A prickling sensation creeps from the bottoms of her feet up the backs of her calves and thighs. The silkiness of the satin sheets underneath fades to cold cement ground. His left leg is sprawled just below her knees, occasionally twitching with the rhythmic echoes of his snore-embedded breaths. She doesn’t move it. Her legs can do the sleeping tonight. They can have the pins and needles. Since she too, with eyes wide open, is on pins and needles.
When will he be gone?
Just like all the other ones.
That’s all she can think about.
College girls always joke about fears of waking up with a stranger in bed Saturday morning.
Her biggest fear on the other hand,
Is waking up without the stranger Saturday morning.
“Don’t leave me tonight, okay?”
Honestly, it’s not because she cares about them (at least she tries not to). It’s not the who, but the what, that breaks her every time. It’s the reminder that to these thirsty bodies, she’s esteemed for nothing more than the vacant space inside her (and every other female). She’s a Marlboro. Lit up. Inhaled. Exhaled. Until the last bit of romanticism and hope is sucked out and released; foul and toxic secondhand smoke that pleads to be appreciated one last time before evaporating and losing all evidence of existence. Then disposed of. If she’s lucky, she burns out before they’re done (at least she’s left with some dignity). If she’s not, they’re done before she burns out. And she gets stepped on. With a little extra pressure in the toe box, just in case she’s not out with the first step.
Nothing more than a butt.
That’s what she is to them.
Why does she still do it?
Some presume she’s masochistic.
Some think she’s outright stupid.
However the rare few, like the one sleeping beside her right now, knows otherwise. He knows that behind her indifferent eyes, hidden emotions and sarcastic comebacks:
She’s been hurt, deceived, and mistreated.
She’s tired of clubs, parties and alcohol.
She hates empty words, hookups and promises.
She sleeps with both eyes open, because she’s reluctant to yet again lose this game that she thinks she finally knows the rules to.
She’s still hopeful.
What she doesn’t know, is that she has finally found someone, who feels the exact same.
Someone who is determined to dismantle her walls.
Someone who plans to patch her wounds with his own skin.
Someone who sees her not as a cigarette, but as a cup of coffee.
The Americano with a spoonful of sugar that he can’t start a morning without.