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  • Jay

Red Wine.

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

7:30p: “I love you with all my heart.”

Honestly, only 60% of me believes that on this lonely Saturday night. 

The sound of the furnace purrs through my apartment, completely drowning out the sound of Cannonball Adderley’s “Save Your Love for Me”, spinning quietly on the record player. The ornaments dance about as the warm air blows from the vent positioned directly above the Christmas tree, still standing tall since on or about late October. It’ll stay there until March or so. The faux fur throw blanket tossed over my thin legs provides additional warmth to ten toes that feel like ice.

I stare at my wine glass in a moment timed almost perfectly for one of my favorite past times: overthinking. 

Sometimes I can’t tell if my glass is half full or half empty, but the pessimist in me tends to lean towards the latter. The soundtrack to my life’s story up til this point would agree. While he enjoys a party nearly every weekend with his boys, I find that my happiest and hardest moments are spent right here on this couch. I hide behind these walls to keep the outside energy from disrupting my growth: mentally and spiritually. He’s the complete opposite. I’ve consistently and unintentionally gravitated towards the same negative character trait in nearly all my relationships and oddly enough, I have yet to learn my lesson. Funny how that happens, right?  The only positive to come from repeat pain is that I can spot the early signs from a mile away.

Love feels like the cousin of Karma. Temptation is the child of the devil himself and it’s there stronger than ever on the outside: on these impromptu trips, these strip clubs, and wherever else he goes that I’m not privy to. Some of us are equipped to handle it and those who remain are men. He always says that he loves me, but I only believe it some of the time. I often wonder if I’m strong enough mentally to accept the possibility that he may not be who he says he is. I don’t think he’s strong enough to contend with his own temptations for me, but then again – I’m rarely invited to the scene to know the schemes that go on when he’s away.


10:30p: No new messages

The red stains on my lips tonight are the evidence of a night spent in my mind with thoughts racing faster than Bill Elliot at Talladega in 1987.

That’s what trauma looks like.

It’s me checking my phone at the top of every hour to find nothing from him. It’s me looking at his Instagram only to see that he’s had the time to post every shot he’s taken, but those same fingers fail to send a quick “I love you” when my mind needs it most. Hours have passed and still, nothing.

He wouldn’t disrespect me again. He learned from the hurt and embarrassment it caused me that last time, right? I hope so, but to be honest I’ll never know. That’s just what I tell myself to try and get some sleep at night. 



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