The Worst Feeling
Coming home from work, I could instantly feel it in the air. Something was wrong. The silence and stillness of my apartment congested my stomach with caution. “Babe?” Calling for my girlfriend, the wrestling coming from the bedroom caused me more concern. “Babe?”
Swinging open the door to my bedroom, the discovery of my girlfriend crying escalates my bad feelings. Rushing to her body, curled into a fetal position, I reach out to touch her, “What’s wrong?” Her body jerks away from my hand. Her sniffling evolves into sobs. I am overwhelmed by confusion, fear and guilt. “What’s wrong? Talk to me.”
It takes her a while to collect herself. Something traumatic has just occurred. A myriad of morbid possibilities race through my mind. Finally able to touch her, it pains me to find that my touch is hurting her. No matter how tender, my touch is causing her great discomfort. With her face against a pillow, she struggles through the tears and mucus, “I….”
My fear and imagination joins forces to haunt me. What happened while I was away? She’s falling apart. Her voice trembles again, “I….” The message lodges in her throat is choking her. The subject of her next sentence is tormenting her thoughts, “I….found something.”
My heart drops. My stomach collapses. My thoughts of robberies, rapists and tragedies were all exchanged for something much worst. Playing stupid, I ask, “What did you find, Babe?” I know exactly what she found in the back of my linen closet. Do I pretend it isn’t mine? Do I make up an elaborate explanation to why I have a box full of gay porn in my apartment?
She looks at me for the first time, her brown eyes are bloodshot. She knows I know what she found. Her voice matures to the point its ancient, “Just tell me it isn’t yours. I’ll believe you, I won’t bring it up again; just tell me it belongs to a friend or your brother or something. Please.”
Two words, “It’s mine.” Shame of holy proportion stinks up the room. My head becomes too heavy to lift my eyes from the floor. It finally happened. Someone has finally stumbled upon my addiction. This is the worst feeling. A cardboard box turned me into a monster. Magazines. VHS tapes. DVDs. I’m no longer decent. “I’m sorry, babe.”