(I’m in a pretty wild English class right now. I wanted to share my piece from this week. The requirement was that each sentence couldn’t be longer than seven words. Enjoy!)
We curl up in the armchair. Our limbs intertwine. We are two bodies merged into one. You stroke the nape of my neck. Every touch warms my frost chilled skin. I am so content. We were friends for years. We’ve dated only a few months. Is it too soon? Maybe. But, I tell you everything. I want to tell you this.
Why am I so nervous?
You’re always so cute when you’re sleepy.
“I think I love you.”
Think? Loving you is a fact. The sun rises in the east. Leaves become mosaics of red every autumn. And I am in love with you.
“I’m so glad you said that.”
Wait, what? You’re – what? Oh. Oh God.
You’re smiling. Your teeth look like fangs now. Lips press against chapped lips. Arms tighten around me. They feel like boa constrictors. Please, stop touching me. I can’t breathe. Mud is filling my lungs. My saliva hurts. Sharp icicles down my throat. Avoid eye contact. Fake a yawn. Do anything to get away.
“Really. Thank you so much for saying that.”
Stop talking. You’re making it worse. I get it. You don’t love me. That’s okay. My stomach is heavy. Why is my skin so hot now? Did I drink gasoline after swallowing fire? No. I’m just a fool. You brush the hair off my cheek. I feel the poison of your fingertips. It’s seeping through the pores of my skin. Infecting the cracks in my heart. Spreading, frying my nerve endings. I can’t feel anything now.
We go to bed like normal. You’re behind me, pressed against my spine. My fragile spine. Stop touching it. You squeeze my waist. Kiss my ear. I can only hear my pulse.
My pillow catches a single, diamond tear.
The next day I spend running. I lurk in the shadows. You approach me, I step back. The embarrassment controls my movements. Dodging you becomes a sport. I am a gold medalist. You attempt to initiate conversations. I pretend not to notice. Why are you pushing? I am fractured glass with broken skin. And you’re a sledgehammer right now.
Mortification. That’s what I’ve been feeling all day. Why did I say it first? The girl is never supposed to. I was never one to follow rules.
Your smiles, though. I don’t understand them. They’re taking over your entire face. Your mouth, eyes, forehead, even your nose. All of it. The kind of smiles that lights cities. Guides boats to shore. Airplanes to land. I’m miserable and confused. Your grin sends beacons to the moon. Are you oblivious?
You laugh. Wrap your fingers around me. Vines circling my wrist.
“Stop avoiding me.”
I will myself to become a ghost. Insubstantial, unable to be contained.
This amuses you for some reason.
“Oh, okay, you dork.”
Anger and humiliation churn together inside me.
“Will you just let me go?”
Your arm crawls. Up my hip. Around my waist. Feather-touches on the small of my back.
“Will you just look at me, Mallory?”
Oh. Am I still avoiding eye contact?
You chuckle again. It grates on my nerves.
“I’m an idiot, you know?”
“Oh? What for?” (Nailed that nonchalance).
“Making you think I don’t love you.”
“Don’t say it out of pity, now.”
My grin ruins the effect. Damnit.
“I didn’t want to just respond. I want you to know I mean it. I love you. I love you. So much.”
“Didn’t want to respond? What?”
“I know. It made sense last night. I swear. Okay, no, I’m just dumb. But, I do love you.”
I giddily laugh. The dread-filled bubble pops in my chest.
He crowds me into a corner.
“I love you.” A kiss on my nose. “I love you.” One more for my forehead. “I” -kiss- “love” -kiss- “you.”
I’m twirling even while I’m standing still. Your arms are just arms again. Your teeth are just teeth. Chapped lips still press against chapped lips. My lungs, full of dirt, grow flowers. The moon finds two beacons now. Intense, ceaseless, incandescent light. You and I. Me and you.
Eventually, I roll my eyes.
“Oh, what now?”
I whack your shoulder, disapprovingly.
“Boy logic is just so dumb.”