We are sitting on your bed.
We are here every night. Your bed is gradually becoming OUR bed. I have my special spot in the corner, leaving enough room for YOU to lie beside me if YOU please.
I’ve let YOU dock on my island, so I guess your bed is a fair exchange.
Our friends were here earlier.
It’s so awkward when others sit on the bed with us.
I joke about others swimming to my shore and YOU scowl. Your eyes roll like dice, landing on snake eyes, snake eyes not on me. YOU bring your hand to your lips; fingers spread down and across your chin like a handkerchief.
“Is that so?” YOU always ask.
YOU can’t be passive and expect me to feel bad.
Your friends leave and your tone switches to something special. YOU lock the door and lead me to the bed. My corner is disheveled; the comforter is wrinkled, pillows and stuffed animals are toppled over.
Doesn’t that sound strange to you?
YOU cuddle into me like I am a raft. I lay back with my hands beneath my head and search for stars in your ceiling. I like to pretend we aren’t in your room, on your bed, OUR bed, and instead in an open field with a means to escape.
When our friends were moments from leaving you texted me:
“Why won’t they just leave?”
I wanted them to leave too but only because I fear them knowing. Maybe if they stay in the room, our room, for too long they’ll read between the creases in your comforter or follow your gaze when I shuffle in my seat or adjust my shirt.
YOU always tell me that you don’t care what others think; that tells me YOU don’t find anything wrong with what we are doing.
Lying on your bed, the wrinkled sheets feel like a smooth current. The ceiling has folded back, revealing the night sky freckled with stars. I am so far from my island and the waves keep pushing me back; YOU keep pushing me back. The waves reach for me like hands – your hands – and tug me in. YOU have pulled me out of my comfort zone. I am now idling in a kayak in the middle of the ocean. I have no paddle and YOU expect me to trust you, as you leap into my lap, tap the sides of my boat and tip me back and forth. In the distance, I see my island submerge into the sea. I knew if I gave it to YOU it’d just drop to your level. Hands in the water, I splash and steer slowly. YOU crash into me and spin my kayak like a game piece. I keep moving, pushing back handfuls of YOU until I can find my sinking shore. I watch YOU roll onto the island, stretch out and engulf the land. That was OUR’s.
Better yet, it was mine.
How can YOU destroy the only thing keeping us alive?
I sit up on your bed. “I think I’m going to go home.” I put on my sneakers – not bothering to tie them – and throw on my jacket.
YOU stay sitting on your bed, rocking back and forth, hand clasped against chest. YOU are a collapsed rocking chair and I can hear the mower rev up.
“Did you have fun?”
I want to walk over to YOU, give YOU a hug and say something sweet. I imagine YOU carving a compass out of your hands and begging me to make YOU feel less lost.
“Yeah. It was a blast.”
YOU stretch your arms out for a hug.
YOU are the end of your least favorite word.