I.

Trapped on the terraces, I looked at you and knew
You were the only thing that mattered
There was no one for me but you
In Harmony Street we beat a man
Just for standing there
I held my breath as I watched you swing
Then run your fingers through your hair

Oh, how could anyone not love the terrible things you do?

-Barricade by Stars

--

The story ends like this:

The crowd parts, letting me pass. In their hands, a detailed photocopied compilation of my secrets. They read. They look at you. Yes, you. Standing there, all alone, big green eyes leaking salt water.

They alternate gaping at me, glaring at you. Loving me, hating you. An onslaught of concern comes my way, thrown at my bruises, my wounds, at my left arm in a cast.

I ignore them. As always, like always, I ignore them.

You blink. Tears fall. I wanted to lick them off your cheeks, knowing how much of a delicacy it was. I wanted to drink your tears, wanted it to slide down my throat and warm my stomach.

I smile.

You don't move.

In my periphery, a page with your photo. I hear pages turning. Your life. Our life. Lived with love. Written with hatred.

Annette is beside me. She holds my hand, tilts her chin slightly. Cecile giggles.

You look at me.

Your expression? None. I know you're already leaving yourself behind at this point.

By now, the silence is over. In its place, a pandemonium. Outcries. These people want to crucify you. They want to turn me into the hero, the State's Witness, the converted villain. They want me to lead them, to replace you, to be the Model Citizen.

I wanted to shoot them.

Your mother is grabbing your arm. Pulling. Her eyes? Murderous. Her mouth? Hissing, swearing, loathing you. Your arm is the only thing that moves. For a second, I wonder if she has somehow managed to dislocate it. But your expression doesn't change.

You just look at me.

I come closer. Closer, until Annette stops coming with me. I think she's scared of what you might do.

I touch your cheek. My thumb on your bottom lip. I can still feel your damp skin. I stroke your mouth. I wipe the tears off your face. I lick my index finger and I taste you. Your mother has stopped pulling you. You don't move.

Your face still wet with tears. Not pathetic tears. Never pathetic tears. Will you let me have some, will you let me share it? I press my cheek against yours and I feel you shudder. Your wet cheek. My wet cheek. We stay like that. It is more intimate than a kiss, more binding than sex.

I breathe you in. Your hair tickles my forehead.

I don't know how long it lasted, or if it even lasted long. But it doesn't matter. The power of a story is that you can stretch time, stretch moments like this.

So I'm stretching. I pull and pull and pull and I stretch time for you.

For me.

After the pulling, the stretching, the noting of little details about you—your smell, how soft your hair is, how long, the warmth of your skin, the dampness of your cheeks—, I finally realize there is nothing more to pull, nothing more to do but let time pass

Your mother tugs your blouse urgently, angrily.

And then you move.

You turn your head and your lips brush against my cheek.

You say something but the noise blocks it out.

What did you say?

What?

Tell me,

a promise of revenge?

something witty?

a joke you heard, a story you found funny?

Tell me!

Your back to me, your small body shoved into the car.

Just like that,

you're gone.

The Wicked Witch is dead. The town celebrates.

Annette and I leave the celebration. Her cheeks are flushed, her blue eyes alive.

In my room:

She takes my clothes off.

I take her clothes off.

She grabs my dick.

Up and down.

I throw her on the bed.

I pin her down, crushing her breasts with my chest, holding her wrists.

I press my face against the pillow, pounding into her.

Harder, faster, deeper.

I try not to cry.


A/N: Hello! I'm still alive though not kicking, because writing this has wiped me out. How is everybody?

It was a struggle at first, starting this. But I missed it so I said, well, suck it up and write. This didn't come out as I had expected. Oh well. Fuck it. How's about a huge welcome back to Keri, CI Hall of Famer? Another thing, I'm glad there are new stories being posted here. Hurrah! Because I'm getting sick of mine! Hahaha!