Sunday night, I left him. I climbed into my running car and drove the mildly icy roads between his house and mine. I got home, alone, to my quiet townhouse and my roommate's dog. I had almost forgotten the days when that dog was the only thing I had to go home to. I found his leash and let him out into the four degree air, while I stood inside the sun porch and listened to the quiet.
I made my way upstairs to my empty bedroom, my lonely bed. I turned on the TV, washed my face, finished a glass of water and settled in for sleep. But it was all foreign: my sheets and my comforter. Stranger still was the emptiness next to me; the spot that for the last five months has held Billy, sat vacant and cold. I fell asleep with MTV on for the noise, the house otherwise silent.
I woke up a few times during the night, glancing to my left to find the clock. When my eyes found only a bare white wall, no clock, no windows, I had to remind myself that I was in my house. I had to look to the right to see the time. It was the same thing every time my eyes popped open during the night. The search for the clock, for Billy's embrace, then reminding myself that I was in my home, alone.
It was strange to go through my Monday morning routine that didn't involve bringing him coffee or kissing him goodbye. I poured my own coffee into a travel mug I'd taken from his house and made my way out to my cold car.
All day, my mood was bad. I flirted with anger, with frustration, with tears. I grew annoyed with my coworkers, with myself. I couldn't wait for the end of the day.
And when the end finally came, I went to the gym, which I haven't done in a long while. I stepped and lifted and sweated until my head pounded. I was hot, I was thirsty, I was tired.
I left the gym, well over an hour after getting there, and headed back to my house. I let out the dog, I fed him, I made myself something to eat. I went upstairs in my gym clothes and repacked the bag I'd carried in with me the night before.
And I went back to Billy's, glad to be done with my one-night obligation to stay at my house.
You don't realize how much of your life is wrapped up in someone until you're forced to spend even a dollop of time away from them, knowing that you could be with them, if only you hadn't committed yourself to doing something else. I couldn't believe how bad my mood was, how alien I felt in my own house. I couldn't believe that I had a hard time sleeping without him.
Billy told me that, once, on a business trip, he woke up and reached for me...Then panicked when I wasn't there. He wondered, briefly, where I had gone and why I left, then reminded himself that he wasn't home. I laughed, expecting that he was exaggerating. But now I've felt it for myself.
I always say that seeing him, kissing him, before I leave for work in the morning makes my day, but I'd never really qualified that claim until now. I had just associated my good mood with him, not bothering to test the theory. But Monday morning tested, and proved, it.
I couldn't wait to see him last night. I sat at his computer, killing the time until he called to tell me he was on his way home. He called at eight. "Are you home?" he asked. I knew he meant his house. "I am," I replied. He told me he'd be home in an hour. I had a drink and a mouthful of kisses ready for him when he got home. I missed him so much. And it was one silly night apart.
We fell asleep tangled together. I didn't wake up once during the night as though, even in slumber, I knew he was there. And this morning, just seeing his sleeping face there next to me made me smile.
Never before have I spent so much time with a boyfriend. Never before have I wanted to. I like my me-time, my space, my independence. But I need him. He's an intrinsic part of my life...And I didn't even realize it until now.