Every time the fighting starts, I wonder how we got here. It starts so easily, too easily. The casual slip of sarcasm, the backhanded ill-intended compliment, the slightest bit of ‘tude is enough to spark the flame. I’m tired—we’re both tired, but neither one of us wants to change or compromise so we’re left with disappointment. 

Sometimes, I watch him sleep. I stare at his long lashes and soft lips as he snores peacefully. I run my fingers across his skin and notice how the tones vary from copper and brass to a deep chocolate. In these quiet moments, I know I love him. But loving someone and being with someone are two very different things. What I cannot see is his mind and how it turns. I wonder what he thinks of when I sleep and if he questions the same things I do.

 His mind is filled with sharp edges and dead ends. Synapses firing wildly as he designs and creates, slowing to a pause when I come into view. He thinks in pictures, and I in words. We are opposites and were probably doomed from the jump. Our latest fiasco began with something as simple as a toothbrush. 

The introduction of my toothbrush was met with weary. Although I could tell he was trying brush it off—pretend it did not bother him that I, had chosen to leave a piece of myself behind in his home. I knew that it made him nervous. This is it, he probably thought, this how she traps me

He stood in the bathroom doorway and watched me open its package. I tore it apart slowly and watched him cringe as I placed it carefully next to his as if to say, this is happening and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. He hates that. He hates not having any control.

That’s one major difference between us. I’ve never had control so I don’t understand what it is like to fear losing it. Instead I flounder through life gracelessly, running into it aimlessly or letting it hit me. Not having control over ones life is not as scary as you might think, as long as you know how to get back up after you’ve fallen down. 

The toothbrush sat still in its place as we lay in bed. He turned to me, and casually asked, “Do you want to have kids.” I often talk about my hypothetical children so I was annoyed by the question. Then came the next one, “Do you want to get married?” I am an Ohio girl raised by a team of Catholics so I assumed the answer was also obvious. Then he began, “Well, we’d have to break up eventually then, because I don’t know what I want.” I rolled my eyes and thought; it’s just a toothbrush. Then, came the question I was secretly waiting for. “Do you even want to live together?” My heart jumped into my throat and my face flushed pink. “I mean yeah, eventually. It would just make sense.” I played it cool—like, I hadn’t been thinking about it constantly since my friend has brought it up during our “Baecation” to Connecticut. “Well Liz, he’s busy, he’s a professional, yada yada yada…but have you thought about living together? I think it would make sense. You’d get to see him more and move your relationship forward.” 

Moving us forward had been something I had wanted for a long time. See, he sees things differently than I do. His forward is an automatic jail sentence disguised as a marriage. Mine, is seeing him more than twice a week and getting introduced to people he knows as a girlfriend and not a friend. He didn’t say anything else about living together. I know he was pondering it, letting the fear sink in, letting the insecurities surface. 

Today, he was quick with his words and advised me that he was “busy” always busy. I snapped. I couldn’t help myself. It was a text fight of epic proportions. We furiously typed back and forth and I asked my coworkers to answer the phones while I expressed my feelings through emojis. But that is what it is. I will always put work on hold for him, but he never will.