I looked out across the room. I saw him in the reflection of the mirror as he reappeared next to me. His presence was cold, bare. I whispered; He stared; I spoke.
“Please, just hold me. Just hold me and tell me you care. Hold me when the stars come out, and hold me when the sun wakes. Hold me in your arms. Shelter me from the pain. Hide me from the evil doings of those who passed. Please, just keep me safe. I don’t want to lose you. My craving for your love grows with every kiss. I need to be held. Please, just hold me.”
“I wish you knew how much it kills me to leave. I wish I could hold you when the stars come out and hold you when the sun wakes. I want to hold you in my arms and shelter you from the pain and evil doings. I want to keep you safe. The safest way to keep you is far away from me. The bruises and scars that glaze your body are the wrongdoings of the one you crave the most. The bullet holes and broken bones that tear you from within. The ways I’ve hurt you are punishable by death. The times I’ve told you that I love the way you bleed. The days I’ve come home to find you dreading the moment I walk through that door. The number of times I just wanted you to suffer. All of it. Punish me. Let me go. I wish you knew how much it kills me to leave.”
“Stay. Don't go. Don't leave me here after all of the boulders I raised from my back to keep you. All of the times you said you wanted me, and all of the times I gave myself up for you. The way you plow through me. I felt nothing, but you felt everything. The movements, the moans, the pain, the pleasure. Jack, please don't let me lose you. Stay.”
“I don't want you to suffer anymore. I don't want you to fight for me. All of those times that you let me love you, all of those times that you gave yourself up for me. All of the movements, the moans, the pain, the pleasure. You fed off of the scars and bruises that I placed upon you. You fed off of the sight of me being happy, even if it cost your life. The open wounds and broken bones didn’t phase you. But the thought of losing me ripped you apart. All I do is kill you; slowly. I want you to feel no more of my arrows and blades. I don't want you to suffer anymore.”
The agony in my eyes spread to my hands, my feet. I feel sore. My open wounds and broken bones begin to ache. I hold his lifeless hands in mine. Panic struck through my veins. I flinched. I pulled away from his icy fingers. My teeth clenched and my head began to spin. The world seemed dark now. Everything I had ever known was blurry and a faint perception of a fake happiness in the back of my mind. The words he spoke meant nothing to me. I could only make out a few sounds from his speech.
“Please… I never meant to hurt you… It’s for the better… I want you to live… freely… safely… don't worry… I’m doing this for you… for us... please.”
I shook my head, then nodded in agreement.
“Get away from me. Go, now. Please, leave. Never come back. I don't want to see the pain you bring and remember the horrible things that I put myself through to stay with something hopeless. The idea of us sickens me. I can’t bear to think about all of the ways you tried to ruin me. The ways you tried to break my back for your comfort. I don't want you to see me anymore. I don't want you to come and visit me. I want you out of my life. I can't look you in the eyes and tell you I love you because I would be lying to myself. I never loved you. I loved the idea of what we could have become. If only you would listen. Get away from me.”
I hated the way he looked at me in disgust. The ugly look in his eyes when he spoke. The appalling sight of his clenched fists and furious stance.
“Now you want me gone? After all of the blood I marked you with? After all of the times that we had and all of the memories we made? Now you want me gone?”
“Memories? You mean the memories of all of the pain you layered upon my back. You mean the memories of all of the times you’ve bruised me and made me think that that was okay. Memories?
“What about all of the times that I made love to you? All of the times that you told me you love the way my tongue glazes your body? What about the moans and the screams that parted from your lips? What about all of the times I made love to you?”
“The screams were of pain, not of pleasure. I need you to know not of the way my body tastes any longer. You were my Romeo. A Montague to bear my love against all opposing directions. I, Juliet. The Capulet of which may you not touch. Be gone Romeo. I am no longer in need of your hurtful swords and axes. You tore apart me from within. Your touch weakens me, your glance bullies me. The feeling of happiness was for me to wrongly perceive. Making love requires passion, not a phallus and it’s home. The moans were a sign of the lack of sentimental feeling you left within me. The screams were of pain, not of pleasure.”
“I leave you now. I leave you with the thought of never returning. I gave you the image of a perfect ending that never ends. But what for? For you to kick me out? Fear me not. I will find another Juliet. I will find one better and nothing alike, but of the same. You never thought it was this easy. To leave me after you fell in love with someone you cannot come in contact with. You think I am a figure of your reality, but you know I am just one of your fake perceptions. I plan to leave you and give you the freedom you’ve craved for years. I leave you now.”
His cold expression now burns with rage and superiority. My sight began to fade. I haven’t felt the pain of happiness so deeply before. His eyes are like knives, tracing my body with a piercing familiarity. I close my eyes and listen, carefully, for his last breath and like a gust of wind, he’s gone. The room slowly brightens and my vision becomes clear. I knew he was gone, but only for a moment would it remain this way. For I knew he would be back, and with a whole new love to give. So I sit, paranoid, waiting for his return. I knew I was alone, but I could feel a pair of eyes resting upon my face. I pretend not to, but I scan the room, looking for the scrutinizing duo that is keeping me company.
I looked around and there it was. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. The now empty bottle of pills my psychiatrist had given me a week prior. I picked it up and read it carefully. The bottle read, “Caution: For patients with schizophrenia disorder ONLY…”
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Anna, I have trouble wading through purple prose like this. But I understood that was partially your point. Determining who was speaking was also confusing at times. But it dawned on me that it wasn't 'he/she' so much as an internal dialogue. A fascinating exploration of terminal co-dependency.
Great story! I liked the dynamic between her and her imagination.
Wow!! Amazing writing, and what an ending!