Home > All Your Perfects(12)

All Your Perfects(12)
Author: Colleen Hoover

I wish he could understand that. I wish he knew that sometimes the trying is harder for me than the failing. I try to empathize with his feelings, but it’s hard because I don’t know that he truly empathizes with mine. How could he? He’s not the one failing every time.

I can be disappointed in myself later. Right now, I just need him back on this bed. Back inside me. Because he’s right. Sex with my husband is definitely a requirement to getting pregnant. And today is our best chance this month.

I kick the covers off me so that I’m sprawled out on the bed. I press one of my hands against my stomach and pull his attention there. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, trailing my fingers upward. “Come back to bed, Graham.”

His jaw is still clenched, but his eyes are following my hand. I watch his struggle as part of him wants to storm out of the room and part of him wants to storm me. I don’t like that he’s not convinced I want him yet, so I roll over onto my stomach. If there’s one thing about me physically that Graham loves the most, it’s the view of me from behind. “I want you inside me, Graham. That’s all I want. I promise.” I lie.

I’m relieved when he groans.

“Dammit, Quinn.” And then he’s on the bed again, his hands on my thighs, his lips against my ass. He slips one hand beneath me and presses it flat against my stomach, lifting me enough so that he can easily slide into me from behind. I moan and grasp the sheets convincingly.

Graham grips my hips and lifts himself up onto his knees, pulling me back until he’s all the way inside me.

I no longer have the patient Graham. He’s a mixture of emotions right now, thrusting into me with impatience and anger. He’s focused on finishing and not at all focused on me and that’s exactly how I want it.

I moan and meet his thrusts, hoping he doesn’t recognize that the rest of me is disconnected to this moment. After a while, we somehow move from both being on our knees, to me being pressed stomach first into the mattress as all his weight bears down on me. He grips my hands that are gripping the sheets and I relax as he releases a groan. I wait for him to fill me with hope.

But he doesn’t.

Instead, he pulls out of me, pressing himself against the small of my back. Then he groans one final time against my neck. I feel it meet my skin, warm and wet as it slides down my hip and seeps into the mattress.

Did he just . . .

He did.

Tears sting at my eyes when I realize he didn’t finish inside me. I want to climb out from under him, but he’s too heavy and he’s still tense and I can’t move.

As soon as I feel him begin to relax, I attempt to lift up. He rolls over onto his back. I roll away from him, using the sheet beneath me to wipe myself clean. Tears are streaming down my cheeks and I swipe at them angrily. I am so angry I can’t even speak. Graham just watches me as I try to conceal the anger I’m feeling. And the embarrassment.

Graham is my husband, but tonight he was a means to an end. And even though I tried to convince him otherwise, he just proved that to himself by not giving me the only thing I wanted from him tonight.

I can’t stop the tears from falling, but I try anyway. I pull the blanket up to my eyes and Graham rolls off the bed and grabs his pants. My quiet tears begin to turn to sobs and my shoulders begin to shake. It’s not like me to do this in front of him. I usually save this for my long showers.

As Graham grabs his pillow off the bed, part of him looks like he wants to console me while the other part looks like he wants to scream at me. The angry part wins out and he begins to walk toward the door.

“Graham,” I whisper.

My voice stops him in his tracks and he turns around and faces me. He seems so heartbroken, I don’t even know what to say. I wish I could say I’m sorry for wanting a baby more than I want him. But that wouldn’t help, because it would be a lie. I’m not sorry. I’m bitter that he doesn’t understand what sex has become to me over the last few years. He wants me to continue to want him, but I can’t when sex and making love have always given me hope that it might be that one in a million chance I’ll get pregnant. And all the sex and lovemaking that leads to the hope then leads to the moment all that hope is overcome by devastation.

Over the years, the entire routine and the emotions it brings started running together. I couldn’t separate the sex from the hope and I couldn’t separate the hope from the devastation. Sex became hope became devastation.

SexHopeDevastation. Devastation. Devastation.

Now it all feels devastating to me.

He’ll never understand that. He’ll never understand that it isn’t him I don’t want. It’s the devastation.

Graham watches me, waiting for me to follow his name up with something else. But I don’t. I can’t.

He nods a little, turning away from me. I watch the muscles in his back tense. I watch his fist clench and unclench. I can see him release a heavy sigh even though I can’t hear it. And then he opens the bedroom door with ease before slamming it shut with all his strength.

A loud thud hits the door from the other side. I squeeze my eyes shut and my whole body tenses as it happens again. And then again.

I listen as he punches the door five times from the other side. I listen as he releases his hurt and rejection against the wood because he knows there’s nowhere else it can go. When everything is silent again . . . I shatter.

Chapter Seven

* * *

Then

It’s been difficult getting over Ethan. Well, not Ethan per se. Losing the relationship was harder than losing Ethan. When you associate yourself with another person for so long, it’s difficult becoming your own person again. It took a few months before I finally deleted him from my apartment completely. I got rid of the wedding dress, the pictures, the gifts he’d given me over the years, clothes that reminded me of him. I even got a new bed, but that probably had more to do with just wanting a new bed than being reminded of Ethan.

It’s been six months now and the only reason I’m on my second date with this Jason guy is because the first one wasn’t a complete disaster. And Ava talked me into it.

As much as my mother loved Ethan and still wishes I’d forgive him, I think she would like Jason even more. That should probably be a positive but it isn’t. My mother and I have very different tastes. I’m waiting for Jason to say or do something that my mother would hate so that I can be drawn to him a little more than I am.

He’s already repeated several questions he asked me last Friday. He asked how old I was. I told him I was twenty-five, the same age I was last Friday. He asked me when my birthday was and I told him it was still July 26.

I’m trying not to be a bitch, but he makes it difficult when it’s clear he didn’t pay attention to a single thing I said last week.

“So you’re a Leo?” he asks.

I nod.

“I’m a Scorpio.”

I have no idea what that says about him. Astrology has never been my thing. Besides, it’s hard to pay attention to Jason because there’s something much more interesting behind him. Two tables away, smirking in my direction, is Graham. As soon as I recognize him, I immediately look down at my plate.

Jason says something about the compatibility of Scorpios and Leos and I look him in the eyes, hoping he can’t see the chaos I’m feeling right now. But my resolve is broken because Graham is standing now. I can’t help but look over Jason’s shoulder and watch as Graham excuses himself from his table. He locks eyes with me again and begins to head in our direction.

I’m squeezing the napkin in my lap, wondering why I’m suddenly more nervous at the sight of Graham than I’ve ever been around Jason. I make eye contact with Graham right before he approaches the table. But as soon as I look at him, he looks away. He nods his head once, in the direction he’s walking. He passes our table, his hand just barely touching my elbow. A one second graze of his finger across my skin. I suck in air.

“How many siblings do you have?”

I lay my napkin on the table. “Still just the one.” I push my chair back. “I’ll be right back. I need to use the restroom.”

Jason scoots back, half standing as I push my chair in. I smile at him and turn toward the restrooms. Toward Graham.

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