No. No, no, no, no, no. I thought it was right by my feet. I feel around with my right foot, careful not to move too quickly and wake him. Nope, nothing but a wad of cold sheets.
His chest rises and falls rhythmically and his nose twitches as he lets out a series of disjointed snores. Suddenly he wakes and wraps his arm around me, pressing me into his armpit.
“One sec… bathroom.” I smile awkwardly and wriggle from his embrace. I climb out from beneath the covers and crawl to the end of the bed in search of my bra.
FLASH. A bright light shoots out from behind and reflects off the computer screen adjacent to his bed.
“Oh shit,” he laughs, glancing at the screen of his phone and typing quickly. I shoot up from all fours and shield my bottom with his wrinkled grey sheets.
I can see the snapchat ghost dancing, mocking me, jumping from side to side. My breath is heavy and my cheeks are hot. Tears well in the corners of my eyes.
“Bathroom!” I say again, a little louder but no less convincing. I sprint into his bathroom and rummage through the toiletries on the sink in search of a comb. Without luck, I comb through the ends of my hair with my fingers and stare at my topless reflection. I turn around and bend over in an attempt to see what my panty-clad behind might’ve looked like in the picture he sent his friends.
Why aren’t you excited?! Why aren’t you ecstatic?! He is a legend… isn’t he?
“You’re beautiful, you know that right?” He caught me off guard one day as we chatted between classes. I craved the affirmation he provided, the affirmation that I was incapable of providing for myself.
My heart ballooned, swollen with his compliments. He held onto me firmly for a few months and my confidence stayed intact until one day he let go.
Skyward I floated,
Propelled upwards by the validation dispelled below.
For a while I stayed adrift
And became smaller and smaller,
Until one day, I realized that his words had no weight.
& my words
& my thoughts
keep me grounded.