Friday, November 13, 2009

Sleepless Night

I stared at the ceiling, listening to the rhythmic sound of his breathing. Sleep hadn't been coming easily to me and I had a lot weighing on my mind and my heart.

I turned on my side to study Michael's profile in the dark.  His features were barely illuminated by our bedroom alarm clock but they were committed perfectly to my memory.  I knew every line and curve of his face, perhaps better than I knew my own.

After four years of dating, two of which spent cohabiting, I felt like we'd fallen into a rut.  He didn't seem to take our relationship quite as seriously as I did.  I didn't want to be the nagging type of girlfriend, pressuring him into putting a ring on my finger.  I just wanted a sign that we were in this for the long run and not just together out of convenience and comfort.

I thought back to three nights ago, when I'd again broached the subject of our future.  I had been in the kitchen, cleaning up after dinner and busying myself cleaning non-existent spots on the counter.  Michael was reclining on the couch, sipping a cold beer and flipping through the channels on television.  I knew I had to say something or I would drive myself crazy.

"Michael?  Can I ask you something?" I kept my voice light and cheerful as I sat down next to him.

"Sure, Em.  What's up?"

I sighed inwardly and took a deep breath.  I was stalling but knew I had to take the plunge.

"I know we're still young but I just need to know.  Is this it for us?  I mean, are we ever going to get married, start a family?  I don't mean right away, but...someday?" I hated the pleading tone that had entered my voice and I stared at his face, searching for a hint of what he was thinking.

"Emma, we've been over this.  I just don't know if that's something I'm ready for," he sighed.

I'd had a feeling that would be his answer.  I didn't want him to feel pressured into proposing.  I wasn't sure if I was even ready for that step yet, I just wanted to know where our relationship was heading before either of us put any more time into what we had.

I stared back up at the ceiling, again listening to Michael's breathing as he slept.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I decided to take my future into my own hands.

I was going to leave him.

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