My gas light was on. I’d planned to stop to fill my tank on my way home, but you’d decided I wasn’t going home yet and I didn’t argue.
You got in my car without asking. You never asked. I never expected you to.
I took you home like I did every night, but when we reached your front door you said, “Keep driving.” So I did.
When I mentioned the gas light, you said we had enough to get us where we were going. I never wanted to worry in front of you, didn’t want to seem nervous or afraid, so I shut up about it and hoped we wouldn’t break down on the side of the road.
After a few turns I no longer knew what town we were in, just followed your instructions as you gave them. When you said we’d arrived, we’d pulled down a long, winding driveway in a field of grass taller than either of us. A clearing formed and revealed a house I’d never seen before. You didn’t say anything, just got out of the car. I didn’t know if this was our destination or not, but I didn’t want to risk my car stalling out, so I turned it off. By the time I got out of the car, I was alone in the dark, standing in a field of grass like the closing shot of some horror movie. I was surrounded by the sound of wind in the grass, or maybe the ocean was nearby, I didn’t know.
You appeared again (where had you gone?) with a can of gas and told me to use it in my car. Then you led me to the front door. You had a key in your hand I’d never seen before and you unlocked the door like you’d done it a million times. Had you been here before? Where had you gotten a key from?
“Whose house is this?”
The moment I’d asked, I kicked myself. I hadn’t meant to say it out loud.
You didn’t even turn around. “The Queen of England’s,” you answered, expressionless. You led me past a room filled with easels. The artwork on them could have been yours, might not have been. You’d mock me if I asked.
Stupid, stupid. I knew better than to ask you anything. I shouldn’t have bothered.
As I silently berated myself, you appeared again with a bottle of Jameson, twisted it open and handed it to me. I took it and downed a mouthful because you expected it of me; then you walked away again.
Given nothing to do with my hands, I kept drinking as I watched you walk around the room, touching things as if you hadn’t seen them for awhile. Your fingers trailed up the length of a telescope set up by the windows; tapped the cover of a book left out on a table; moved a pillow from one side of the couch to the other.
You were restless, and you were never restless. It made me nervous to watch you.
I was desperately hoping that we hadn’t just broken into some stranger’s house, though I wouldn’t have been shocked to find out we had. Unbidden, the thought came to me that if you were to kill me, here and now, no one on earth knew where I was or how to find me. I hadn’t told anyone where we were going, because I hadn’t known we were going somewhere until you’d decided that we were.
It was the first time I can remember being afraid of you.
It wasn’t the last.
When we fucked on the floor of the living room, right in front of the big glass windows overlooking the dark fields of grass, I wondered if we were close enough to anyone that they could see us, lit up in the window of a dark house in the middle of nowhere. I wondered if I would care if they could. Mostly I just hoped no one would call the police.
I remember straddling you and drinking whiskey with you still inside me, and thinking that I’d hit rock bottom.
I remember thinking that if you killed me now, the person I’d become for you wouldn’t be such a great loss after all.