Chapter summary: 'Lie, lie! Oh, God! Please, for the love of heaven, please LIE!' Inside my head, my voice was telling me exactly what Rosalie was begging me to do, for my own sake. But could I do that? Could I listen to sense and to what Rosalie was saying? No, of course not. Not me. Oh, God, I'm so fucked.
I was in such big trouble.
I knew I was, but that didn't stop me. I had put on my clothes, and now I was pulling up my boots.
Besides, Rosalie didn't tell me I had to stay in bed, right? She didn't forbid me from going outside, right? So I wasn't, like, breaking any rules, was I? There was nothing she could hold against me, right? Besides, nobody died and made her head of the household. Who said she had to lay down the law? I could do whatever the hell I wanted to, and she could just watch if she didn't like it.
Hell, I could even start telling her what to do all the time, bossing her around. See how she likes that, huh?
I put on my coat and hat and opened up the door to the big, bad outside world.
I was in seriously bad trouble, wasn't I?
I sighed, and place my foot outside into the snow.
If Rosalie had come up behind me and whispered 'boo,' I probably would have screamed my head right off, I was that skittish.
But I looked around and nothing happened.
I stepped out of the cabin, more confident, closed the door, turned, and ...
... looked right into fury.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
There stood Rosalie, a part of a tree trunk, probably weighing more than me and her combined in her arms, it was bigger 'round than both of us put together. She was holding it in her arms as if it were me holding a potato or cucumber.
Why would I be holding a cucumber? you ask. Well, to make a salad, of course. Pa always skipped eating veggies if I didn't watch his diet like a hawk.
Just like Rosalie was glaring at me right now: like a hawk.
"Uh," I said, "I wanted to help?"
I wanted to sound more assertive than that, didn't I?
I think I wanted to tell her that, not ask her that.
I realized standing there, the cabin preventing me from backing away from her, and her right in front of her, that all my courageous rhetoric was nothing more than talk, and empty talk at that.
Rosalie, standing in front of me, pure power, strength and anger, was not to be trifled with, nor was she to be gainsaid.
And on cue, she took that whole trunk section in one hand and smashed it into the ground next to her.
The impact shook snow off the branches of the trees around us, making a mini-blizzard, and I felt the vibrations of it travel through my boots, up through my body and rattle my teeth.
She glared at me. It looked like she could barely contain herself.
"You want to help?" she asked tightly.
"Yes, I ..." I began.
I was interrupted by her. Her Majesty.
Rosalie reached to the trunk in front of her, dug in with her fingers and ripped out a piece of it as wide as my waist. The stump was about four feet tall, or about half my height, so the piece she ripped out was a long strip that looked like, well, the bottom half of me if I stuck my legs together.
Then she ripped that strip in half, lengthwise.
Oh, look! I remarked to myself in my wise-cracky voice, there're my two legs.
The whole time she didn't look at what she was doing, no, she locked eyes with me, and stared me down as she wrought the destruction to the wood right in front of her.
Or maybe arms.
I remembered earlier when I wrapped my arms around her after she told me not to, she said she could rip them right off.
She held my ripped-off arms, one in each of her hands.
I shuddered and then that particularly horrifying vision disappeared as she stacked the two pieces into the crook of her arm.
And then, I wondered if it weren't the wood right in front of her, but if I had taken a few more paces from the cabin and met her right there ...
I wonder what would've been happening ... to me?
She continued to glare at me balefully. "Get the door, Lizzie," she ordered curtly.
"Can I ..." I offered tentatively.
"You can get your ASS inside NOW!" she screamed.
I realized I was just standing there, in complete shock, my mouth hanging open.
She glided right up to me, malevolence personified.
"Door," she commanded.
I tried to move. I swear.
You ever get a deer in your crosshairs, and it sees you? And you know it knows it has to run, but it just stands there and dies when you pull the trigger?
Rosalie's jaw worked.
She pushed me. I swear to God she pushed me out of the way and opened the door herself.
"In," she snarled.
I started to shake my head in disbelief. What the hell had gotten into her?
But she was having none of it. And apparently I wasn't moving quickly enough for Mistress Rosalie, because she hooked me with her free arm, and scooted me into the cabin as she went in herself.
She kept scooting. She closed the door behind me and scooted me right to the bed.
Just the slightest pressure from her, and the back of my knees hit the bed, and I found myself sitting on the bed, watching her retreating back — her very stiff retreating back — head toward the stove.
She unceremoniously dumped the strips of wood onto the floor by the stove and they landed with a thunderous crash, and the dishes shook in sympathy.
The wood she was carrying was probably heavier than me. I actually don't know if each strip were heavier than me.
She turned toward me, glaring at me, pure anger radiating from her. Her silence pressed down on me, crushing me. She picked up a strip of wood, wider than my leg, never breaking her stare, then, upright again, she took the strip, one hand on each end, and ... twisted.
The wood shrieked, then splintered apart at the center. The torn ends looked like twenty-thousand daggers of wood, and I shuddered, imagining Rosalie throwing one of those pieces at me, and literally nailing my head into the wall behind me.
She kicked open the stove and threw the two pieces in.
Then she did it again with the other strip, ripping the wood in half with that terrifying twist of hers.
And the way she was glaring at me, her look said it all: you fuck with me, and your turn is next.
I just wish I knew how she thought I was ... well, you know ... okay: fucking with her, because I didn't have a clue as to why she was so angry with me.
She spit on the pieces of wood in her hand and then disdainfully threw those into the stove, too. She when to the supply box in the kitchen area and reached for the matches.
Did she turn around and look down into the box to get them? No. She kept staring right at me.
"Rosalie ..." I pleaded.
Her eyes narrowed to slits.
I sighed and shut up, looking away.
I heard the whoosh! of the fire, and the inside of the cabin suddenly lit up with with a bright orange glow. I heard the clank! of the stove door being forcefully slammed shut, and the cabin returned to the dim ambient light filtered in from the outside world.
I heard another loud clank! and looked up to see Rosalie having put the big pot of chicken soup on the stovetop.
Lunch, I guess. If it were still lunchtime, that is.
She came right at me, again, and towered over me, just staring down at me, like she were waiting for me to say one word, so she could rip my face off.
I could only look up at that intensity for second before I looked down again.
Or, maybe I could say I didn't want to strain my neck and get a crick in it? Does that sound like a better reason for looking away? Should I have said that first? or instead?
Rosalie's firm hand took my chin and forced me to look at her again.
"Are you going to stay right here? Or am I going to have to tie you down to this bed?"
The look on her face when she said that... and the fury in her tone as she said it ...
It was the kind of tone that said, don't even think about messing with me!
So, of course, I had to try to reach through to her, didn't I?
"Rosalie," I tried again, "can we please just talk, please?"
"Are you going to stay RIGHT HERE?" she was screaming right into my face now. "Or do I have to FUCKING TIE YOU TO THE FUCKING BED RIGHT FUCKING NOW?"
Her eyes. Oh, my God, her eyes!
There was no reason in them. There was nothing. She was just pure fury. Just that. Only that and nothing else.
She wasn't looking at me; no, she was looking right through me. She didn't see me at all. She was just blind to everything in her anger.
"I..." I gasped, "I'll stay right here, Rosalie, okay?" I said it as reasonably as I could. "I'll stay right here, okay?"
"Good!" she hissed, then gave my head a little push.
"FUCK!" she shrieked, then her hand whipped out and grabbed my head, and I hear a crack! as I felt her hand wrapped around the back of my head hit the wall behind me.
She was leaning forward, practically having dived to grab my head before it hit the wall, and her face was practically right up against my face. Her eyes were so big, looking into my eyes. She was panting so hard, open-mouthed, and her breath washed over my face and neck like the wind from a bellows.
And I was breathing hard, too. And I was breathing in her essence, her anger, her fury, her pure, absolutely terrifying beauty, and I was hating myself for how much I wanted to breath in that rose-scented fury, how it made me want to ...
... to what?
... to ... to ... surrender myself to it, to her. How it made me want to ... no, how I wanted her to just pull me into her, and take me, right here, right now, forcefully, like outside. Exactly like outside, her so powerful, so angry, so dominating. I wanted her to pour out all her hate and fury over me and let it wash over me completely, filling me with all of her as I yielded my very self to that, so she could take me, and break me, right here, right now under her on this bed.
And I hated myself for being this nothing, weak thing that wanted to take all of her as she breathed on me, just like this, as she held me, surrounded me, just like this, as she ...
She let me go.
Just like that. Poof, and her arms were gone, and I crumpled into the bed.
I saw her retreating back, and heard her furious mutter: "She wants to help!" as she headed toward the door.
I sat up, flustered, confused, angry.
"Rosalie, you're losing it! Go god-damn hunt now, for God's sake!" I shouted at her back.
That stopped her.
She whipped around. "And to what end?" she demanded.
"HUH?" I gave it right back.
"What's the fucking point of me hunting, Lizzie, huh?" she shouted. "When — what? are you going to fucking help there, too? Am I going to be out, just like now, on the hunt, and — Lo! and behold! — I come across you wandering around outside because you want to fucking help? Do you know what would happen then? Do you, Lizzie?"
I didn't even get a chance to reply.
Her tone was terrifying and ... terrified? ... in its absolute finality: "It would be a blood bath, ... a fucking blood bath!"
"But, no!" she continued. "We don't even have to play that little scenario, because here you are, right now, right after you fucking faint from exhaustion, dehydration and malnourishment and you want to fucking help by going right back out into the fucking cold and ..."
She suddenly stopped, threw her hands down to her sides, and screamed.
She screamed, and she kept screaming. It was a head-thrown-back scream. It was a put your mittens over your ears kind of scream.
When that was over, and I felt my eardrums hadn't burst ... maybe, ... I looked up to see her panting and stiff, ramrod straight.
She glared at me. "You want to help?" she snarled. "You stay right fucking there, and you rest! Got it?"
She turned, quickly, taking my silence as confirmation, and left, slamming the door behind her. Then I heard the stump outside making a sound very much like a scream as wood was torn away from wood. Over and over again.
Rosalie was attacking it with a vengeance.
I looked down at the bed and put my mittened hand over the covers, smoothing out a wrinkle.
I felt my jaw tighten.
I got up...
I don't even remember getting up, because before I knew it, I was outside that door I don't remember opening, marching right at her.
Rosalie stopped. The stump of a trunk lay in splinters everywhere.
She must've gone to town on it.
Quietly, menacingly she seemingly ripped each word right out of her chest and threw each one at me, one by one: "I thought I told you to stay inside."
She spat this out as if she were speaking to an addled child.
I glared at her, vibrating in place.
Rosalie crossed her arms, becoming very erect.
"What did you just say to me?" she demanded, very coolly, looking at me with a superior, contemptuous air, but covering over her obvious shock.
Suddenly my resolve, that I didn't know I had, being shocked, too, at what I just said, evaporated, and I looked away as I mumbled: "You heard what I said."
"No," she said, her voice very tightly controlled, "I didn't hear you, Lizzie. You get me? Say it again. I dare you."
I looked at her. She had stood up from what she was doing, and she was giving me her whole attention. The way she was glaring at me, threatening, fierce, it was ... possessive. And the way she said 'I dare you,' it was like she was telling me no sane person would take her up on this.
No sane person would cross her and live, that is.
I felt my resolve come right back.
"I said, 'Fu...uuuuaaaaahhh...'"
I didn't get to say what I said, for, all of the sudden, she leapt at me, becoming a smudge of white and gold across the snow, right at me. I felt myself lifted up and placed very firmly against the cabin door, almost slammed into it, and that's when the air left my lungs in a whoosh. When the dust settled, I found myself looking down at Rosalie, lifted up and pinned against the door with her hand around my neck, but she was turned slightly away from me.
I saw why. Her right hand was raised, cocked back behind her head.
"Say it," she hissed menacingly, "and that mouth of yours will feel the full force of my hand, little sis."
Her menace went from taunting to deadly serious: "And I won't hold back."
I looked at her hand, hovering behind her head, cocked, ready to fire at the first word I said.
I looked back into her eyes.
She meant it.
If she hit me, and didn't hold back, she would rip my jaw off, and half my face, probably. She knew this. She knew I knew.
She looked right into my eyes.
"Was there anything you wanted to say to me?" she asked coolly.
And she waited.
I couldn't have said anything, even if I tried: her hand was pressed very firmly against my neck, nailing me to the door. It was a wonder my windpipe wasn't crushed.
I shook my head in a 'no.'
Her lips twisted up in a cruel grimace. "Thought not."
Then she let me go.
I fell a foot before my feet slammed into the ground. I felt the impact hit my knees as they hyperextended, then I felt the force of that vibrate right up my spine. I crumbled onto the ground.
"Ow!" I whispered, and curled up into a ball, holding my knees into my chest, trying to rub the agony out of them, as I sucked air back into my lungs.
Rosalie's boots appeared right in front of my face.
It was no fair that even her boots could be unearthly: beautiful and terrifying. They were just boots! But the fact that they belonged to her, that she was wearing them, almost imparted a mystical quality to them.
Rosalie reached down and pulled me up, part way, by the lapels of my coat, then she let go again, dropping me down into the snow in a seated position, my back against the wall. She put a steadying hand on my shoulder, and looked right into my eyes, her cobra-like eyes pinning me in place.
Did you get the part where my back was against the wall?
I just wanted to make sure you got that.
And with Rosalie squatting right in front of me like that?
I'm sure most the people in the world could safely say that they weren't in as much serious trouble as I was right this second.
But I could always console myself that I brought this right on myself, and I knew what I was doing, too. I just had to open my big mouth and ... find myself right here.
"So," Rosalie said very calmly to me, "I think we have some unfinished business here. I told you to stay inside. You didn't. Then you said something to me."
She leaned back on her haunches, regarding me ... what's the opposite 'coolly'?
She did regard me coolly, but like she was looking at me to see the best way she could dissect me.
'Best way' not meaning 'the best way for me,' oh, no! Not even close. No, the 'best way' here meant the best way for her to make me feel the most agony and scream the longest and hardest before her tearing me apart limb from limb eventually killed me.
"Now," she continued, so tightly controlled, that is: so, so tightly controlled I didn't even see her making an effort to appear casual, "I didn't hear you rightly. Maybe I didn't hear you at all. Because, really, what I thought I heard..."
Here she lost it. She turned her head away slightly, and I saw her jaw clenching, and then ...
What's the scariest sound you've ever heard? Rosalie screaming?
Or Rosalie grinding her teeth in very tightly controlled fury?
I think I have a new scariest sound in the world, as I heard Rosalie's teeth grind as I saw her jaw working.
She took a second to collect herself, then she turned back, facing me, and the look in her eye ...
She didn't collect herself very well.
"So," she said, "you couldn't have said that to me, could you? There is no way you could've ever said 'fuck you' to me, and with that tone, too, so I must have heard you incorrectly. That's the only reasonable explanation I can come up with right now, because the other explanations ..."
I saw her losing it again, and forcefully recollect herself.
"So," she continued, "let me ask you, so I know how to proceed, ..."
Her eyes bore into me, and they were fierce, but then I saw they were pleading with me.
"Lizzie, did you just say 'fuck you' to me?"
Her voice, instead of being furious, was incredulous.
But what shocked me was that it was hurt.
"I..." I said, looking right into her burning-black eyes, her arm on my shoulder.
I looked away. I couldn't look at her.
I waited for her to interrupt me. I begged for it now. Every other time she did that, it so pissed me off, but now, that I had nothing to say for myself, she just waited me out, and didn't do anything. She didn't shake me, she didn't scream at me.
She just did the worst thing possible in the world. She waited for me.
I couldn't take it. If she had me on a rack right now and was turning the wheel to pull me apart, it would've felt better than her waiting silence.
"I mean," I said quickly. "God almighty, Rosalie! How many times have you said that word to me, okay? Just today? Just in the last, I don't know, five minutes! I don't see what the big deal is!"
I couldn't look at her as I blurted this out.
But it was reasonable. It made perfect sense. She had been mouthing off that word all day, but I say it one time, and she has a conniption?
I risked a glance at her face.
That was a mistake.
Her face didn't say 'Well, yeah, you're right; that makes sense...'
No, her face said ...
Actually, I couldn't read what her face said, because her face was ... blank. Sad.
But looking into her eyes, I saw her heart.
And that was broken.
And I knew why.
Rosalie rocked back on her haunches, shifting her hand on my shoulder slightly, so I had to force myself into a more upright seated position so I wouldn't tilt over back into the snow.
This unfortunately made me face her.
But she wasn't facing me.
"Lizzie," she said sadly, "the big deal is, I've said 'fucking trees,' I've said 'fucking bed,' I've cursed this fucking empty place with this fucking hopeless situation. Heh," she laughed hollowly, "I've even begged God to fuck me and my fucking undeath — of course, like all my prayers, He didn't answer that — but I never expected you to slip so far as to ..."
She paused and looked at me sadly, "Have I ever said 'fuck you' to you?"
I looked into two wells of sadness before she looked away again.
"You 'fuck'-virgins," she whispered despondently in her scorn, "You hear somebody else use the word, so you think you know everything about it, and can't wait to use it to show how sophisticated you are, how worldly."
She couldn't look at me. She couldn't look at the person who said those words to her.
She shook her head.
"You wanted to hit one out of the park, didn't you, Lizzie. I could see it in you, so ... righteous, so ..."
She broke off.
"Well," she continued sadly, "You hit a homer, all right."
She put her hand over her heart. "You hit home." And her hand tightened to a fist, right over her heart.
They whole time she wouldn't look at me.
"Rosalie, ..." I said sadly.
"I'd ask why you said that," she said, not even hearing me. "Why you did that. But I don't need to ask. I know why. You wanted to hurt me. And you did."
"No, Rosalie," I pleaded. "I wanted to help you."
"I wanted to help." I begged her.
She still wouldn't look at me. "By saying 'fuck you'?" Her voice was incredulous, then it became sardonic. "That helped. Thanks." Then she asked sarcastically: "Do you even know what that means?"
I felt my chest grow tight. "I'm not stupid, Rosalie."
Rosalie was quiet for a moment, then she said sadly. "Funny. When people say that to me, every single time I see them angry at themselves for being as stupid as they are afraid they are."
She let that zinger sink in.
"So, tell me, what does it mean?" she asked quietly.
"You know," I said. And then I realized that she did know. She used that word all the time, not me.
... until now.
"... like with Edward." I finished weakly.
"And with Royce," she added sadly. "Did you think I enjoyed that? Getting fucked by Royce? or by Edward? Just sat on like a piece of furniture and then used as a cum-dump? Is that what you wanted for me?"
"No, Rosalie!" I exclaimed, shocked that she could think I'd ever wish that on her. "I didn't mean that at all! I meant ..."
"You meant that," she said firmly. "That's what you meant when you said it, and you knew it. You wanted me to hurt, and, Lizzie, ..."
She looked right at me. "You hurt me."
Then she looked away.
"Ro..." I began.
"Let's pretend," she turned to face me again, her voice quickening with hope. "Let's pretend this whole thing just didn't happen, hm, Lizzie? Let's pretend I didn't hear you. I'll ask you, 'Lizzie ... did you just ... did you just say "fuck you" to me?' And you'll say, 'Why, no, Rosalie, you must've heard wrongly!' And I'll be like, 'Aww!' and you'll be like, 'Aww!' as if it never happened, ..."
Then she added fervently: "...because it didn't."
I looked at her in confusion and disbelief. Was she just asking me to ...
"Rosalie," I said slowly and carefully. "Are you asking me to lie?"
"Lie?" she asked in surprise, her eyes widening. "No, Lizzie, it's not a lie. We're just pretending, that's all. I just say something, and you just answer that. That's all. It's not a lie. And ..."
She became thoughtful. "You can forget, right? You are in time. You can't keep track of every moment. If you don't remember this from before, then ... it simply didn't happen at all. If I didn't hear you, and you don't remember, then it didn't happen. It never did."
Her words ... they were quick and certain, but listening to them, I only became more confused.
"But you did hear me say it, Rosalie," I said, just to be sure what was real and what was pretend, because, like she said, I was losing track of both.
Her face hardened. "No, I didn't. I didn't hear you, because you didn't say it."
Everything became clear. Because I was looking right at her, and she was looking right at me, and she was speaking with confidence and authority.
And I knew, right here, that she was lying, right to my face.
I kinda knew why, too. She wanted this ... okay, this ugliness, to go away, so we could go back to the way we were, happy sisters just happily ... well, me fainting and her shredding wood or whatever she saw this ideal of us being sisters, happy with each other, content.
And I could not believe it. Wasn't it against everything she told me up to now? She told me that she lied, and all the time, too, but I hadn't seen it, I didn't feel it, until right now.
Did she want me to start lying? Wasn't that what she was asking of me? For me to lie so things could go on as before?
"Okay, Lizzie," Rosalie said, relief in her face, "I'll ask you now."
She squared her shoulders and flicked back her hair. "Lizzie, I thought I just heard you say something. Did you just say 'fuck you' to me now?"
She looked at me expectantly.
My throat was working and my lips were moving, but no sound was coming out.
And I didn't even hear her question, because inside my head, my voice, my voice that would've saved me several times if I had listened to it, was screaming: Lie, lie, lie! Oh, please, God! Just lie! Just this one time. Lie, lie, Lie, LIE!
"I..." breathed out.
"Lizzie," Rosalie snapped, interjecting quickly. "Say 'no.'"
Her head twisted a little to the side, cobra-like, and she glared at me through the slits of her eyelids. "Just say 'no,' Lizzie," she commanded threateningly.
'NO!' My voice screamed to me. Say 'no!' Say 'no' right now! Say 'NO!' SAY 'NOOOOO!'
"Rosalie, I..." I choked out.
"Say it!" Rosalie screamed right in my face.
SAY IT! My voice screamed right at me. Just fucking say it, you CUNT!
"Rosalie, no, ..." I breathed out.
Rosalie breathed out a huge sigh of relief.
"No, Rosalie, I won't say it," I said sadly.
Rosalie's sigh of relief stopped mid-breath, and her pale white face became whiter.
"I can't say 'no.'" I couldn't stop. "I can't lie to you. I can't. I just can't. I said it. I said it and ... oh, God, ... you were right: I meant it. Oh, my God,..."
Too late. I was crying freely now, and I couldn't stop.
"I said ..." I continued helplessly.
"Lizzie," she said quietly, and her grip on my shoulder tightened painfully. I heard the bones grinding against each other painfully as they were forced to follow the grip of her hand.
She gave one little light shove, and my back slammed against the door of the cabin behind me.
"If you say this," she threatened, "then it becomes real. And I told you that there would be consequences if you ..."
Her lips tightened into a thin, almost invisible, line.
"I won't go back on my word, Lizzie," Rosalie said with finality.
I was gasping in gulps of air, trying not to sob, trying to follow the situation as it spun out of control.
"But you said," I said helplessly. "You said you wouldn't ... do that if I ... because I was an adult now."
"Lizzie," Rosalie said sadly. "Were you acting like an adult when you told me to go fuck myself? Or were you acting like a spoiled, vicious, little child?"
She glared at me.
"One more time, Lizzie," she said. "One last chance."
I was shaking my head, helplessly carried away by my emotion and carried away by what I knew was right, what I had to do, no matter how impossibly hard it was.
Her right hand lashed out and grabbed my chin, stilling my head.
"Lizzie, honey," she pleaded her absolute demand, "did you say 'fuck you' to me just now? Lizzie," she added dangerously, "say 'no.' Say 'no,' right now."
My eyes were getting wider and wider, staring into her serious and unforgiving pools of blackness, and my breath was coming in gasps.
She let go of my chin. "Say 'no,' Lizzie," she gently directed.
And then, hopelessly, helplessly, an odd thought struck me.
Was this the 'lie' Rosalie was trying to show me? The lie of trying to live a pretense, knowing for the rest of your life that it was all built on one simple lie that everybody demanded, shouted, threatened you to say, and you said it then, because you 'had' to, but then you lived the rest of your quiet, pleasant, peaceful life living a lie, and even forgetting it, as Rosalie said I would, because it happened so long ago and everybody wanted you to do it, anyway, so it was all for the greater good?
Was this what she was showing me? That I should just give in, because everybody else does, living their simply life and it's all just a lie that they chose and forgot?
But then, it doesn't matter. Rosalie wasn't teaching me an object lesson here. She wasn't trying to ensnare me.
Or she was, and I was too stupid and too buffeted by everything to see it.
But it didn't matter. What mattered was that I could lie, right now, and justify it away.
And know it, for the rest of my life.
If I were honest with myself.
Or I could buck up, and no matter what Rosalie told me to do, no matter what she threatened me with ... I had to choose. And I had to live with it.
And she did, too.
Oh, my God! She did, too! If I lied now, she'd know it. And she'd pretend and be all happy, or pretend to be, ... but she'd know, every time she looked at me, she was looking at a liar. And every time she smiled at me and our happy, peaceful life, she'd have to force away that knowledge that it was all just a veneer of pretense, all built on a lie.
I shook my head, and bit my lip.
"No, Rosalie. I said it. I'm ... I'm sorry. I said it. I'm sorry."
I swallowed. Looking at her for understanding, or forgiveness.
Rosalie's left hand on my shoulder fell to her side.
And, the support gone, I crumpled back onto the ground.
She rose, standing erect, towering above me.
"Lizzie," she said quietly, looking down at me, her face a complete mask. "then you know what's going to happen. Come inside, please, when you're ready. I'll be waiting."
She stepped over me like I was horse manure and opened the door, stepping inside the cabin.
She turned and looked down on me — a pile of horse shit — "If I were you, I wouldn't make me wait so long that I have to come back out and drag you inside. That would make your situation worse... much, much worse."
She gave me one long unreadable look, then she closed the door quietly.
I looked over the shattered and splintered remains of what used to be part of a tree trunk, and wondered if it were lucky, compared to me.
My inner voice had abandoned me during my soul-searching, probably seeing where I was going with my train of thought, and probably getting the hell out of this no-win situation while the getting was good.
But I didn't need my voice to tell me anything now.
I knew I was seriously fucked.