Smile. Yes, that was the way you went at it. You want to fill them with rage and wonder. Why did he smile like that, they would furiously berate themselves mentally, what does he have to be happy about? Smugness dripping down your face like the traces of a dirty, unforgivable deed. The one committed. The one that was realized just for this purpose.

I wanted to see your face fall, your lip quiver just like that before you pulled yourself together, fixing your usual carefree mask, the one that had been coming unglued lately. Do you need me? Do you want me to hold it up for you? Because I would do anything. I really would... have.

But now it's too late. I've tested the limits and found them to be misdrawn, choosing to take another step... and then another. And you're still standing there, a mile away, the synthetic smile shimmering in the spotlight, waves of electric blue and violet streaming across the plastic skin spastically. I wanted to save you from the seizures that were bound to come, when you broke down in the middle of all that glamour and icy love, real droplets dotting that pale mask of yours.

Forget all the fans around you, poking at you, snatching away what little remained of your humanity, your body famished of understanding, famished of intimacy. I would push them away from you and I would lift that mask up to see your eyelashes catching beads between them, the frozen glass globules sliding between the mascara-coated lushness. I would let those eyelids meet and close.

You need someone to see you.

You need to stop seeing. Just for a few moments.

It's been too much, too soon, all at once. I would kiss your eyes closed, trying to pass my warmth to you through my lips. You're so cold, so deliciously void of heat, like strawberry ice cream, I try to savor you before you melt in my arms.

However, the pink-colored glow rushing to your cheeks is enough to satiate me. I like you better this way. I like you better alive, being you, being imperfect and soft and ticklish and sighing and fluorescent and... beautiful.

Everyone around us suddenly disappears, and a violin plays somewhere in the background. It loves us, Time loves us, for it is now the only audience member in the crowd, patiently observing without laying a finger on either of us. I hold you, and you hold me even if you can't and shouldn't see me.

Your heart is trying to break out of its cage to touch mine. This simple mundane touch is not enough for it; the meaning of "one" is literal for you. It wants to be me, and I don't mind. I would break my body open just so that your meaning would be true. It is not needed to accomplish what I have set out to do.

I want to become your reality, your dreams, anything that would stop the quivering of those lips that I craved so much when I injured you, and let them stand on their own. Higher, rise higher, I know that, unlike me, you have no limits, there is nothing that can surpass the brightness of your smile.

This time all that I desire from you is a smile like that, watching from afar, feeling my own heart shatter into shards of glass, creeping into my system, making me hemorrhage profusely, the blood filling me completely, welling up in my eyes, a bitter, coppery taste on my tongue.

The stage is no longer a stage. It has lost its powdered and pompous air, the streaming lights glazing the floors, the cheers and smiles from a myriad of unknown silhouettes in the stands. They are all sucked up into the darkness as if the walls were holding their breath. It is a show put up for the purpose of tearing down the one that means the most to me while I, myself, am consumed from within. In so many, so many ways.

I take my pictures, the flashes blinding all bystanders. Because we, as performers, are all too familiar with the magic of light, the things we can get away with when the focus is directed elsewhere. The grin that I pasted onto my face fluttered off, gliding to the ground, some cheap imitation of duct tape. It never works. Only what is genuine will ever remain.

So I stand there, naked, vulnerable, helpless, in front of sightless misunderstandings, for the longest second. And then Time loses interest and walks away to visit another concert, where perhaps the lighting will not falter. I can't let anyone see my weakness, especially not you, because it is my weakness for you that makes my knees shake, my throat choke up with what seems to be anger, laughter, sarcasm, but no. No, longing is its name.

I let you go. Go back to him, the other, while I sit, broodingly, reminiscing over the photographs. I hate the people doing that to your pure, shimmering body, ephemeral like a desert mirage. I hate it so much because I wanted to be the one in their place. Feeling you, touching you, even if you didn't want it, even if you pushed me away, just so I could communicate my emotions to you without letting the words trip awkwardly from my twisting vocal cords.

Because this is all I would ever get from you, isn't it? A memory of a snigger, of a tease... of a smile?