Pillow Talk

His mattress was on the floor, two pillows dressed up his bed. It gave off the potential of an artist but it looked like he was pretending. He never asked me if I liked his place, probably because he knew that even with my falsity to it all, he could still tell I was lying. The good thing from that night was that he didn’t try anything with me again. I liked to think he got the hint after he tried something on the golf course field. Maybe he was doing me a favor. Inviting me in here to get only a taste of his life. I should have known even as we slept together in his bedroom on that cold October night that he was already thinking of the other girl he would share his pillows with.

The pillow we shared on his twin xl bed was consuming me. I wanted nothing more than to feel the close embrace of my own pillow. The thoughts began to swarm my brain like ants to a discarded piece of food. Why did I decide to drink? I should have never come over here in the first place. I wish I could just leave, put my clothes back on and walk back to my dorm no matter the time it is now. I feel used up, I am nothing. But it was already done. The invasion of my private parts. A place only I thought I knew the password to but he got around it. All I wanted was to go to sleep, but how could I when he was on top of me, pinning me down. My screams and pleading were silenced in his pillow.

We picked out his bedding together, navy blue sheets but the black pillowcases remained. He had his favorite one, I only got it when he left in the mornings to go to work. Leaving me there to lay my head against the pillow he slept on all night. I wanted to get as close to him as possible. Little did I know until it came and was too late that he was doing the opposite to me. We shared everything on that bed. Out secrets, our pleasures, ourselves. The naked truths in all their complexities. I thought I would sleep in that bed forever, resting my head against my second place pillow. But he wanted someone else to warm up his bed for him. I guess me and that pillow had more in common than I thought. Always to be second best, never a favorite. 

When I opened my eyes he was staring at me. I almost flinched when he put his hand against my face. I thought he tried too hard but little did I know at the time it was love he was trying to give me. Little did he know I wasn’t ready for it. So, I did something I would come to regret in my years on. I ghosted him, hard. But then I still gave him the idea that something could happen. Because what he didn’t know, and what I would never have the courage to tell him was he saved me a bit. Even though I only allowed him in for a brief moment. I’ll still never forget the comfort I felt laying on his pillow in his apartment in Boston as the rain fell outside as it welcomed Fall in with a warm embrace.

His bed was only meant for one night. A drunken mishap, but I only wanted to forget. So, he let me. He found his ways and he never tried anything I didn’t want to do. I had to give it to him, he was kind. I would never admit to him that I had a crush on him all these years because he’s better off never knowing. I’ll still never forget that night. When you allowed me into your third-floor apartment with the slanted walls from the roof. And when you took me out to a bar and danced with me to Whitney Houston. I think my smile was genuine that night, for once. But I can never eat scrambled eggs again. Thanks, for making me breakfast and letting me sleep on your pillow. 

I never saw your pillows, but I could only assume they were as disinteresting as you were towards me. I have to hand it to you, you really fooled me. Staying out all night and not letting me leave until we kissed. I guess I got too caught up in the moment and forgot all the bad. Because you brought me out and picked me up from work. You showed me your apartment as we listened to your records and your only options for drinks were milk and water. And you took me to a party on New Year’s Eve where we cheered with shots of gin and a band played in the living room and we won at beer pong. But when you kissed me at midnight it felt like a chore someone was dreading to complete. I’m glad I never got invited to your bed and slept on your pillow.

You brought me flowers when I was having a bad day. And you brought me to a bookstore on our second date. I donated those books because I was never going to read them. But you did all that because you listened to the things I liked that made me me. You were a gentle person who wanted to make others happy and I took that for granted at every possible moment I could. The only time we slept together you kept your distance because you knew even then I couldn’t escape the walls I built so high up no one was allowed in or to knock them down. I’m sorry I never gave you a chance, but you were smart to leave. At least I got to rest my head on your pillow and sleep through the night. 

I laid on your pillow as we watched a movie I was less than impressed with. Your room showed who you were and you weren’t ashamed about any of it. I think somewhere inside you you knew I was never going to fit the mold of what you wanted of me. I tried, I can admit that maybe you couldn’t see it. It doesn’t matter now. You were the first person I dated who had a room that looked put together. It’s too bad I was falling apart while losing myself in the process. I never wanted to waste your time. But I think it was better for me to drive up Montauk road and never come back. 

You kept pillows in your truck. So, I never got to see your bed or room for that matter. I never wanted to admit it, but I knew I was your secret. The worst part of it all was that I allowed it to happen. I wanted to think you were different, that you were only doing that because you wanted me all to yourself. But we never got to sleep in an actual bed together. It was always the backseat of your truck after you fucked me or a blow-up mattress on the ground of your friend’s apartment. I should have saved myself the trouble of getting hurt and stopped it. Because what person would be stupid enough to go a whole year and never see a bed. I was as used up as the pillow.

Your bed was in the middle of your room. There were only two pillows, but you gave me the better one, no questions asked. You would do anything for me. But as much as you were willing to do for me you also found a way to take it all away. I thought I was going crazy, I had anxiety every time I looked at my phone when you would text me. All of the times I would have to fight to save us. But you weren’t happy and we were better off as friends. You told me that in your bed one night. Don’t think I didn’t forget it, how could I. I grew to hate you and that bed. A pillow that got used up the same amount of times I did by you. I hope the next person that lays there enjoys it while it lasts.

You had a single pillow on your bed. Part of me wanted to get up and leave. But another allowed me to laugh it off and hear your innocent reason. Maybe you knew it bothered me when I jokingly told you that you needed more because I wasn’t sharing or getting none at all. So when you told me you got three more it made me happy. To know that you listened to something so small yet so big I didn’t know it at the time. But I love when we share my pillows and your smell is still on them when I lay there alone because I don’t feel like I am. And for the first time in my life I want to let the good in. Will you help me take my walls down so we can lay on your three new pillows together?

One response to “Pillow Talk”

  1. I really like the duality that’s in this piece. I feel the thoughts of the narrator go from resentment to love as she thinks about the person she used to be with. Love can be like that sometimes, but from the sounds of it, she sounds better off without him. Really good work!

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