I tell my friends my plan of action. Cement it, as motivation to stick to it. The last friend I drop off in front of my old dorm, while helping her with her bike, asks me if I need help. I can go with you. Really, it's ok.
No. I can do it. I promise. In and out. I'll call you.
I drive down the street, vocalizing. Singing bits of arias I know, then stopping when I realize how inappropriate they are. I go, I go to him. With the bite of a viper. Scenes of horror. Oh what a joyous occasion. I'm sure there are arias for mezzos with anxiety problems, but each piece that pops in my head is quickly dismissed. I pull into the parking lot to the Ride of the Valkyries.
Work up the courage. I'm going to throw up. I adjust my backpack. Flip my hair. Clean my glasses, my newest nervous habit. He opens the door. Hey you. I just got home. Come on in. He's dressed up, slacks and a dress shirt. I pull my sweater tighter. Well, just for a minute.
I give him his books back. We talk, about nothing important. I keep my arms crossed. It's all going so well. His apartment is clean, but no signs of anyone else living there. I like your boots, he says. I think of the boots she has, shinier, higher, pointier. In contrast with my black rubber round toe butch boots. I accept the compliment. We drink tea, and move to the bedroom.
I know when the evening turns. When I look at my watch and realize it's well past 1:30. When he offers me vodka, my favorite, he says, it's pretty cheap but tastes like Grey Goose. When I come back from the bathroom and his bed is cleared, he's lying across facing me. I'm so much smarter than he thinks I am for knowing exactly what he's doing. And I'm so fucking stupid for falling for it each time.
We lay on our stomachs like sardines, chins up, facing the wall. A gun is sitting on his dresser, pointing at my face. After a few silent minutes, I get up and turn it around.
Yea. Generally don't like a gun in my face.
Really? That's unusual. He smirks. I must perform a study.
2:20. He's asleep. Each time I roll over thinking another hour has passed, I'm disappointed to see that it's only been fifteen minutes since I turned out the lights. I watch each minute until 3:47. Somehow fall asleep.
5:30. 50 minutes before my alarm is set to go off. We're both awake. The inevitable is going to happen. Nothing different. Except.
7:00. Got dressed. I feel disgusting. Think I'm bleeding. Leave without saying goodbye. My bra is still under the bed. Cautiously walk down the stairs. Done.