I awaited the phone's ring. It always rings.

I am an addict. That is how I choose to characterize myself. Even if I did not completely believe it.

I glance upward towards the sky, inhaling the city air. The night agrees with me. I exhale, surrendering the guilt in an effort not to feel. I always have a problem admitting when I am wrong.

I surrender to the silence and the voices grow louder. I pretend not to listen.

I casually walk the sidewalk barely missing the E train. I attach my headphones to my ear and tilt my head back. The moon says it's after midnight.

The wind carries her last words. I shiver at the sound.

I loved you.

I know better. I keep reminding myself. Pretending that I don't notice the difference in her change in tense. I ponder as the night remains.

The E train stutters to a halt. I board keeping my eyes low. The scrutinizing silence is always too familiar.

I sit in the back. I look to the left at a couple's playful banter. To the right to another locked in an affectionate embrace. I cut my eyes, pull my jacket tighter.

The city passes in a blur. Unmoving. Still. The night remains; hesitating, stubborn. It's teaching a lesson I don't want to learn. It refuses to leave quietly, instead it prefers to burn. As if it knew what tomorrow would bring. Like a child sent to his room to await his punishment, it too, did not want to surrender.

I pictured her face. The look she gave. The questions her eyes asked, but did not give voice. Questions that she deserved an answer to. Questions that she knew the answer to.

Who are you?

She wanted to know. I sometimes wonder how I can tell you if I do not know myself. Or maybe I do. Maybe the difficult part is the acknowledgment. But not to others. I wonder if they can see my colors and it is I who remain blind. Blind to my own lies.

Or is it shame? You know, there's always a shame to resigning. Is what I am what I really am?

i sigh. It's the scarlet to my letter.

Or maybe an inhibition of freedom.

I have needs. She has to understand. Isn't it just apart -- of what it means to be a man?

Yet there is something within me that makes me okay with the hurt I dispense. I'm still thinking of her and her love. For me? Exactly why had it made its descent. Tonight. Again.

In her mind.

My room is dark. It is always dark. I stare at the cat in the window across the street. It is a game we always play. He disappears at first light. I want him to stay and play. I open the window. I am greeted by a quiet street. The solace is too loud.

I take off my clothes. I lay in my bed. The colors in the room are painted a comforting shade of mohogany black. I close my eyes. The silence still hurts.

I won't be tied down.

She'd heard it before. Not exactly what she wanted to hear as I share her pillow once more. Her silence is always the same. I pretend I don't notice as she grabs what can never be hers. Or mine. She kills herself each time. I turn a blind eye.

How could someone let themselves fall for me? I often ask myself. I am not projecting. I am not one of a kind. I am just attentive. I am caring. I listen. I put in the time.

But. I do have a problem admitting when I may be wrong.

It is not me. It is her.

I lay awake.

I never said I loved you.

I mull my last words to her. Sleep decides not to visit me tonight. So, I await the phone's ring.

It always rings.

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