So, last night, I went shopping.
Like, actually, you know, grown-up person shopping. I took some of the cash Jan's been giving me for exercising Magpie, and went and bought--bedroom things. Nicer sheets (clean ones). More pillows. Proper nightstand, with a lamp and everything. Holoprojector--second hand but nicer than I could afford new. Even a small bookcase for those old books that have been basically sitting in a pile in the corner.
Because I was right when I said my room's basically just a place where I sleep. I'm an adult (god, I'm depressingly old now), and I deserve an adult room.
Well. I'm saying that really loudly to myself to try to pretend I didn't just rearrange my room for the sake of a woman who might disappear tomorrow, for all I know, because I don't know what we are.
You see, I liked the other night. Sex was amazing, of course. But I liked coming home and finding her there, and cuddles and chat while listening to the rain. I liked the terrible midnight snack and the terrible movie. I like the mischief and the laughter and the teasing.
I think we forget how important liking is, sometimes, when we're thinking about big things.
I think something changed a little, that night. I think. When we kissed in a way that wasn't about sex, and she pressed close. But I don't know, because I'm not sure what we are.
I keep meaning to have a talk with her. The one I was rehearsing last month. About us being a thing. No big scary commitments, just--an understanding we were a thing and we'd decide what that thing'd be together.
But every time I say something just a little too intimate--hell, even some things I didn't think twice about--she startles. Wide-eyed and poised to flee, like a startled deer. And so I pull back, afraid I'll scare her. Soft voices, baby steps.
I thought I knew what this was once. I thought it'd burn out. But here we are, and it's been months(!) since our first night together, and she can still burn out my brain with a word, a look, a touch. And tenderness seeped in at some point and--it's complicated. Why does everything have to be so complicated?
And there are so many bloody ways this can go wrong. Her apparent desire to fuck my friends (but, you know, that might be great if I'm there). That fact that I'm increasingly certain she's earning money in a way that isn't exactly legal. (Look, no apparent day job, nice clothes, a familiarity with breaking into places? I'm not an idiot. On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure how much that bothers me.) My being my usual trainwreck, hopeless at dealing with people outside sex, and such a sad sack I'm not sure why anyone bothers with me. And--so many ways.
Maybe I should walk away before it does, before I find out we want different things and it won't work, before it means enough to hurt.
I'm not sure if it's already too late for that.
Oh, fuck it all. The fact is I've never really been a proper boyfriend, not really. The only woman I ever spent this much time with, that I came to love, tore such a gaping hole in my heart that hasn't closed over yet. This isn't love, but it's more than lust, and 'like' is such an inadequate word. I'm sailing in unknown seas, and the water keeps getting deeper.
And I'm scared. Fucking terrified, and I don't have the slightest idea what the hell I'm doing.
I just know I want her to stay.