Lovedoll

The first time I saw Breach, she painted a hex sign on my right arm, and I couldn't move my fingers for three hours.

We were little at the time, barely nine, so I didn't really think about how that actually happened. I just chalked it up to her being a witch, like everyone always said she was, and went on with my life once I regained the mobility of my fingers. Looking back, though, it was probably a subconscious deal. Like I said, everyone always said she was a witch – what with her uncle being an undertaker and her parents dying in a horrible fire when she was only seven. Everyone said she started it, even the adults in town, and in their defense she was a fairly disturbed little girl so it wasn't exactly hard to believe. – and I thought it was true at the time, therefore when she 'hexed' me, my subconscious mind made me believe that I couldn't move my fingers, so my body really couldn't.

It's the same basic principle of what happens when you hear of a new kind of disease outbreak. You're sitting there, staring at your TV when the news comes on and tells you about a new strain of stomach virus. They start listing symptoms. Let's say nausea is one of them; suddenly, if you're a hypochondriac like most people are, you start to feel nauseous. Another symptom might be dizziness; next thing you know, you're dizzy. It goes on like that until you're convinced you have it, but when you rush to the doctor it turns out it was all in your head.

A psychologist would word it that 'The mind is a powerful thing, and if it truly believes your body should or shouldn't feel or do something, it will send the correct signals to it telling it that it really is that way. Therefore, your body responds accordingly.' Luckily for you, I'm not a psychologist, so I won't get into that shit. Still, it does explain my situation. My brain believed I couldn't move my fingers, that they were paralyzed or something, so it wouldn't tell the nerves to move them. Not that a nine-year-old would know that unless they're some kind of science prodigy super-freak. Which I wasn't. At all.

So, I thought Breach was a witch, and subsequently avoided her like the Black Fucking Death for the next four years of my life. I won't lie and say I didn't think the idea of an actual witch living in town wasn't cool, but I wasn't about to become even more of a social outcast than I already was at the time by befriending her. Plus, stuff like hexing was only cool when it was being done to people who weren't me. I currently found myself wondering if we would've become friends sooner if maybe she'd hexed that annoying kid who always ate his own boogers instead. I guess it doesn't matter, in the long run we did finally become friends and you can't change the past anyway.

How did we become friends? Well, it was during the last month of our seventh grade year. We all had to do a science project on some topic I didn't even care enough about at the time to remember now. Our teacher, Mrs. Carol – or Carman or Cristal or some other C-name that sounded like it should've been a first name rather than a last – assigned everyone partners. And guess who got partnered with the weird girl with the weird name and the weird life?

Yep, it was me.

My best friend at the time was a girl named Cricket. (Okay, so her actual name wasn't really Cricket, but that was what everyone called her. It got started as Cricketgirl, actually, back in third grade when she freaking ate a live cricket on a dare and then went around acting like one for the next week as joke. How she got the name, if I remember correctly, was through the implication that when a spider bit Peter Parker it gave him powers and he became Spiderman. Cricket had said, as a part of the joke, that the cricket bit her while it was in her mouth…or something. Whatever it was, people started calling her Cricketgirl, which was eventually shortened to just Cricket sometime during the fifth grade.) She was nice; really sweet. Sometimes when I was talking to her I could've sworn I felt a cavity forming. Still, she believed the rumors of Breach being a witch and ostracized her like everyone else. She told me to be careful and only meet with 'Witch Girl' to work on the project in public places and to never let her into my house. To be perfectly honest, I'd really tried to do that, because the girl did indeed freak me out sometimes. It worked every time but the last one.

The project had been due on Monday and it was Sunday afternoon. We were going to go to the park to finish the project, but it had started raining and my mother had been insistent that Breach just come over – she was one of the few people in town who didn't believe the rumors – and so we wound up in my room, where I sat on the bed and Breach stood awkwardly in the corner. It went on like that until we finished the project and I told her she could use my phone to call her uncle to come pick her up. I pointed at it where it sat on my shelf right next to the only doll I owned. It was a porcelain doll with grotesque stitching painted onto its face and its gangly limbs, dressed in a ripped black lace dress with red details and wearing small red ballet flats. The hair was its coolest feature, in my opinion. It was scene hair, all fluffed up to the point it gave the doll an extra inch or so and dyed red on the ends.

Breach loved it.

The second she saw it she launched herself at it and started cradling it to her chest and cooing at it like it was alive. The next thing I knew, she was jumping on my bed next to me, saying how she had no idea I liked dolls. I honestly didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't, that I only had that because it added to the room and it looked cool, that I barely even touched it. So, I just went along with everything she said. Until she got to the part about how she thought my hair would look good with red on the ends. That part I actually really thought about; it was why two years later I did get my hair dyed red on the ends, why prior to a few years ago it stayed red. Now its purple, which Breach seems to adore even more.

The point is, we bonded over that doll and I actually wound up giving it to her sometime later as a birthday present. She has it proudly displayed in our bedroom now; it's one of the few dolls she didn't put into storage when we bought this tiny apartment. Because she seriously owns too many to keep here. I saw them for the first time when she invited me over to her house the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Her room was overflowing with them and she had a name for each and every one. It was scary and obsessive and seriously adorable. I can still remember sitting on her floor with her while she told me all their names and helping her brush their hair.

When school started back in the fall and we were officially joined at the hip, Cricket stopped hanging out with me. It wasn't instantaneous, and out of sheer obligation as my best friend she really did try to befriend Breach. She just couldn't do it, and it was barely a month later that we stopped hanging out altogether. I'll give her credit though, she hung around longer than anyone else. By the end of the second week of school I was just as ostracized as Breach always was, people even started saying she had turned me into a witch, too. A few people who used to hang out in the same group as Cricket and me couldn't believe that I would hang out with 'that freak' willingly. The rumor they started? She put a spell on me.

I honestly couldn't have cared any less.

Except about not dating.

You see, as a result of my ostracize-ation, I didn't really have the opportunity to date. After all, what guy wants the freaky witch girl with a spell on her?

I finally had my first boyfriend when I was seventeen and Rex Salazar moved into town. He wasn't there long, just a few months while his parents were working on some project. They were scientists; big shots with tons of cash, but they were cool about it. Rex's mom, Violeta, was one of the most down-to-earth people I'd ever met. (She almost reminded me of a hippie, with her love of flowers and laidback attitude.) His dad, Raphael, on the other hand, was just really… Hard to describe. He was one of those people whose actions said 'I can wipe my ass with hundred dollar bills', but whose demeanor said 'Except I don't, because I'd rather donate them to charity'. Conflicting, huh?

Anyway, Rex and I met standing in line at the local coffee shop. Yeah, I know, freaking cliché. Still, we really hit it off and when I introduced him to Breach, he didn't think she was weird. Not for the unnaturally pale skin, or shaggy hair that always covered her face, or creepy smile and attitude. (He actually did tell me later that he got chills when he was around her, but as far as I'm concerned, he took it in stride and that was what counted.) And she liked him; for the most part. She said he was shiny, and that he seemed like a fun plaything. When he moved away, Breach comforted me and told me that sometimes long distance relationships did work. I'm sure that's true in some cases.

Just not mine.

A few weeks before my eighteenth birthday, Rex broke the news to me that he'd met a girl named Annie who he really connected with. I told him I was fine with it, and I was, because it was around that time I was starting to realize that I maybe liked Breach as more than just friends. So, Rex and I still talk a few times a week, but our relationship is strictly platonic. And while four years ago he broke up with Annie, he did meet this girl named Beverly. I've met her quite a few times when they've come out to visit and she's a really cool person. Rex just bought a ring; he's going to propose this weekend and if she says yes, he wants me to be his best man. Yeah, really. The best man.

I laughed for a while, until he joined in, and then I laughed some more, but I did accept. Then he promised that if Breach and I ever decided to head out to one of the states that allows that sort of thing and get hitched for real, he'll return the favor. I ribbed him, asked what made him think I'd want him to and we laughed and bantered some more. I didn't let on that it really got me thinking.

The day I finally told Breach about my feelings was the day I was sure they were real: My nineteenth birthday. Yeah, that's right. It took me a whole fucking year to decide it wasn't a weird crush brought on by teenage hormones. When I told her, we were in her room, surrounded by dolls like always and she didn't even flinch. She lunged at me and threw her arms around me and started hugging the life out of me. I asked what she was doing and she said was just so happy I finally told her. When I asked how she knew, she told me she could just tell.

Then she kissed me.

Right then and there. She just leaned forward and kissed me. We kissed some more, little kisses, experimental kisses, and we talked. A lot. About everything. From how long each of us had liked the other – apparently, she'd had a 'crush' on me ever since that day when we were nine and she drew a hex on my arm. I, of course, questioned why she was so okay with me dating Rex, to which she responded "It made you happy." – to what we were going to do in the future. One of the plans was go to the same liberal arts college, where she would study literature and I would study graphic design, and one day get married and maybe even adopt or get a sperm donor or something. None of that really panned out.

We're both twenty-four right now. I'm, ironically, the one going to college to be an author, while she (get this) puts make-up on dead people for a living. She says it reminds her of prettying up her dolls, plus it means she's following in her uncle's footsteps, which brings him excessive amounts of joy. We live together, we have since we hit twenty and moved out of that town we grew up in, but we never formally wed or even looked into the children thing. Of course, there's plenty of time for that last one later. Still, maybe I should look into that marriage thing soon. I really do love her, and I know I'm going to spend the rest of my life with her, so why not?

And, thinking that, I can't help but feel that all the romantics of the world just secretly spit at me.

But that's still my outtake.

Married or not, we love each other and we're probably going to be together till the day one of us dies. So, marriage is really just a 'why not' deal to me and, although we haven't discussed it since that day in her room, probably to Breach too. And if we did get married, it wouldn't be big production. We'd just go to a courthouse, maybe take Rex and somebody of Breach's choice to be witnesses, and do the deed. I'd probably get her a ring or something and we'd come back home and go about life as normally as we always have. If you could call the life we have 'normal.'

"Circe?"

I smile, sit my coffee on the windowsill in front of me and turn to face Breach. She was standing there, in all her naked glory, holding a bottle of lotion. She'd been taking a shower this whole time I've been lost in memories, so I knew what she wanted without her having to say it. "Come on." I motion her over and take the bottle, liberally applying a thick coating of the lotion all over her back once she was comfortably seated in my lap. When I was done, she giggled out a 'thanks, Lovedoll' and leaned back to peck my lips before skipping back to the bathroom.

I just shake my head affectionately at the nickname and the still-childlike behavior and go back to my coffee, staring out the window without really seeing anything.

I'm too busy thinking of how much she'd rather have an engagement doll than a ring.

.


A/N: I wrote this in twenty minutes at three AM because I couldn't sleep and I didn't edit it and its titled Lovedoll because that's all I could think of at that hour. I think my logic was something like 'they originally bonded (which led to their love) over a doll and then Breach uses Lovedoll as a nickname for Circe because she loves dolls and she loves Circe and think's she's prettier than any doll even though that's barely even implied let alone outright said and plus its kind of her own rendition of lovebug even though that's not even implied and...' Hell, I don't even know. I NEEDED TO SLEEP! I still need to sleep because before I ever posted this I fell asleep for like two hours and then I had to wake up to get ready to go to the airport with my parents and little bro to pick up my sister and when we got her the whole family went out to eat and I just got home thirty minutes ago and I'm about to crash out but I really wanted to post this first SO... Here I am. :)