You Didn’t Want to Hear It

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You asked me what I was thinking, why I was wearing a scowl, but I didn’t tell you the truth. You wanted to hear that I was making a mental packing list for our trip; that I was worried about spending my first Christmas away from my mom; that I was simply zoning out. You asked, but you wanted the answer to negate your instinct that there was something to be worried about. I couldn’t give you that, yet I couldn’t give you the truth. You didn’t know it, but you didn’t want the truth.

You didn’t want to know that I feel like I’m suffocating every time I think about spending a week with you driving across the country. You didn’t want to know that I started taking a painting class and kept it from you just so I would feel like I had a piece of me that you didn’t have. In fact, I intentionally made you suspicious so that you might think I was up to something bad and maybe I wouldn’t have to pretend like I was happy anymore. But you didn’t want to know that, so I didn’t tell you.

You didn’t want to know that I secretly hoped you would screw up in a way big enough for me to have an excuse to leave you. You didn’t want to know how much I resented you for being the perfect man, or that I wished you would judge me for being less than perfect so that I would be justified in my resentment. So I smiled like nothing was wrong, and you put your arm around me and kissed my forehead like you did the night we met.

You didn’t want to know that I look back on that night with irrational anger, confused as to how this relationship turned so sour, like a sweet thing that’s spent too long in your mouth. You didn’t want to know that I desperately wanted to spit us out and walk away.

You didn’t want to know that every fiber of my being felt pulled off that couch, out from under your arm, out the door of our home, and away from anything that reminded me of you. You didn’t want to know that I get sick to my stomach when you touch me.

No, you didn’t want to know that, even though it’s the truth. So I lied, like I do every day when I kiss you goodnight. I told you, “nothing.” And you chose to believe me, and I hated you even more for it.

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This story is entirely fictional and is not based on any real person, event, or situation from the life of the author or her community.

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