After J and I agreed to live dorm-style in a single bedroom (just until another room in said apartment opened up), we decided to go furniture shopping.
We’d both ordered full-size beds—yes, this room was so big that two full-size beds fit comfortably—and two standing clothing racks, since one tiny closet was definitely not enough for the both of us. So, we were on a hunt for… well, everything else.
We went to my favorite spot in Chelsea—the three-story Marshall’s/TJ Maxx/Bed Bath & Beyond. We filled our carts with everything we wanted, with the other’s approval.
He found shelving units to mount to the walls, a record player (for what records, I wasn’t sure), a purple quilt (we’d decided to decorate the grey room with lavender and yellow), purple sheets, Ralph Lauren pillows and yellow-cherry-blossom-tree-printed curtains.
My cart was filled with Ian-Michael essentials—expensive candles (somewhat affordable now that they’d made their way to TJ Maxx), a set of La Perla lavender pajamas (hey, they matched our color theme, and who the hell is stupid enough to sell a NEW set of $398 La Perla pajamas for $60?!) and a collector’s edition of Clue (the rope piece was actual rope, how could I say no?).
I was having so much fun—until I realized that I wanted to be doing this
with AJ. AJ’s lease ended the month before mine, and I’d suggested we move in together—we’d been dating for a year at that point. He avoided the subject until he found someone else to move in with, and we had a fight about the fact that I didn’t have a key to the apartment I spent most nights in, not to mention a drawer so I didn’t have to keep schlepping a hair dryer and my special conditioner to and fro.
Beyond that, we’d barely had sex in six months. I’m not vain, but I do find myself attractive, and in my mid-20s I felt like I should be in my sexual peak. Instead, I was in a mostly-sexless relationship with a boy terrified of moving in with me, or even giving me the key to his heart—err, apartment. Key to his apartment.
“Do you like this?” J asked, snapping me back to reality. He held up a set of two wine glasses: They said “Mr. Right” and “Mrs. Right,” respectively. He smiled that adorable gap-toothed smile, and blushed when I smiled too.
“Sure—throw it onto the pile.”
We had so much stuff that we had to take a cab
back to the new apartment. With no beds in sight, we put the bags in the corners of the bedroom, went into the living room and slept together on the leather couch. We slept feet-to-face, but I could still feel him, his heat, his closeness. I wondered why he wanted wine glasses that said “Mr. Right” and “Mrs. Right.” I wondered if AJ would ever get something like that with me, for fun or… otherwise. I wondered why my boyfriend made me feel so unwanted.
By then, J was snoring, and soon enough I drifted off to sleep myself, dreaming of a life I didn’t live and a boyfriend who might not exist.