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The Line

Subtle and faint, still living in my drawer

By Randy RileyPublished 2 months ago 2 min read
Quiet Couple

It’s barely 6, and I hardly slept. The sun isn’t up, he isn’t up, but I couldn’t settle down. I had to know. And now I have to tell him.

I did this last night too, but I couldn’t tell him. I was exhausted, it was dark, maybe I didn’t see it right. But now it’s the morning, now it’s all clear. There it is. I’m suddenly not alone. So I can’t do this alone. I have to tell him.

I go upstairs, he’s still asleep. I have to go to work, but he gets to sleep in today. I would wait and let him rest, but I can’t put it off, I have to tell him.

I can barely breathe, my chest feels tight. My body is vibrating. My lower half has felt heavy for the last 8 hours. It’ll only get worse over the next 8 months. I’m going to cry, but I can’t let that stop me. He married me, he loves me, we’ve talked about this. We wanted this. But then maybe we didn’t, we didn’t think so anymore. I hold myself back, my whole existence feels stiff and tight. But I have to go forward, I have to tell him.

I sit on the bed and look at him. Maybe my frightened, wide-eyed stare will be enough to wake him like it always was with my mother when I was a child. A child. He snores, and I know it’s not working. I nudge him. I nudge again. A little harder this time. His eyes open and he looks at me. And I look back. He furrows his brows, he’s trying to read my mind. I just look. I look at him, then I look around. My eyes dart around the room, and I close them and nod. I need to just get to it. He’s waiting for me to tell him.

I smile, just a little, then I quickly shrug and grimace. I don’t know which emotions to have, I don’t know how to present it. So I just present it. I hold it out, but it’s dark. He can’t see. He takes it and he looks at me and raises his hand a little. He’s questioning it. He’s still barely awake. Maybe I can walk out and he’ll fall back asleep and forget about any of this. But I can’t. I take out my phone and I shine the light so he can see. He squints, he looks at me waiting for my translation. The line is faint, after all. He looks at me. I look back. And we just look at each other. His eyes get wide. He’s scared. I try to smirk. I try to let him know it’s okay. It’ll be okay, right? Even if it’s not, he’s scared, so I have to tell him.

I nod, I pat him on the shoulder, and I kiss him on the head. I have to go to work. My shift doesn’t start for three more hours, but I have to go. I can’t breathe. There I’ll be alone. Except I won’t be. I’m not alone anymore. And my bottom half is heavy. And my chest is tight. But we’ll figure it out together later because at least for now, I told him.

inspirationallove poemsfact or fiction

About the Creator

Randy Riley

anxious, scattered, figuring it out

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  • Randy Riley (Author)2 months ago

    That line, that heaviness in my stomach slept on my chest as I wrote this. One year out, and it did turn out okay.

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