title: pathetic pleas fell to the floor

summary: The courtyard is humming your name.

author's note: Inspiration for this is the song Maps by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is another experimental piece and uh, okay. Hi.

Edited as of 9/21/15.

/

It is a strange question. His footsteps echoes louder than his words and his proximity doesn't come to her attention until his chest is flush against the tips of her breasts. Things stand still in her imaginary world. Her thoughts have paused and turned white. The paint on the wall is peeling, but she is only noticing one thing — the strangeness of this situation.

"So, what do you say to it?"

His eyes are kind of cold and she shivers a little. In her imaginary world, time is not even ticking. The people are stuck in their positions, floating, because gravity is still in effect. She wonders how gravity has not failed her, because he is in front of her and expecting her to speak and she cannot even begin to think of the words that will explain how she feels.

"No," she says quietly.

She knows she has made the right decision when his eyes begin to thaw out. There are flowers that wither when the sun shines on them. Gravity betrays them. She looks at him because she can't do anything but. He's hurt, confused — it's written on his face in three thousand different languages. She wonders what that would really look like if he spontaneously decided to do such a thing. He seems the type, but would it be for himself or for attention? He's always been, at heart, a performer.

"I don't understand."

He wouldn't understand. He tends to forget that the human brain is only partially used. He forgets a lot of things — his birthday, André's middle name. They just completely disappear from his head. Sometimes, she wonders if he was dropped on his head as a child. Her head does this occasionally — moves on to these unnecessary things as if they were fundamental. Now, time has never been created in her imaginary world. But isn't that kind of a contradiction? The people are beginning to fade away completely. If it weren't for the erasers leaving pink residue on white thoughts, she would've never known they were there. He has never been a fan of vagueness. He's never really been about the real materials that make a person. If he was to be anything, she thinks, he'd be dust and light cotton. She can't hold on to him. She's always known this.

"I would love to, I just can't."

Her voice cracks at the end — and she hates this. He still has this incredible pull on her that makes her want to drop to her knees and change her mind, her resolve. She's been in love with him for her entire life, but lovesick for three months. She can never shake it off. She wipes her nose on her sleeve because all the love drips out of her all the time. She hopes that his repulsion will allow him to release his hold on her. But he pulls her close into his chest, real close. She can smell the cologne on his chest over the lingering scent of gasoline no shower can remove. She knows things about him that most people don't and it scares her. She'll wake up in the middle of the night and think about just how many strange facts she knows about him. How he wished to be a part of a circus because he's always been flexible and how he prefers Indian food over steak. She knows so many things about him and she remembers them all. She never used flashcards.

"Stay with me," he whispers.

He sounds like he's drowning. She cups his face in her hands and they look at each other. There is so much that is calling to her — and yet, there are tentacles that are coming from the floor. They are wrapping around her legs. Stay, they whisper, stay. She wants to cry but she has forgotten how tear ducts open. She wants to fall down, out of his embrace, but there is the thought of how exactly their life would go, if they stayed together in this room. If she stayed, would she ever take herself seriously again? No, she must not stay with him in this sad room with the dusty shelves and the spirits that cry out in the night. She must return to her life, become someone she could be proud of. If she went back to him, back to her high school romance with the boy who always promised to break her heart instead of taking care of it, she doesn't know if she will ever be real again.

"I can't," she says.

She crushes his heart under her boot and pulls away from him. His eyes are glazed over once more, not with smugness this time, but with sorrow. She picks up her bags. He seems miles away. His bed sheets are messy after the time they had spent in it, telling each other secrets and planning their futures. There is a bird outside, wailing a mourning song. She threads her fingers through her hair as she awkwardly shifts her suitcase.

"I suppose this is it."

He looks tired, sad. She wonders what exactly it would entail if she dropped her suitcase and kissed him one last time. It could lead to disaster – to a never ending cycle. To her constantly hiding her flaws from him. His fingers are stuck in a claw position and she can tell his throat is dry because he keeps swallowing and his Adam's apple is bobbing up and down like he was lost at sea. She knows so much about him. Is her pride worth her first true love?

"Would you marry me, if you had a chance?"

It is a strange question. His eyes are red rimmed. She turns back to him, her hair swishing against the air. There is silence and her hand is cramping from her suitcase and she's wondering when he'll answer so she can scurry away.

"I would," he said, finally. "I always would, if I had the chance."

She smiles and he closes all the distance between them with long strides. His lips meet hers and she drops her suitcase to the floor, right on her pinky toe, and she mewls against his mouth, her heartbeat skipping. His grip tightens on her, his fingers curling in her hair. The floor feels like it's melting beneath her feet. The tentacles are forming anchors at the ends. She is stuck with him in this room and she believes she always will be. Their love is a cycle.

"One minute," he says with a smile on his face. "I need to get something."

She knows it's a ring. She has seen it in his desk in the top drawer. It's something she would love, an emerald set in a warm honey gold with two diamonds on the sides. She would wear it everyday with pride and she would never look back. Her suitcase is on the ground, it's insides likely churned. She smiles to herself, picks up her suitcase, looks at the room once more, and opens the door. She hears him but she does not turn back. The cycle is broken, as is his heart and her heart, and she thinks this is the most courageous thing she has ever done in her entire life.