The sky is red. Midnight is not always so crimson and ominous. The mid of a night that I am in a thick, thick dress especially. I think. Tonight is my first night in a dress of such milieu.
Across the room, I meet your brown, brown, brown eyes. Under this spectating light they are like pools of dew. I try and tear my eyes away from the window, but the grass is so cool and inviting. I know just from seeing it that it is brisk and sweet, like an orchid, like a meadow. I would probably, if any other night, take off my shoes, shoes, shoes, I would probably step into that grass, leap right through this window, except, there’s you, you, you, and the sky is so red, and red is a little bit frightening.
I chuckle to myself because I imagine something humorous and that is when you arrive, seeing the curled arc of my nose as it lifts, the furrow of my brows. “What’s funny?” You ask, your honey coloured gaze boring into mine. Then you tilt your drink as you look to the window, intrigued yourself by the red, red sky.
Behind us, prom persists. In its meander attempt to be something conniving, something gathering, despite the way we scatter and gravitate away from each other like positively charged atoms. I bring a hand to the windowsill because I might faint, I might faint, I might faint from the way you look at me . “It’s like the world is ending,” you murmur.
“Precisely,” I say. “You’ve taken the words straight from my head. It’s like the world is ending.” I look back out at this vermillion sky, the dusty orange clouds. “Where is the night. Where are the stars?”
“The sky is falling,” you chuckle to yourself.
I laugh. “Yes. Imagine as though the sky did. This dark red colour for our weeds. How peculiar.”
“You’re quite peculiar. I think you’d fit right into a world like that.”
“Well,” I say, bringing my drink to my lips. “I might have to, soon.”
We smile at each other over the rim of our drinks, our eyes, eyes, eyes clashing like sparring partners in this mingling, smoothed tension between us.
“You know what I heard,” you say, as the lights begin to dim in the musty interior of our school gym, and the music rises in volume, and partners join hands and slink into the centre of our excuse of a dance floor. “I heard someone’s got a axe to grind at this thing.”
I lean in, intrigued both by your story and your whimsical little twinkling eyes. “Oh?” I ask. “Who?” My gaze slides to the dance floor, a boy with a little flickering moustache over his upper lip more feminine than you’d think, clutching the hand of a girl with a little sleek hairdo tucked by her ears. Behind them, into the corner, another man with his arms folded, watching ominously.
“I don’t know,” you say. Then you lean closer and my throat tightens. There is something about you, about you and your wicked. The way you make my heart stop, the way it shivers and thuds, unable to palpitate, and slides down my ribcage like a man with a gunshot in his head sliding down an alley wall. “I guess we’ll find out.” You run a tongue over your teeth and I’ve forgotten entirely what we were talking about. I could crash us together right now, crash us crash crash us, but something tells me to stop, to wait. It will be better.
“Would you like to dance?” I ask, eyes still frozen on your teeth.
“I would love to dance, Jamie.”
There is not enough enough enough of you.
You could hold me tighter if you wanted, but I don’t think you care. And our dresses are squeezing the life the life the life out of us, and I am waiting for your breath to meet mine. And it’s you, you, you, and only a single time do I have to beg for another taste of grace, because you, you, you, know exactly what I need. I love you. A hazy light is between us like the moon, like it came bouncing sent straight from the sun. I love, love, love you.
There is an alarm. It almost, almost, almost breaks us apart. I keep my arms wound around your neck, you keep yours pressed to my back. You smell like grass, like an orchid, like that stinging smell I imagined the dew in a field to have. “Students,” the chaperone raises his hands and almost, almost, almost comes between us. My eyes stumble down to yours as you look to him, listening, awaiting instruction.
“Students,” he says again. “We’ve just been informed that there is a weapon in this room. Please walk outside in a single file line.”
I can’t take my arms off you. They are tangled and you are the knot keeping them together. “Come on,” you murmur right into my ear.
We are pressed against each other and we walk down the gymnasium and right past the window and then we are directly beneath her, the red, red, red sky.
The gym doors close and we come out to the fields, the students stand around in the evening light and take pictures of the sun and its strange colour, grass swaying by their ankles. I look back at you, fish for your hand in this sea of air between us. “What do you think?” I ask. “Is it today, the world’s ending?”
“That boy in the back,” I tell you, eyes widening slightly. “Do you think it was him with that vendetta?” I sigh, rubbing my bare arms in this chilling air. You sidle closer to me and I am grateful, so grateful for everything suddenly. “I don’t understand it. How people are so vicious that they want to--” I can’t speak anymore. There is blinding pain in my spine, in my head.
I look at you. You and your wicked, you and your wicked. The cock of your brows and the smirk in your lips. I thought you were so capable, capable, capable, of what I didn’t know. “You,” I mumble. Around us, students gasp in fear, screaming, as I slip to my knees.
My dress settles like a blooming flower, pooling around me. Blood pours from my waist and bleeds into the grass, staining it effectively. “You.”
“Shouldn’t have beat me in that chemistry test, Jamie.” You are not even a little bit ashamed of what you’ve done.
Students cry, the chaperones scream, and then I am on a million screens. Except when they are ushered away and I get a little bit of peace. I watch them force you into the back of a blearing car and you think I’ve died. I see the way your face crumples with, maybe, maybe, maybe, regret?
Before before before I fell into your capable capable capable hands I thought the world was ending. And now I lie in sweet sweet grass and know that I was right.