"Don't move," he said, pushing me up against the wall.
His lips grazed mine ever so softy and I held stone still.
Again his lips passed across mine, my top across his bottom, and he backed up, looking into my eyes.
"You didn't move."
"You told me not to," I exhaled.
I saw him that day as I was picking up my dumbbells.
He was well muscled, but it was proportionate.
Longer hair, not too tall, some facial hair.
Not the usual male I see at the gym.
Just a look.
I crossed over to the cables searching for the pulldown bar.
Looking up, I saw it next to him.
Smiling, he handed it to me.
And I went on my way.
Days later, at the desk, he came to get his package.
Introductions, a few polite questions.
He was a law student and lived in the next building over.
He turned to leave, "I like your dress. The colors look good on you."
Flush of the cheeks.
There the compliment lay.
We lay there in the dark on our backs, blanket wrapped around me to keep the heat in.
My head lay on L's shoulder, his cheek resting against my head, curls tickling my forehead.
"When I cheated on my ex it was purely physical for me. It's like I can't connect my physical and emotional parts of me, so it wasn't because I wanted to be with the other person. That's why if he did cheat on me physically, I would't be as upset as if he did emotionally. It's more hurtful, to me, if he were to share who he was with her. Does that make sense?"
"Do you ever just get lost in the moment when we do things?"
"I don't get that. It's not because I don't love you, it's just that I can't connect them. I'm trying though. That's why it was never anything more than that. I can't feel."
Quiet for a moment. He puts his arm across me, pulling me closer.
"I'm glad you're trying and I'll do my best to help you to be healthy."
We met each other formally as I sat and talked with friend outside their building.
He was intelligent, that much was evident from the words he chose to his wit.
Challenges intrigue me, so we talked back and forth, making small and harmless digs, talked about music and whatever else.
It was a dance, baiting, and interesting.
At one point our friends stopped talking with each other and watched us.
There was an air of electricity, neither breaking eye contact, neither wanting to back down.
That night we sat, his friend, he and I, and drank a little, talking long into the night about things I don't normally share.
A collection of people sharing secrets and struggles.
Eating disorder, abuse, a father that died, a sister with bipolar.
At five am his friend went to bed, and at six-thirty, I made my way to bed too.
His confidence was intriguing.
His mind interesting.
Meeting with unstoppable forces always makes me hungry for destruction.
We went out to the bars with his friends that weekend.
We studied together last week.
There was always something he was good at or something he knew.
He had stories and laughed easily.
He coaxed out confidence from me and helped me with my writing when doing my literature review.
I have many guy friends, it wasn't out of the ordinary.
And then it has been a long week and we bought beer to drink while we did homework.
Suddenly it was there, the chemical fire.
Lips to lips.
And that was all that happened, but I scrambled to get my things and leave, knowing that wasn't all that would have the potential to burn.
I didn't understand why I had done it, and as I laid on my friend's lap, she tried to make sense of my mind.
"I think you're self sabotaging. You were unhappy for so long that you don't know how to let someone treat you good."
"I didn't mean to! I mean, yes, I wanted to kiss him but I just think he's attractive and I like him as a person. I love L."
"I know you do. You're really happy now."
"He's still the person that I want marry. Does that even make sense? It wasn't emotional for me. Only physical."
Everything is a desperate attempt at making someone understand when you're drunk.
"No, I totally understand what you mean. Maybe you should tell him?"
"I can't. It will break his heart. It's a compulsion. Cheating like that isn't even something personal for me. It's just this problem I have."
"Don't make any decisions until you're sober, okay? I know it wasn't for you but you can't do that anymore."
"I'm a terrible person. I'm a whore."
"No you're not. Stop. You're scared."
I doubted myself. Not him.
I doubted that I was enough.
I began to slowly feel the way I used to.
Silly me, thinking you just magically recover from an eating disorder and sexual abuse.
As though it was never there and it never seeped into the things you hold dear, trying to pollute them.
Everything I ate became too much.
Seeing muscle became a bigger obsession.
Depression has been creeping up, reminding me that with the onset of fall, it won't be long until it moves back in.
Cold. Dark. Anxious.
Confidence always shaken because of the abuse and because of my last relationship.
Fear over applying to graduate school and failing my current research class.
The realization that I very much have the capability to be unstoppable but hold myself back.
He reminded me of those things I forgot, showed me there is a light inside as fact, not as a way to interest me in him.
As though they were things I should naturally see in myself.
In my previous relationship I would have had feelings for him beyond attraction.
I like his mind and the sexual chemistry.
As laid curled up in bed, as we held hands, as I watched him play his guitar at church, his smile, the forehead kisses out of nowhere, I knew that I had no other feelings for someone like I do for him.
He isn't perfect.
He's awful at talking about how he feels.
The kitchen is messy.
He has yet to learn how to properly kiss and everything else will have to follow in learning over time.
Yet he still takes care of me, listens, and lets me do what I need to do to grow.
I curled into him, crying, tears being pushed by stress over the precipice of my eyes.
I was tired of everyone making me eat pasta, my fear food.
I was tired of school and all the pressure.
I hated that my dad and I weren't close and that my step mom had brought up my eating disorder again at the table that night, that my dad makes jokes to help him, like I should be okay with that.
Like I should be ashamed that it hurts him so much.
My student loans were too high.
My body too big.
Paying interest on the emotional damages done to me.
He held me, letting me implode then pulling me out.
And I knew, again.
He's the one.
And I'm an idiot.
Painfully vulnerable in the healing process.
It's a habit for me to self-destruct.
I like meeting immovable forces.
And the chase is a challenge I love.
Let me win. I'll show you that I'm powerful.
Make you want me.
Interesting. Seductive in my genuine and honest nature.
It's all a game, one I win at.
Stone passion, electric intrigue, but the wire is frayed between head and heart.
And in the end, the immovable force is the softest, kindest person I know.
Connecting the wires, one at a time.
My insides revolt, in turmoil, writhing from feeling real electricity.
Will I tell him?
I almost didn't write about it because of the disappointed reactions I'll receive.
I'm disappointed enough in myself.
In the end I felt enough guilt to deter me from it happening again, both of us agreeing to be friends.
He, liking me much more than he anticipated.
Giving reasons why I should try things with him but also respecting my relationship, saying that if I'm happy, he's happy for me.
That it's sad, that we are nearly the same people and click so well, that we wouldn't give it a try.
The experience was a mirror though, cold and pale.
Skin feeling suffocating once again.
Emotions feeling heavy and leaving me dangerously open.
Slipping up makes you feel something close to being a failure.
Recovery is difficult.
I'm a recovering anorexic. I'm a recovering sexual abuse victim. I'm a compulsive cheater that makes it seem better by not sleeping with any of them. I like to manipulate the emotions of people I perceive to be stronger than me because for a minute, I'm in control. I'm intelligent but duty makes me lazy.
There's a huge heart in there, kind, open, always willing to help, violently rebelling against the above bad.
There's someone wild inside, someone wildy hopeful.
I have more work to do.
"It's like that French phrase. L'appel due vide."
"What does it mean?"
"It's like when you want someone to fill the void."
I nodded looking it up.
'The urge some people get to jump from high places when they encounter them.'
I smiled, "Something like that."