“One, two, three, four, five and six”, I was counting the birthmarks on her arm while holding and caressing her soft hand in mine. I was reminded of the stars I used to count on the rooftop with my grandmother every summer, the more I chased them with my little, curious fingers the further they seemed. My soul, light as a feather, was about to evaporate into the air surrounding us, which was blushing at our sight. We chose to be alive together, actively, completely alive, in life, in love and out of it. I had known her my whole life, we were almost identical. I saw youth, sin and peace, all in her small eyes like a reflection. It was as if she did not want to look at the world around her. It was too corrupted, corrupting, she had to stay unstained. However, she looked at and into me, my imperfections were also hers. She was looking into my eyes like she wanted to remember them, write all that she saw down later. Everything she had wanted to write about was inside me, unlike her, I wore my stained white shirt shamelessly. I refused to let her have everything, at least not at once. I knew she would leave me, once she writes my stories, for a man or a bird. She would take what I had given her and gift it to the world. She had cut her hair shorter than usual, put it behind her ear and started talking about her mother. I knew her family like I knew mine, but loving her, I listened again and again. They were never quite satisfied, and neither was she. I must have gotten lost somewhere and trying to find what was left of me, I imagined kissing her shivering lips to stability. Her lips flushed with blood as she bit her lower lip out of habit, and I was awakened from my reverie. Maybe even she liked their taste, now she cannot get rid of her addiction. She took a sip of her strawberry cocktail, flinched, came closer to me and whispered in my ear, “ Let’s dance”, I nodded. She got up clumsily, I noticed fire rising from the soft edges of her body. But did it matter? She cried frozen tears, she bled as she cried small pieces of ice and jealousy as she looked at me. She did not put on any music, or she played something I did not hear. I held her hand regardless, put my other hand on her lower back. She held onto me like I was the balance she needed to cross all of life’s bridges. I both felt and heard her heartbeat as she stood there solidly in my arms, how and where she always wanted to be.
I loved the distinct scent she had of smoke, uncertainty and lust. So I just swayed in her arms feeling like I was going to disappear any minute. She was the most distant and at the same time, the most familiar person I knew. Her curves were begging to be touched and what a waste it would have been if they were not. They had a silky feeling to them, but they were also textured from all the weight she put on and lost. I stroked her cheeks and felt them melting into my hands. It was not easy being with her, I had to be a woman who could stand unshaken by her storms, and a child that could entertain her indifference to break down her walls. I could not tell if I needed her to take care of me, or I of her. Of course, I did not put on any music, she needed to hear my heartbeat, vulnerable and willing. What she did not know, was that I could hear her firm heart beating too. Our hearts were touching just like our breasts, hers like mine were different in size. She leaned closer to me and told me she could heal whatever wound I had within me and reside in my arms instead of his shadow. We were different in so many ways, she could do and say what she wanted when she wanted to, I always needed someone’s permission, someone’s approval. She desired things and got them, I desired things and controlled my desires instead. She was unafraid to speak her darkest thoughts, I walked towards them with a candle in my hand. Her songs were off-key, mine were carefully rhyming, organized and pleasing. I tried so hard to contain her demons, instead, I fell for them.
I had to let her go gently, she was made of sugar glass and breaking her would be like cutting off ties with my own soul. She held me, touched the scars on my hands and kissed me softly like no man or woman dared to. I did not know how else to tell her what I had on my lips was poison, so I kissed her back. She had the same venom as mine, so familiar yet so new. She pulled back and smilingly said, “let us go eat!”. Like what she did was normal, like it was what she did when she normally needed to eat. Inevitable and indefinite was the night, just like her, I figured. Time had stopped, for me at least. Sometimes when the outside world gets too crowded, we have to sink into ourselves and I dived into her despite her doubts. I had ordered burgers with extra fries, we sat on the table facing each other, waiting. I was frustrated at her and the silence, shaking my legs as it was now a habit. Breaking habits was not one of our skills, not quite yet. She started telling me about her childhood memories, moving her hands in the air as if she needed to act out every word that came out of her mouth. I went over to her…
There was a knock at the door, it was the food delivery man and he saw one girl by the door. We were different, but only one of us could face the world, so we became one. There was no-one else in the apartment, I only existed in her head. One burger was delivered to her and she ate it while listening to music louder than my thoughts. Our stories, she wrote down, no one could put a comma where she did not want it. My kisses, she wore outside like they were flowers growing out of her skin. It was not a love story, it was hers. She loved me and I adored her, she was ready to take risks and love the world, but this time conditionally.
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