“Good morning,” he whispers into my ear as I roll over in bed. I try not to let my feelings of disgust show on my face. It is not this man’s fault that I invited him into my home, my sanctuary, but it is his fault that he didn’t take the time I was unconscious to slip out of my bed, my home, my life. Men tend to take my distance as a challenge, this one included. Show no interest in a man and he believes I am head over heels with him drowning in my own love.

No, I am not drowning in this love that I must be blind to; I am suffocating in his existence. Another breath is like a bomb going off, another touch, another wound. I am never holding up my white flag, though they are always watching, waiting, counting on me to tie my limbs down.

I will bear through it all; each disgusting kiss, each unwanted touch. I am not doing it for the men nor for myself; rather, I am doing it all for the sake of nothing else to do. If I can have another drink, I’ll move a little closer. If I can have another five, feel free to caress me. These men think that they own me, but they just have me on a lease. I do not lust for them, only for the booze to keep me a lush and with each second I sober up, the closer they get to the end of their too-short contract. Tick, tock, time is always about to be up.

I hope that if I just pretend I am sleeping, this knight in rotting armor will leave quietly, but that is beyond him. He keeps trying to wake me, putting his hands where they are no longer wanted. I’d play dead, but I know that with a man like this, that probably wouldn’t stop him. So what will? What most men want is the fucking, not the emotion. So as he tries to make his way inside of me, I whisper, “Not now, just hold me for a while.”

He complies and wraps his suffocating arms around me and I snuggle myself up to him. These few minutes of torture will be worth it, I convince myself. Pretty soon he’ll make up an excuse of having to be somewhere else and he will be gone for good, pretending he will call me, but knowing he won’t. This is just how I want it. I don’t mind if a man thinks it is him who dropped me so easily, as long as he is gone. So gone, he is, and I am back to being alone in my apartment. Let’s drink to that.