You knew he didn’t love you. Now, you ask yourself who the hell stays with someone who no longer wants to be with them. Now, you worry. 

In the beginning, all you saw were endearing quirks. The way he enjoyed seeing you uncomfortable because you blushed or looked small. Like when you sat with him on the uncovered patio of your favorite barbecue restaurant. If he had to endure the smell of pork for you, the least you could do was sit where he wanted.

“Eat,” he’d demanded. “Everyone can tell you love ribs. Hips like yours don’t come from a lifetime of good nutritional habits.” His laugh shook the table. Water splashed onto your plate, landing with searing judgement. 

“Love is not perfect,” your mother reminds often. “Men don’t always say the right things, but he’s so good to you.”

When someone broke into your brownstone, he hired a new security company and promised to stay with you until they could set it up. He never left.

You should have known when he looked through you. How he never saw you. His empty eyes reflected the fat you allowed to creep over your body. There’s power in believing that someone loves your flaws and all. It strengthens your ability to accept things you never thought you would.

You aren’t much to look at.  

Although your skin glistens like deep bronze, and your eyes evoke envy in the greatest of stars. Though your lips, thick and plush, create cushions of ecstasy as he shoves his offering deep into the dark crevices of your throat.

You are the alluring apple devoured by Adam despite the bitter pit of evil at your core.

He loves the real you.

He puts up with you.  

You are indebted to him in ways you can’t speak aloud. The suffocating heaviness of the lies onto which you hold has stifled your words.

He loves you.

He tells you repeatedly while entangled in the warmth of your sex, hooded eyes betraying your desire for him.

“I love this pussy,” he whispers, matching each word with a thrust from his hips. Every gyration an attempt to push through the emptiness of the love he provides.

In truth, there is no love.

Not when he apologizes for the first time.

Nor the fifth.

And not when you lay dying on the floor where he’s left you.