Tonight is for me.

Tonight I won’t write about you. I won’t even think about you. I’ve given you so many nights; so many more than you will ever know. Sleepless with you on my mind. With us on my mind. Whatever “us” means. Or meant. Or I wanted it to mean. Or what it never meant, doesn’t mean now, and will never mean, anyway.

I won’t sit and ponder about what’s on your mind, where you are and what you’re doing. I won’t wonder if you’re up, if you’re thinking about me too, or if, instead you’ve been asleep for hours. I won’t let that Chinese proverb get stuck in my mind; “When you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dreams”. I won’t even consider the possibility that you’re dreaming of me.

Tonight’s only for me.

I owe it to myself. For all the nights I spent on you, for all the nights I put myself on the side for you, for all the nights I gave myself to you when I should have just kept a few pieces for me.

I’ll love myself tonight. I’ll put me first. I’ll know that I did everything I could, that I loved you all I could; more than you’d ever been loved before, more than I’d ever loved before. That feeling in the pit of my stomach, the one I had the first time I laid eyes on you, will be reserved only for me tonight and I’ll keep it to myself.

I won’t touch my phone, hoping that it will ring and it’ll be you. I won’t hear your voice in my mind telling me that you miss me and asking me to come home. I won’t imagine the emotion you’re trying to hide between nervous laughs. I won’t even think about that stupid meaningless message you’ll send me, using some ridiculous pretense, just to see how I am in hopes that you can get some sort of reaction out of me. I won’t hope for it to come. I won’t even imagine it does.

I will not cry. I will not shed one tear for you tonight. I will not be confused, trying to figure out what I did -or didn’t do- to make you throw me from that cloud of bliss I was on. I won’t sit in bewilderment striving to understand what went wrong. I won’t feel lost. There won’t be a void in my chest, I won’t feel empty. My eyes won’t overflow with all the things I have no words to express. Because tonight is for me and I don’t deserve to spend it in tears. I won’t remember your cold stare and your distant words. I won’t let my mind recall how it feels to be betrayed by the one you care for most when you least expect it. I won’t be in pain with your lack of emotion as I cried my eyes out and demolished any shed of an ego I had begging you to stay.

I won’t be angry at you anymore. I’ll forgive you. I’ll understand. And I will no longer think of you.

I’ll pour myself a glass of wine, draw a nice hot bath, put on my favorite music. I’ll soak there till the water gets cold. I won’t remember that time in the shower. I won’t think about how your soapy hands felt on my body, or the way I laughed when shampoo got into your eyes and you squealed like a five year-old girl. I won’t smell the towel as I get out, just to trick my senses into believing it’s you that’s drying my hair with it. I won’t feel your fingertips on my bare skin as you played with beads of water that was left on it, nor will I feel your tight grip on my arm as you pulled my against your chest.

I won’t long for your touch. I won’t yearn for your body. I won’t miss your lips. I won’t wish I could feel you just one more time.

Tonight I’ll get to bed early. I’ll put on one of my t-shirts instead of yours. One that smells like my clothes and not of your body. One that fits me right and is not the length of a dress on me. I won’t even remember the first time I put it on or how you said I looked like a child in it. I won’t long to hear your laugh when you grabbed me, pulling me close, yanking it over my head and off just to stand there and stare at me. I won’t miss your laugh and I won’t miss you.

I’ll crawl into bed and I won’t let myself think of you. I won’t wonder where you are, what you’re doing and who’s sharing your bed with you tonight. I won’t think about who’s taken that place in it next to you, who’s lying on my pillow, covered by that blanket I got you when we first moved in together. I won’t torture myself with thoughts of your hands on anyone other than me; if you’re not holding me tonight, I don’t care who they’re wrapped around. I won’t care tonight.

I won’t miss your arms wrapped around me, a comforting vise, tonight. I won’t miss you stirring next to me and pulling me close. I won’t think of that scar on your arm I used to rub my fingers across to fall asleep. I won’t miss your warmth or the way your beard prickled my shoulder and your breath tickled the back of my neck.

Tonight I’ll sleep. I’ll sleep alone, without you, without even the thought of you. Because I need to rest. I need time in oblivion. I need to heal. And when I wake in the morning there won’t be bags under my eyes from crying, nor will there be black circles from not resting enough. You will not keep me up until dawn tonight. I won’t try to pretend I hear your breathing next to me, nor will I try to persuade myself that it’s your body against mine and not a pillow.

When I finally fall asleep, I won’t dream of you. You won’t be the last thought in my mind before Morpheus comes to visit me. I won’t see us happy and together again, just to wake up alone again. I won’t be sick of sleeping alone. I won’t want you to come back and stay. No, tonight’s just for me.

I won’t miss you tonight.


I miss you tonight.

Author: Nikól Peri

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