I enter relationships the same way I enter planes. I settle in quickly and then immediately begin searching for emergency exits, planning an escape route should one prove necessary.
Three months in and the romance starts to feel like a crowded cabin on the long leg of a flight—humid, close, sour. The already-breathed air presses itself against me, shoving itself down my throat, up my nostrils. Strapped in, I'm dizzy with the light-headed panic of claustrophobia.
For the turbulent duration I'm forced to sit with my fear that something critical—like an engine or my autonomy—is going to drop. I finger the sick bag, slick and sanitary; the strength of its seal comforts me.
Quietly, I reach above and secure the oxygen mask to my mouth, waiting for the pressure to stabilize so I can make my way out with the black box of my stealth self.
Jennifer Wagley has been published in BUST, Harrington Lesbian Fiction Quarterly, Thought Catalog and The Girl's Guide To Taking Over The World, a St. Martin's Press anthology.