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Chapter 66

The young man grasped the dresser across the motel bed and threw it across the room bestially, relieving a guttural roar from within his chest. I remember how his muscles rippled under his bruised skin and how the grimace carved into his plum lips. Blood dribbled over the curve of his cheek from the cut above his eye. After destroying the dresser, his long fingers combed through his hair as his green eyes bore into mine frantically.

I aloofly stood across the room from him, terrified and frozen in place.

He roared, “Is this what you want?! This is what you want when you—“

“If you loved me, you would have let me do it! You would have let me go!” I slowly shook my head. I didn’t even want him to say it.

“This, this is what you do to me, Devin!” He shoved the shattered dresser to the side. His voice lowered before he venomously hissed, “This is what you do to people.”

A single tear slid down my cheek as I observed my stability shatter beneath my feet. I should have known better than to entrust all of my emotional balance upon one individual. I should have known better. I began to murmur his name, but he clasped his muscular hand over my mouth.

He whispered, “Don’t you dare, don’t you ever try to do that again.”

The tears began to pour, and it pissed him off. He exerted great force behind his hand and shoved me into the bed, pinning me with just one hand. I tried to wrench him off of me, but his ferocity kept him ponderously strong. I wiggled underneath him, and then he threatened me.

“You ever do that again, I’ll kill myself, too. Do you want that?! Do you want that?!”

I frantically shook my head, silently persuading him from committing the ultimate sin. He was able to be saved, but I was gone. I was too far in the deep to ever have the ability to be accepted. I was too far away from purity to even be valuable to anyone else.

His hand slid away from my mouth, his fingertips hesitating on my bottom lip. He leaned forward, his nose brushing against mine. He was almost so close to me that his two eyes became one. He gently murmured, “I’ll make a deal with you.”

I began to say something, but his fingers pressed against my lips.

He leaned in, but I instinctively turned away from his kiss. Rejected, his lips tore away from my flesh, and his fingers slid from my lips and rested on the hollow of my throat. I could only fearfully stare up at him, frightened at all the possible things he could do to me, and no one would care. Absolutely no one would care.

His emerald eyes glistened in the soft glow of the room. I cannot remember if there was melancholy or cheer in those green pools, but I remember accepting whatever fate would befall me. Somehow this sudden enlightenment sent me into a tailspin of emotions. I tucked my chin as I analyzed why I was so willing to take my own life but terrified of someone else taking it.

And looking back, I know why.

I craved control.

Because I had none.

“Listen, I’m yours, and you’re mine. I don’t want to lose you.”

I snapped my head forward, nearly colliding against his forehead. I furrowed my brow and thought of all the evil, maniacal things I could say to him that would unleash his imaginary manacles to me. If I said a certain phrase, I could be free of him forever, but I never had the gall to actually emancipate him from me.

Did it make me a sadist or a masochist?

I hissed against his lips, “Truth be told, I never was yours. You want to know what kept me here this whole time? You want to know?”

He narrowed his eyes and tore his hand away from my skin. His ears seemed to perk at the sudden insinuation that I wanted nothing to do with him since the beginning.

I spat, “My goddamn conscience. Everything else in my body is repelled by you, disgusted and ashamed. My stupid conscience begged for me to stay because I could supposedly help you, because I could save you. But guess what? I don’t have a freaking purpose. I never had a purpose!”

He backhanded me, and my neck audibly snapped to the left. I just lay there, staring up at him incredulously, waiting for another brutal hit.

I hissed, “You never had the balls to kill me.”

He yelled, “Of course I don’t! Of course I can’t kill you, you bitch! You’re all that I have. The only thing I have ever had a real connection with. If you’d die, I would die, too.”

I turned to him and murmured, “Please don’t.”

He froze. “I couldn’t live without you; I hope you’d do the same.”

And with that, I knew what I had to do.

What the hell does later even mean? When he told me it would be over later, or he would be done later, or he would save me later, I thought he was true, but maybe I shouldn’t have. I sat in that closet for over twenty-four hours. And I sat in that hell-hole of a life for eighteen years. No one should fucking live that way. No one should be worried and living a life of paranoia.

But sometimes God isn’t fair.

Just like He isn’t fair when it came to my dad. He shouldn’t have died that way. I shouldn’t have prayed for him to die in the first place. I shouldn’t have asked for it.

I should have accepted the fact that I should have done this sooner. I shouldn’t have said I’d do it later once I had everything in line. Because, later, I would have things organized and fit for my death. But later never really happened.

When I saw that idiot walking down the boardwalk, his eyes glued to me helplessly and desperately, as if he knew what I had been planning all along, I almost crumbled into myself. I considered breaking right there. I subconsciously pulled down my black sleeves over the newly made scars that littered the underside of my arms and my abdomen. Tears stained my cheeks and froze against my skin as the sky began to spit confetti of white. Almost like this all was a huge sendoff. Like God wanted me to do it, too.

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