As I looked at Bryan – his hair going in a million different directions due to his inability to find a comfortable sleeping position and stay there – I noticed his face: scared, upset…hopeful. It was the same look I’d worn on countless occasions before being fed lies and copouts by men who just couldn’t nut up about the fact that they couldn’t step up. And so, I did the hard thing and said, “Sometimes I miss being single.”
Bryan was quiet for what seemed like forever – I could tell by his deep breaths that he was trying to assess whether or not I was attempting to break up with him so I continued. “It’s not that I don’t love you because I do love you. In fact, I think you’re the only person I’ve ever loved. But there are times when I just…I just miss not knowing what’s going to happen next. And while I am so happy that I’ve found you…there are times when I miss looking for you. I hope this doesn’t make you mad because I don’t want to be with anyone else – it’s just that sometimes I wish it were just me…”
I looked at him with fear – expecting a response similar to, “Well if that’s how you feel then go be by yourself” or “Fuck this shit, I’m out!”…after all, who would stay after hearing something like that?
“Lauren,” he laughed, half-heartedly, “I know.”
“I know – sometimes I want to be single too. And it isn’t to avoid you or because I want to be with someone else – there are just times when I need to be by myself.”
“Yeah but Bryan,” I interrupted, attempting to stop the tears from flowing freely down my face, “it isn’t that I just want to be by myself. Sometimes I get scared that…”
“That what, Lauren?” he asked, sweetly.
“That…” I said, taking a deep breath, “that maybe it’s all wrong…”