She is afraid of being judged. She wants to confront the riots of feeling taking place within her. She wants to un-wall her heart and set free the betrayal and disgust she felt.
She is a puddle of a person now. Still, she floats in her fear by the grace of the buoyancy of her body. It doesn’t make sense. She knows that there are those who have drowned in theirs. Their bodies come right back up after a day or two- rejected by their own fears. She couldn’t follow their shadows even if they knew where to go.
Nomi and I have been darting aphorisms at each other all morning, our words dancing between falsehoods and unhomed thoughts. I can always tell when she is going to lie to me. I know the way she smooths out the edges of her lies with the gentle, almost imperceptible, rising and falling of her voice. I know the way her brown eyes narrow slightly as if challenging me to call her out. I have learned to be silent around her.
I have learned to wait.
We feel we are without feet. Where would we go if we had the choice? What would we do when we got there? Would we want to turn around and follow our breadcrumbs back to the comforts of choicelessness? Would we come back having forgotten how to float?
This is how we live- afraid of the choice of choice-making.
Nomi thinks I will not understand what happened to her. She must think that I would fall if I had a chance to see things from her impulsive point-of-view. A cold hard case of vertigo. Or that I wouldn’t understand the sudden dichotomous split that occurred between what she used to believe and what she did. She would so love to tell me how the emotional battles she had with herself and the effort of breaking through the armour plate of her internalised patriarchal duty have left her exhausted.
I did it too, you know. I bled profusely for days- my body crying tears of red, dramatically mourning the loss of an unwanted almost-life.
I want to tell Nomi what happened to me. I want to tell her that he removed the condom mid-fuck while we played our little game of pull out and reinsert that drove me wild. I noticed when I could feel the unimpeded warmth of his throbbing cock inside me, my wetness wrapped tightly around him. It was the most dangerous day of the month- ovulation. It was a time when my hormones were all over the place. He knew all this as he held me and came. I felt betrayed and used. I want to tell her that I had only recently found out that there was a name for what happened to me. It was called stealthing. It was rape. I wondered how many more people had been raped and didn’t know it.
You will be met with widespread opprobrium if you admit to any kind of choice-making. Especially this kind of choice-making. Your allegiance to the generic belief-system will be questioned. You will be shunned and made an example of. You will know that the devil does not sleep during the day.
Nomi had gotten tired of chasing freshly wheeled goalposts long before I did. There were new expectations with each sunrise. She chose to ignore them. She knew what might happen if she told. She knew that there are those who would try to hit her conscience with deadly tongue-wrought weapons. Bible sharpened.
Questioning or queer. The unexpected happened to me. I fell into a warm, deep, swirling, rainbow-coloured ocean of love. I fell in love with a woman. It has not happened again. It remains the longest relationship I have had.
I know that her breaking my heart is the only reason I was with him. That was 2 months ago. I am still in love. I am still broken. I want to be with her again. I want to tell Nomi. I want to tell somebody, anybody. I do not want it to be a secret. I want more than the people at the clinic to know that consent can be trampled on at any time during sex.
Nomi should know that I noticed the slow expansion of her belly to accommodate new life. I also noticed the almost instant deflation of the same belly. There one day and gone the next. She should know that I know how real the wounds of her self-chastisement felt. The pain and soreness. She was alone. Nomi should know that I am proud of her for being so brave.
I am still waiting for Nomi to tell me the truth. I am waiting in hope as I want someone to tell my truth to also. I want Nomi to tell me, so that I can tell her. Yes, I am selfish. And queer or questioning(?).
As I am already well aware of the actions of Nomi, why does it matter to me that I hear it from her? Is it a matter of her being able to trust and confide in me? Do I want us to have a togetherness based on similar happenings and disruptions in our lives and loves? Do I feel that I would be able to trust her with my secrets if she had taken the leap and trust me with hers?
This is how I live. I live in a house of my own secrets. I am unable to leave and unable to let anyone in. Nomi and I are neighbours. I can see her there in her house secrets. Can she see me in mine?