So We Stayed

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I didn’t have to leave, you said. Adventure holds its appeal, you said, but things don’t work out the way they do in movies. In real life, without the swell of the orchestra to let you know you’d made the Right Choice, risk usually just breeds regret. Besides, wasn’t I just saying how happy I was, how long it had been since I’d felt this safe?

I love you, you said, and so I stayed. I stayed here with you, in our room with the rug we bought on our fifth date and that weird smell we couldn’t find so eventually just got used to. We stayed in our bed, curled around each other in a position that took months to find, the one where we could both still see the TV. We watched Parks and Recreation until it ran out, then moved on to The West Wing, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones. We tried 30 Rock, but you couldn’t get into it and I forgave you for that.

We kept your laptop on the side table so we didn’t have to get out of bed. We ordered food from that website we found – remember how excited we were when we found it? – and left the front door unlocked so the delivery guy could bring it inside. We convinced our roommates to take out the empty containers and soda bottles from our room every so often, until they all moved out. I guess new roommates moved in to replace them; we never learned their names.

The bed sores were painful, but we took them in stride. It just means we have to switch spooning positions more often, you said.

The day the laptop stopped working, you said something about going out to buy a new one, but we were so comfortable that we fell asleep instead.

The delivery guy from the Chinese place knocked on the door a few days later, said he was worried that he hadn’t heard from us. You were too weak to answer, but I told him to bring us our usual. I told him to take the credit card on the desk.

You complained that your chest hurt while we were in Season 8 of Law and Order. I held you tighter.

The day I went blind, you suggested we switch to audio books, so I wouldn’t feel left out. You were always so thoughtful.

Our house must have been condemned at some point; that would explain the construction noises outside. I’m not surprised they didn’t realize we were still in here. The wrecking ball took out the upstairs first, starting with Leigh’s old room. Whatever happened to Leigh? I asked you, but I don’t think you heard me over the bulldozer. I closed my eyes and nuzzled into that spot on your shoulder where my chin fit so perfectly. You kissed my forehead right above my eyebrow and groped around through the debris until you found my hand. You always had such warm hands.

 

 

Alli is a comedy writer based in Los Angeles whose work has appeared in Cracked.com, Maxim, and Man Cave Daily, among others. She has a website with a drawing of a dinosaur in a cowboy hat on it at allireed.com. She is the west coast editor of Neutrons Protons.

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