Him: Are you okay?
Me: No. Obviously.
Him: Stop. You look tired. Stop. Don’t. Don’t hug me. You always try to hug me.
Me: I need affection. Please hug me.
Him: Stop. Fine. Yes. Here. Hug me.
Me: Thanks. Let’s lie down?
Him: No, I’m not here for that. I’m here for you.
Me: I’m fine.
Him: You’re not.
Me: I am. I’m fine.
Him: No, Michael. You’re not. You’re not fine at all. Some very traumatic things happened. You’re trying to act like you’re fine, but you’re bouncing off the walls. Be still.
Me: I can’t. I don’t. I don’t have time for being still, not for one second. I have so much to do.
Him: Why am I here? Why did I come over here? Do you know?
Me: Kiss me.
Him: Stop. No. Stop.
Me: I need affection. Hug me again.
Him: Okay fine. What happened?
Me: Lots of stuff.
Him: How was LA?
Me: It wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped it would be.
Him: Are people mean?
Me: Uh. Some of them are, yes. Extremely.
Him: You mean at the Network?
Me: No. I mean other comedy types that I thought were my friends.
Him: How was the Network?
Me: They were nice enough. I had no idea what I was auditioning for. I had to stay in my hotel room for three days straight while they grilled me about who I was. I was isolated. I quit my job, lost Alex over it, and I got so exhausted that I might have showed too much ‘realness’ in the final interview.
Him: Wait, you lost Alex over it?
Me: He was terrified of being alone for six weeks. Maybe he just didn’t really love me to begin with, though? Soon as he said yes to moving in with me, the smiles stopped.
Him: He stopped smiling at you?
Me: Yes. He would look for reasons to provoke me. He wouldn’t smile. He wouldn’t eat food I made, even when I knew he’d skipped dinner. I got a few promotions, and career advancements. He wouldn’t show up to celebrate them.
Me: He left me right when I needed him most. He left during the hardest callback process of my life. Whywouldyoudothattosomeone?
Him: Michael. Slow down. Things are fine now, right?
Me: I hate this so much.
Me: Lie down next to me.
Me: That’s why you’re here.
Him: Stop. Stop pacing around. You’re crawling out of your skin.
Me: Why did he do this? I hate this the most. I told him I didn’t want a relationship but he kept at it. He kept coming over.
Him: You need to be still. People play games. They don’t even know they’re doing it.
Me: Somewhere along the line he stopped smiling at me. Started making me beg for affection. Cruel. I had to work so hard for every morsel.
Him: That’s how us Asian boys act when we don’t get monogamy.
Me: I offered him monogamy.
Him: You offered him monogamy?
Him: What did he say?
Me: He told me it was too late – that I should have wanted monogamy the whole time. That I should have known when I met him. I told him the next time he tries to change the mind of a grown man, expect it to take much longer than 8 months.
Him: Hm… That doesn’t sound right. That sounds like an excuse. Maybe he’s just a kid? Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants?
Me: People are cat-fishing me now, online. They’re making up fake profiles in order to say cruel things. Why is everyone so awful?
Him: Stop. Be still. Okay. Lie down. I’ll lie down with you.
Me: Kiss me?
Him: No. Just lie here with me. I want you to be still. It’s okay to cry, but don’t move. Just be still. I’m going to touch your face a little.
(he touches my face. tears slip out of me. we are quiet for a long time.)
Me: (whispered) He tricked me. I don’t trust anybody now. He took that away.
Him: Stop. You trust too much anyhow.
Me: No. Not anymore.
(long silence. i am still. my diaphragm shakes.)
(long silence. tremors build inside me.)
Him: Still. Be still.
(long silence. i control the tremors)
Him: Good. Still.
(i turn away. i am still. i breathe, but not too deep. he starts to snooze. he has no idea i’m still crying)