A STRANGER IN MY HOME by Kira Rice-Christianson

I guess I should have known three months isn’t long enough to really know someone. It isn’t long enough to trust someone with the home between your thighs that you’ve kept safe and clean your whole life. But I let you in anyways. Every night, like clockwork. You would lay beside me, skin to skin, in my creaky and twin-sized bed. Your fingers would trace up and down my back, our legs intertwined. Eventually, usually after around thirty minutes of lying there, you would kiss me. You kissed me hard and quick like you were racing toward something. Once you kissed me, it never took long to pull my pants passed my ankles and threw them on the floor. You hardly ever bothered to take my shirt off. You never bothered to take your time. You never looked at me. It was always so rushed. The sex was never bad, and it wasn’t painful. It just felt like too much take and not enough give. I gave you the soft and wet entry to my home, and you took everything. You took it and ran, speeding toward the finish line. It usually took five to six minutes for your sweat-drenched body to collapse on top of mine, where you laid until you caught your breath. I always waited patiently.

There never really was much of a connection. Just one body crashing into another. It felt OK. It felt like I was doing what I was supposed to in a relationship. One night, after one of your performances, you kissed me on the shoulder and told me you loved me. I smiled, and I said it back… I should have never said it back. I should have never smiled. How could I have seen? How could I have known who you were, what you were capable of? I blame myself partially for my blurred vision.

That night. The night when you dropped the curtain and revealed it all. That night still sticks in my mind like a parasite. You took me out. We drank. We danced. We came home. I reeked of tequila and packed bodies, so I took a shower. And when I came out, things were different. The look on your face was unfamiliar. Stoic. I just looked at you for a moment. I contemplated asking you what was wrong but I was nervous to hear your answer. Eventually, you spoke.

“I went through your phone,” you said, calmly at first. You had a habit of that. I tossed it up to trust and control issues, which now I realize was a problem of its own. But I had issues, too. So, I never made a fuss. That night was different. This time you saw something you didn’t like. Missed facetime calls from an ex of mine. It didn’t matter to you that I had not answered them. It was that I didn’t tell you about it. I kept it to myself, so you were enraged. Humiliated. Your voice began to get louder, and I could see the spit projectile from your lips as the words flew out of your mouth and hit me in the chest.


If we hadn’t been drinking, if you weren’t pissed drunk, I would have kicked you out then and there. Now I wish I would have.

But instead, I let you calm down. It was four in the morning, and I had to be at work at seven. You still slept right next to me in my creaky and twin-sized bed. Skin to skin. I fell asleep for a moment but was soon awaken by something strange. It started as confusion. My legs were stuck. Why? I blinked a couple of times and quickly noticed that they were trapped in the cotton shorts that had been pulled down to my knees. It hit me. I remember that feeling when I realized what was happening. My body froze and went ice cold. My heart sped up, and I could feel it pounding in my ears. My mouth went dry. My throat began to swell. Your body felt like needles against mine. Your front was pressed against my back, and your hand was wrapped around my waste. You were positioning yourself, holding me in place. I wanted to scream. Cry. Tell you NO. I couldn’t even get a breath out. I felt you try to slide into me, but I was not ready. You were an intruder I did not want. My body finally caught up with my brain, and I pushed myself up so fast I got dizzy. I pulled my cotton shorts back up to my waste with a sob. I didn’t say anything. We didn’t talk about it. I didn’t want to.

I broke up with you the next day.