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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

Life is hard for me.

November 15, 2020

Jesse’s back. After we were together in early October, I didn’t expect to hear from him again. I really did not. I’ve emailed him a couple times. “Thinking of you. Hope you are well.” My standard. I broke through the phone block once, left him a similar voicemail. I told him I knew he was depressed, and I knew what that felt like and he could talk to me anytime. I told him I wasn’t angry, just sad the friendship had ended. He responded to one of the emails with, “I’m doing OK.” He was lying.

Of course he knows I forgive him; I hold no grudges. We’ve known each other for so long. We’ve texted, talked on the phone. And then we had sex, finally, after more than a year. And it wasn’t good. He was rough. I had marks over my breasts and arms and chest. I sent him a picture; told him it could never happen again. I think he was embarrassed. He didn’t intend to hurt me. He was very drunk. He is an alcoholic.

When we were together, he wanted to be held, he wanted to be close. He wanted to be kissed, he wanted me to run my fingers through his hair, hold my palm against his face. He wanted tenderness. So, the rough was so unexpected, so out of character. I knew he was being rough, but I didn’t think he’d bruised me. I was surprised when the purple appeared where his thumbs had pushed into my flesh. It can’t happen again.

The day after, he told me he was looking for something different, that he didn’t want to talk anymore. He said he was sorry to disappoint. Then he blocked me. What he doesn’t understand is I have no expectations other than kindness. I asked him to mail the jewelry back I had left. He did, within just a couple of days. Decent of him.

I go weeks without touch. To not have touch, to not have physical validation, it’s destructive to the soul. I’m lonely. I crave touch, tenderness. So does he, clearly. And if that comes with sex, so be it. I think sex has become the expected expression of tenderness for single people. It probably isn’t right that is how things are. But that is how things are.

When he texted yesterday, so unexpectedly, we picked up the friendship where we’d left off. He wants to see me again. I made it very clear if he was rough, if he didn’t listen to me, I’d leave. I told him not to drink so much so we could finish.

After last time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see him again. I do. It’s hard for me to let go of someone I’ve built a relationship with; someone I care about. It’s hard for me to know someone is in pain and not reach out to comfort them. It’s hard for me not to forgive. It’s hard for me not to give a man another chance. And perhaps another. It’s hard for me to turn down the attention of a young man. It’s hard for me to turn down attention from any man. It’s hard for me. Life is hard for me.

Photo by Luke Leung on Unsplash



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