Women are biologically designed to wake more easily to high-pitched sounds like the shrill cry of a baby. I haven’t been sleeping well lately.

         When people ask me, “How do you and Rane do it?” I often attribute our being in a relationship for so long to patience, but it’s really something else. Yes, all relationships, functioning or not so, require patience, among countless other qualities from both parties such as trust and honesty, forgiveness, sympathy, and unwavering love and respect for the other, but what about freedom?

         It was charming at first—flattering, even—how territorial he was. His overbearing nature made me feel safe and worthy, like I was something precious to be protected. But then I noticed that Rane’s friends never addressed me directly but rather spoke to me through him, as though to ask my keeper for permission, and then my friends began to distance themselves, eventually abandoning me all together. But who could blame them though? I had made my choice clear.

         I finally had what I’d wanted for so many years, someone to hold me at night, to call my own. I didn’t date much before Rane, so it still baffles me just how eager we were to move in together. Just a couple of months after we made things “official,” he changed his mailing address to mine, and shortly after, he brought over his mattress. I remember slowly making the bed, hoping he’d open the door and shout, “Stop!” I fluffed the pillow and smoothed the sheet. I’m stuck, I thought. There’s no getting rid of him now.

         How silly it seems now. Surely I could have said something. I don’t know why I didn’t.


         I haven’t been sleeping well since I asked him to leave. His whimpers wake me in the night.