It’s apparently time once again for me to indulge myself and revisit my experiment with second person. The Alliterative Allomorph is hosting the Internal Conflict Blog Fest, and this seems to be what called to me. Don’t forget to check out the other entries for some great midweek reading.
You know it’s your fault. You know it when you look at her. When you watch her, knowing that she doesn’t know you’re there.
You remember kissing her, promising her things that you couldn’t possibly ever give her.
Life. Love. Hope. Happiness.
A promise that everything would be all right.
You remember kissing her, the familiar tingle of electricity shooting from the tips of your hair straight down your spine to curl your toes.
You remember holding her on your lap, pressed tightly to you, arms and legs and lips tangled. Feeling her under your hand as her body collapsed against yours.
It’s been five years.
Life went on.
You remember promising her love, kissing her with all the passion, hope, truth you still had left to offer her to seal your covenant, putting your mother’s ring on her finger.
She is yours and you are hers. Finally. Always. It’s as simple and as honest as that.
But there are ghosts here. Her. You. Your unborn child who lingers in the walls, whispers in the silence and the shadows, echoes in the heartbeat you listen to every night.
You step into your room. Not quietly like you used to, when she used to hear you. You don’t have to be quiet anymore.
She doesn’t hear you.
You wonder what she thinks. What she sees when she searches that blank void with dead eyes.
Can she see him? There in the cobweb of memory? Your eyes, her hair, your wits, her skills?
Everything that isn’t. Wasn’t. Wouldn’t ever be.
You see untold stories, a fairy tale with a happily ever after, and laughter.
You remember laughter. With her.
You don’t think she does.
You come to stand behind her, rest your hands on her shoulders and she shifts away, tries to hide something.
You know what it is. A possibility. Taken a life time ago. The image black and white and grainy. A small thing, really. No bigger than your thumbprint.
Something beautiful you both still remember.
You take the picture from her gently; lay it reverently on the table next to her brush.
You turn her in your arms, skim your fingertips lightly down her arms, and entwine your hands.
She’d loved you, given you your future, and a happiness you’d only dreamed of.
You let your fingers move to circle her waist, brushing lightly against satin skin as you lift the hem of her shirt. She puts her arms up obediently and you slide it off, toss it into the corner.
You’ll get it tomorrow.
You broke her. You’d tried to fix her, but she was never the same. She’s your dead girl walking.
But you’d grinned your half-assed grin at her, pressed your lips to her scars, and watched her paint on her porcelain smile, shroud her bruised eyes.
And then you broke her some more.
It’s what you did.
What you couldn’t fix, you broke. And every day with you, you watched her die a little more, killing yourself.
Tears like rain, flowing like wine, like the sky bleeding.
Your fingertips slide down the silky trail of her spine, under the waistband of her pants and around. You undo the fastener and zipper as you gently kiss her mouth, rest your forehead against hers, and breathe the same air.
You slide the pants over her hips to pool on the floor at her feet; take her hands again as she steps out of them. Long, pale legs and still graceful, she stands before you. You still think she is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen.
The more you wanted to fix her, the more you broke her.
It’s what you were good at.
She’s the only thing you’ve ever been afraid of losing. You’re here. She’s here. You’ll go down with your ship.
You sit her down in the chair and begin your nightly ritual.
You breathe deep as you run the brush through the waterfall of ebony that cascades down her back. You’ve always loved running your fingers through that river of silk, the scent and feel of it.
She hasn’t brushed her own hair in five years.
It’s all kinds of wrong, on all kinds of levels. But it’s everything you always wanted. Everything you’d ever dreamed.
Your perfect circle.
You want to live with her. Want to give her what she needs. You want her to know that.
Touch. Warmth. Strength. Connection.
You’ll never let anything ever come between you again.
You put the brush down, pull her up close and wrap her in your arms. She nuzzles at your chest. It’s almost like she’s searching for your heart, where it should be but isn’t.
She’d taken that the first time you’d laid eyes on her.
Beautiful. It’s what she is. What she’s always been. What she always will be to you.
You lead her to bed, lay yourself down beside her. She nestles in your arms, scoots herself back. You spoon yourself around her, hand tangled in her hair, her back to your chest, your legs tangled in hers.
“We’re gonna be okay.”
It’s not a lie, just a necessary untruth. She believes you because she trusts you fully.
You whisper a kiss into her hair and close your eyes.