The Innocent Flower

"Look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under't."
-- Macbeth, William Shakespeare

You hate her, hate her, hate her. Brooke McQueen, so perfect. Brooke McQueen, everyone's darling, just because she's blonde and thin and beautiful. Why is it that no one apart from you realises that looking innocent doesn't mean that you're a good person? She's a snake, sly and cunning and evil, and deadly.

She pretends to be a nice girl, all sweetness and light. Your mother loves her. It's not even about trying to please Mike anymore. She just adores Brooke, and think you're the one that's being difficult. Right, because you're the one who treats people horribly and uses them for your own purposes and doesn't give a damn about anyone but yourself.

She's heinous.

And you hate her. Why is the rest of the world half-in-love with her?

Perfect, perfect, perfect Brooke. She's looking at herself in the mirror when you go into the Novak. Does she ever do anything else?

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Because of course it's Brooke. Darling Brooke.

You resist the urge to tear out chunks of that golden hair.

She speaks, in that way she has, her pseudo-conciliatory tone. You attack, and she pretends to be offended because she's the one who's making the effect, and you're the difficult one. She's clearly reading off the same page as your mother, believing the same lies.

And you don't want to resist that urge anymore, and before you know it you're grappling with Brooke McQueen on the floor of the girls' bathroom, and you're surprised a little skinny thing like her actually has any upper body strength, but she's putting up a good fight, and then you have her pinned to the floor and it's funny because she looks so vulnerable and helpless and yet determined and it's endearing and oh god oh god what are you doing, Sam, why are you thinking this, why are you seeing suddenly why they all think she's so good, because surely such an innocent beautiful face couldn't belong to a bad person, and why why why do you want to kiss her right now?

You let go. Push yourself up to sitting, then standing, and walk away.

She's a snake, she's a snake, she's a snake.

But you keep thinking about that warm body squirming underneath you. Snakes aren't warm-blooded.

You hate her, you tell yourself, but it lacks conviction.