.
My name on your lips sounds like a curse. “Are you listening to me?” you ask.
I shift my gaze from my own hands to the paintings on the walls of the coffee shop, miniature depictions of brown animals in snow.
You’re still speaking, but it doesn’t matter what the words are.
You’re stuttering like you always do when you’re upset, and your jaw tenses up as your hell black eyes try to force an answer out of me.
“I fucking hate you.” This is what I want to say to you, but instead
I part my lips with the tip of my tongue, wrap them around the straw in my drink and sip.
The veins around your temple tighten and release like a fist.
I want you to hit me.
I want you to do it, like I know you wanted to do it that morning in my car, when I told you I’d fucked somebody else.
I want you to grab a fistful of my hair, pull my head back, and bite me hard on the neck.
I want you to tell me that I like it, tell me how hard it gets you, how you want to
eat me alive and make me cry.
I know you could do it, and I’m terrified.
You start to raise your voice and then, realizing you can’t do this in here,
take a breath and clench your teeth.
“Can we talk in private?” you ask.
I tell you no.
I think you could kill me, if you wanted to, and I’m terrified
that you might want to.
Instead, you change the subject. Ask me if I’m seeing somebody else.
I take another slow sip of my drink. “Yes.”
You ask who, like it doesn’t matter, but you know that it matters.
I say that I think you already know who it is.
You exhale, and I’m reminded of the noises you made on my bed
when I pushed my palm over your mouth and told you to shut up.
“Then you fucking lied to me, didn’t you?”
I laugh, running my tongue along my front teeth. “I never lied. He was just a friend. He isn’t now.” Your silence is your most lethal weapon. “Are you seeing someone?” I ask.
Even as the words escape my lips I want to suck them back in. My heart is in my mouth, swollen and choking me.
“No. You know why?”
“You can’t find anyone else to put up with you?” There’s some kind of freedom in saying these things. I know you want to make me pay for them, but you can’t anymore.
This time your voice is steady when you reply. “I can’t figure you out,” you say.
“I always thought you were this cute little girl, so shy and quiet, and then you’d surprise me because you were funny. So funny. And you could ride a dick, ooh could you ride a dick. You made me crazy. But you were my woman. My sexy, stubborn, silly woman. And now I hear you telling everybody that it was my fault, that it was me that broke you, and that hurts me. Because it was you that broke my heart, you fucking slut.”
I’ve reached the bottom of my drink, and it gurgles. It feels as though my lungs are balloons and you’ve reached over and stuck pins in them both.
I look up into your eyes and they’re soft and kind now. This is the way you are. Your words are enough to make me want to die but your eyes deceive the coldness of your heart.
“Does he make you cum?” you ask. Your fold your hands on the table in front of you like a surrender, but I know better. “Does he make you scream like I did?” Your voice is hot sticky caramel.
And suddenly I am buried in snow, I am on fire. My hands tremble and I shove them under the table into my lap. I am not weak. I am not weak.
“Hmm?” Your eyebrows stretch upward, baiting me to answer. “Does he do that for you?”
I cannot stop the images now: the open mouths, the beads of sweat sliding down my breasts, the pressure between my legs, your tongue unceasingly licking at my skin. And I hate you so much more.
Something brushes against the inner part of my knee and I glance up at your face to see you smiling. One of your hands is missing from the table. It doesn’t take me long to figure out where it has gone. My legs are bare except for the cutoff shorts you bought me for my birthday last year – was it only last year? – and I know these have affected you.
The table is small enough that you can reach further up my thigh, your fingertips drawn toward the heat. “Stop,” I say. You ignore me and I can’t move. “Please stop.”
“But you don’t want me to stop, do you?” You push the small strip of cotton between my legs to the side. You can feel how wet I am.
I say your name.
You say mine.
I want to cry. I want to kiss you. I want to leave. I want to take your cock into my mouth like that straw I’ve been playing with. I want to kill you. And yet I know that what I want doesn’t matter. You will get what you want.
You always do.