Let's Waste Time

If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?


19. Chapter Nineteen

Eventually, my sobs subsided, and I just sniffled and only cried in bursts every few minutes or so. But even then it slowed down, and I stayed there. Numb. Chris continued to hold me. He didn’t say a word. His legs had probably fallen asleep, and he was likely uncomfortable sitting on the hard floor, but he never complained.

Even after all the tears died down and his shirt dried up, he continued to hold me. I didn’t say anything. I just kept my eyes closed. I didn’t want to get to the part where we talked about this. Or where we mentioned what happened between us and why I’d pushed him out of my life. Or even where we talked in general. Mostly I just wanted to sleep. I wanted to go into a coma and never wake up.

“Marley?” Chris asked after a long time.

“I’m sorry,” I replied.

“You have nothing to apologize for.”

“I think—I need something to drink.”


He helped me back up to my feet and stayed in the living room with his arms across his chest. I walked on wobbly legs to the kitchen. I pulled one of my Garfield mugs out of the cupboard, filled it with water from the sink, and took a sip. Then I put it on the counter and leaned against it. I took a deep breath and pulled my glasses off so I could rub my face and clean the spots off the lenses. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I loved my glasses so much. They disguised the face underneath them. The face that didn’t belong to my dad.

I could see my reflection in the mirror above the sink. I looked like him. I could see him in my eyes and the shape of my nose. Then I understood why my mom never loved me the way she loved her other kids. Every time she looked at me she saw that man. And she was reminded of what he had done to her. My face crumpled, and I leaned against the counter again. I wanted to cry, but nothing came out. I had to recharge.

I looked down at my hands instead. They were his hands. His DNA made up my body, and since I’d already expressed all the pain, I had to get rid of the anger next. It burst out of me in full force. I hated him. I hated him for making me. I didn’t want to live. I shouldn’t have lived. I should have been there at all. So I reached out and ripped the mirror off the wall. I threw it across the room and reached for my favorite Garfield cup next. I pulled the dishes out of the drainer and smashed them on the floor. Then I went for the drawers.

But Chris stopped me. He appeared in the kitchen and grabbed me roughly by my arms, forcing me still, so I had no choice but to look up at him.

“Marley, stop doing this to yourself,” he said firmly.

“I have his face!” I shouted. “No wonder my mother hated me. I look just like him! She saw him every time she looked at me! I hate it! I hate him! I hate myself!”

Then he kissed me. Right on the lips. Not the teasing kiss like before. A real one. Even when we shared that night together, he never kissed me on the lips. He pulled me close to him, and I wrapped my arms around his broad shoulders. He tangled his hands in my hair and kissed me roughly on the lips. His tongue touched mine, and all my pain and anger faded away into a numb throb. My body relaxed against him, and I kissed him back.

We kissed for so long that I almost forgot why I’d been so upset in the first place. It wasn’t that I couldn’t remember why. It just didn’t seem as important anymore. It still hurt, yes. But the pain didn’t seem as sharp. The anger felt misplaced. And I leaned into him and held him tightly. Finally, he let me go and held me in his arms like a cooked noodle. I paused for a moment before turning my head and resting it on his chest.

“That was against the rules,” I said. He kissed my head, and I closed my eyes.

“I broke the rules a long time ago,” he replied.

I didn’t know what to say to that or what rule he’d broken precisely. So I just let it go and held him, enjoying that closeness, warmth, and intimacy again. I wondered why he was the only person who ever made me feel that way when he wasn’t supposed to be at all.

Eventually, I realized we couldn’t stand like that forever. I knew he wanted to talk, and I didn’t want to at all. So I turned my head, held his face between my hands, and pulled him down to kiss me. I kissed him for as long as I could. Then I pulled away, and he pressed his forehead against mine.

“Will you stay with me?” I whispered. Then I looked up into his eyes. “Like last time?” He nodded.

“As long as you want,” he promised.

So I took his hand and led him into my bedroom. I needed to know that sex could be special. That it could be beautiful. I wanted him to hold me like he did the last time. The way he’d made me feel so important. That sex could be an act of affection and not something horrible. I just wanted the pain and anger to go far far away. And I was sure he was the only person who could really do it. Or maybe he was the only person I really wanted to do it.

“Are you sure you want to do this right now?” he whispered as I began to pull his shirt up. I nodded.


He kissed me again. Then he peeled off my clothes slowly. He wasn’t pushy or aggressive. We stayed attached at the lips, and he carefully helped me onto the bed. He touched my skin with his lips and his fingers. The teasing way he had before, but I realized then that it wasn’t a tease at all. Just a prelude of sorts. A way to make me feel special. He took his time. He didn’t avoid looking into my eyes. I felt wanted. Maybe even loved. It was comfortable and perfect, and that’s when everything became as clear as day. I was falling for Chris, and I hadn’t even noticed.

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