We cleaned our teeth together. She looked as lovely as ever. Work had been long; I was tired. We were talking, gently and quietly. I think I mentioned Downton Abbey.
She told me how she’d watched it with her other boyfriend the week before. I smiled and asked how that had gone – I knew it wasn’t a show he’d enjoy.
She cleared her mouth of toothpaste and grinned, stretching up. It had been fun, she’d said. She hadn’t seen much of the show.
She went into detail as I finished cleaning my teeth, leaning against the wall in a way that dragged my eyes all over her body. Her smile grew. I approached her as she talked, reaching out for her hips, wanting to pull her to me, wanting to kiss her the way she deserved. She caught my hands and stopped me, licking her lips as she went into extra detail. I matched her smile and pushed through her hands, running my finger under her top, onto the soft skin of her stomach.
Fear shone in her face. She backed away. I stopped, confused. My finger left her skin. The fear disappeared. The desire returned. She carried on talking. I reached out once more.
Again, and again, and again this happened. Acid boiled within my chest, searing to my skin; pain blocking my words and cutting my emotions. The pain was so intense, it woke me up.
It had been a long time since I’d had a dream that odd. Anger, frustration and an overwhelming sense of confusion forced my body completely awake. The scene I’d dreamt was reminiscent of the last nine months – albeit in a condensed situation. There’s only so many times a person you love can tell you you’re attractive whilst not wanting you before you stop believing them.
My counselor’s words were easy to remember: I wasn’t angry; I felt angry. Words I’d read followed simply: “Your emotions are a clue. Witness them, feel them, respond to them, never attach to them.”
I breathed deeply, and tried to analyse what was going on. Obviously, I was still torn up by the complete lack of intimacy with Someone. I was never going to get answers to that. I was surprisingly ok with that.
It showed me my fear: that those I’m attracted to aren’t attracted to me. That everything I have to offer isn’t enough.
It also told me why every time there’s a new person on the scene I try so desperately hard.
And the cool thing is, I don’t have to fix my fears. I’m aware of them, now. There’s a decent part of me that’s rolling on the floor, laughing and saying “well fuck you then if you don’t find me good enough. Your loss.” There’s a more sensible part that realises that’s a cover. That it still will hurt to have my fears realised, but that that’s completely ok – and normal.