Disclaimer: This is so embarrassing. I don't own it, okay? Please stop asking. I'm going to cry.
"Cat, we can't keep doing this."
Her lips meet mine briefly before my hands find her shoulders, pulling her away. She looks at me in confusion, eyebrows turned up. "Why not?"
I struggle to find the reasons I'd written down last night, so convinced of what I'm stuttering out now. "Because it's wrong. We just keep sneaking around, lying to our friends. It's not right, Cat."
She kisses me again, my hands sliding off her shoulders, Cat's fingers soft on my cheek, and I feel my will waver. Her kisses have always left me weak. Ever since the first time.
It'd been at a party. Well... that's not quite accurate. It'd been after the party. Cat had been dropped off with me at my house, to sleep over. We'd both had too much to drink, me because of Jade's stupid dares and taunts, and Cat because it just tasted like candy to her. She said it made her fly, made everything swim. Made her feel like a superhero. She'd been too pumped to go to bed, tugging at my hand, dragging me upstairs to my room like it was her house. So we'd played Go Fish with an old deck of cards stashed in my desk drawer. Trina's last birthday present to me. We hadn't been very good at it, too busy laughing and swaying to remember the rules. It turned into Snap, and Cat's hand had lashed out, covered mine, and the laughter had died away. And then what was fun, and easy, had this tension in it, this waiting, until Cat leaned in, and I matched her, and our lips met so softly. Whether it was the alcohol, or whether it was just us, it didn't feel strange. It felt like something that'd been meaning to happen for a long time, it just needed a chance. The rest of the night was made of snapshots, of soft kisses and fumbling hands, and soft, bare skin. Goosebumps raised and gasps given. It turned into a mistake in the morning, an accident, and I'd peeled Cat's hand off my waist and felt my head throb with memories. But I couldn't stay away from her. Those memories were stuck in the forefront of my mind, every time I looked at her. And being around her was like being drunk again, wanting to touch her, wanting to trace the paths my hands remembered.
Eventually I broke. Kissed her and said I couldn't help it, I had to, I need to, please, and Cat had panted, and whispered the same words back to me, fingers trembling on my face. It became a secret. Something that started off slow, and rolled into something big, every time I touched her, every time we kissed. It grew and grew, happened more and more often. I could barely look at Andre, at Robbie. At anyone. I'd wonder if they'd see this big thing I was hiding, these invisible marks where Cat had touched, smeared all over me. Whether they'd smell her in my skin, in my hair. The breezy remarks to Cat, like nothing had happened, like nothing was different. Half the time they died in my throat, and I'd be left staring at her, wondering why. Why did this keep happening? Why was it a secret? Every morning I woke up, it'd be with a conviction to stop it. It wasn't right, it wasn't what I wanted. I was sick of hiding, of sneaking around. Today would be the day I'd stop it, I'd drag it out into the open, and make everyone look. Make everyone see what I was. What we were. But fear always got the best of me, and today turned into tomorrow, and then the next day, and then the day after that, and Cat's kisses kept me weak. And my feelings changed.
Every day it seemed like a bigger mistake. A crime I kept committing, an addiction I kept feeding. Every moment I could snatch alone with her, my hands would run over her skin, crawl inside her shirt, trace over her bones and commit them to memory. My lips would meet hers, and there'd be desperation, there'd be longing, there'd be too much and never enough and more, more, more. Cat would whisper my name like a question, and I'd answer it with kisses, with touches, with the throb of my heart and the goosebumps on my skin.
And soon those snatched moments weren't enough. Can Cat come over to study? Can Cat come for dinner? Cat, Cat, Cat. I was such a good friend, such a close friend. It made my parents so happy to see me have a friend like Cat. She's simple but well-meaning, she'll be a good influence, she's good for me. And then Dad would ruffle my hair, and I'd feel dirty, I'd feel filthy. Lying to them, making them feel that false happiness, making myself out to be that innocent kid they remembered. What a good girl they raised, what an honest girl. It made me sick. What a sick girl, what a liar. I'd grab Cat's hand as soon as she got there, tug her up the stairs impatiently, and it'd be her back to the door as soon as she made it in my room. Not even time to say hello, to ask a question. When I was with her, it made me forget. It made me forget how I felt about her, about this, when I wasn't with her. I'd strip her shirt off, unzip her skirt, and tell her to be quiet, to not make a sound. She was my secret, my indulgence, my guilt. She never asked questions, never resisted any decision I made. I'd tell her everytime to never say a word about this, to never tell a soul, and she'd nod, her hands on my waist as if to keep me in place, so she could remember what it was she wasn't supposed to tell.
I'd drown myself in her skin, in her body, in her lips. Make flushes rise in her cheek, make her breath come short and quick, make my name spill out of her lips and stain her skin. Mine. She was mine. And I was hers, and we were both something quiet and held close, and no one, no one knew about it. In that moment, in that time, it'd be something I was fiercely proud of, yet as soon as it was over, as soon as Cat's skin was beaded in sweat, and she was panting and trembling, the shame would set in. Another pound added to this overweight secret.
I was torn into pieces, but Cat? I don't think she was ever happier. Before it wasn't enough, before I started inviting her over, started vomiting lies, our moments together were soft, were sweet and slow. I'd start off quick and desperate, and Cat's hands would stroke my arms, my back, calm me. She'd hold me as I gasped, lips pressed to her shoulder as her hand worked inside my pants, stroked me to a shuddering climax. She'd kiss me gently, little, short kisses, like whispered conversations. It was before I was ashamed, before I realised how wrong it was. How wrong it is. She smiles at me as soon as she sees me. Her face lights up, and it's not out of lust, it's not out of that secret. She's just happy to see me. Tori, her friend, her lover, her whatever. Just Tori. That smile always makes me sick. Makes my heart lurch and stumble and trip over that secret that's always in the way. I don't think it ever hovered over her like it does to me. She holds it like something precious, when it's crushing the breath out of me. She's always so happy. It used to be enough to make me happy, too.
My resolution falters, my hand finding it's way to her cheek, pulling her closer, tongue running over her bottom lip, tasting her, eyes shut tight, as if that could me from seeing, from remembering who it is that I'm kissing. It takes all I have to break it, to push her away. To rip her from me, stop her crawling in my brain. "It has to stop." I pant, shifting away from her slightly.
"Then we'll tell them. We'll tell everyone, Tor. We don't have to be a secret." Cat kisses me again, and there's desperation in it, pleading, and her voice is soft and shaking. "We can be together."
I shake my head, letting out a heavy breath. "No."
Cat blinks at me, pulling back, hands retracting to ball in front of her chest. "No?"
I grit my teeth. "I don't... I don't want you. This... this whole thing was a mistake Cat. We never should've... I don't want you."
I turn away from her, perched on the end of my bed, nails digging into my thighs to steel my resolve, the pain keeping my mind clear. I can't let her sway me this time, can't let her hot hands and soft lips change my mind. "It's over Cat. Whatever this is, it's over."
"Tori..." Cat's voice scrapes over my skin like a grater, rubbing me raw. It's hurt, and scared, and I want to just turn to her and hold her, kiss her until things are alright. But it's me who's hurting her. This never should have happened, this never should have started. It just becomes more and more clear to me, every time this happens. Every time I can't keep away from her. Every time I push her back and kiss her like she's the only thing keeping me alive. It's not right.
"Go." My voice is low, because that's the only way I can keep it steady, can keep it from shaking, and I just want to break, I want to give in, and hide myself in her arms and let this be okay again. But it was never okay. I just fooled myself into thinking that. I don't want her. I shouldn't want her. I'm not gonna have her be this secret, this sick addiction that I keep giving in to, just to feel her in veins, in my brain again.
"Tori, please." I can hear the tears in her voice, hear it shaking and sloughing apart, breath like gossamer, ripping and tearing as it escapes her. Her hand touches my back tentatively, like she's not sure it's really me, her cheek pressing between my shoulderblades, searing through the thin material of my tank top. "Tori." It's barely a whisper. A desperate plea, spoken into my skin. It seeps in and reaches my heart, tugging at it like a curious child, and I have to bite my lip to keep from choking.
"It's over." The words escape in a let out breath, an exhale that's been held since that first kiss. I can feel her tears wet the material, stick to my skin, hot. And then she's gone, pulling away with a sob, and I'm left with that warmth fading from me, her tears quickly chilling along my spine. I hear my front door slam, wincing at the noise, and it's like the sound of finality. It's over. I can bury this secret now, dig down deep and cover it with earth. And Cat can be nothing and I can stop, can stop feeling this way.
I can't have her in my head, in every thought. I can't have her in my heart, tugging all the strings and making it ache, ache so much. I can't have her in me. At all. I want it to be like it was before that night, before that stupid, stupid night. I want to be myself, stop being on edge, stop lying, stop sneaking around. I don't want her hanging over me, some guilty little mistake, relived at every opportunity. I don't want her, I can't want her. I just want to be normal, I just want to be me.
"Tori honey, are you okay? Did you and Cat have a fight?"
Mom knocks at my door, her voice concerned, and I swallow this lump in my throat, this boulder that's weighing on me.
"I'm fine. I'm just gonna go to bed." My voice comes out steady, almost normal, and it doesn't seem right. It doesn't match the pain in my heart, the pressure on my lungs, the stinging of my thighs where my nails are still digging in. My hands feel like claws, and I pry them free, try to spread them out, open, but they're shaking, so I ball them into fists instead. And I should go to the bathroom, I should brush my teeth and change my clothes and just get Cat off me, once and for all. Scrub every trace away until she's just a name. Just a memory, of a girl I used to know. Once Upon A Time without a happy ending. But instead I just lay back, crawl up to my pillow and curl up on my side, in the dark. I should feel lighter, I should feel better. I ended it, finally. I snapped Cat off like a rotten branch from a tree, cast her aside. This secret doesn't have to be secret anymore. I can just say... No. No, I can't. I thought it'd be easier, that I could just say it, that I could tell everyone, that I could tell my mom. That all my dirty little lies would be washed clean by the truth. But I can't. I can't even say it to myself. I fucked Cat. I bring my knees up, make myself as small as I can. She's gone, but this secret is still rotting in me. Still bleeding into my heart, seeping through my veins. I ripped her off like a bandaid, but the wound hadn't healed.
I don't want Cat. I can't want Cat. I've turned away from her, said no. This... how I feel is gonna fade. I don't want her. I don't want this. I can't, I won't. I whisper the words over and over until they cover the sound of my heart, the sound of my brain, pounding it's denial. I can't tell the truth, I can't. I can't dig into this wound and make it bleed, make everyone see. But I can push it down, I can hide it, I can pretend it never, ever happened. Just press rewind and destroy the tape. Back to that time, back to before I even met Cat. Back to who I was, who I want to be again.
And I realise with a start, just before I slip into sleep, that I'm whispering sorry, over and over, my cheeks wet with tears I don't remember shedding. I wonder if it's Cat I'm apologising to, or if I'm apologising to myself, or my mom, or to Andre, or to all the people I've lied to. But it was the right thing to do. It had to be the right thing. I have to believe that. I have to.
I can't want Cat. I can't want this secret. I just want to be me again, I just want to do the right thing. I just want to be normal.
A/N: GASP, ANGST?
FROM ME? SHOCKING, I KNOW.
The Germans have such a beautiful word for it... angst~
Truly a magnificent language. Not like this English, which is just clicks and grunts and general shedding of clothes.
I guess what I'm saying is... review. Or take your top off. Means the same thing in English, really. ;D