They keep telling me that if I fall asleep, she’ll wake up in the middle of the night and leave me.
I’ve already noticed how she keeps her shoes and bag strategically by the door so she can run out as fast as possible and leave me here all on my own, which is why I always move them back by the foot of the bed. The table against the far wall is scattered with… things. Rolling papers, lighters, her phone, my wallet. I tap her phone to wake it up; a photo of us, smiling, lights up the screen. I laugh to myself as I remember how she begrudgingly replaced the picture of her favourite band. No notifications. That’s what I like to see. I swipe and enter the passcode anyway and open up messages to see the most recent ones.
Give me ten minutes. Make sure nobody sees you, and cover yourself.
LOOOOL slut. I’m gna tell them where u really are xx
Weariness starts to sting my eyes, so I lock her phone and walk into the bathroom to wash my face; the light is bright and harsh, so I push the door closed slightly so as to not disturb her. The lock is broken from where I kicked it in last week; she was crying and wouldn’t let me in. I run the tap and look up into the mirror, leaning on the counter with both hands.
I study my face. I had everybody after me. I had women dropping everything for me at the click of a finger, I had them whenever and wherever I wanted. Anybody I wanted would be mine, anything I wanted would be mine. I had money, I had looks, I had charm. I have had women fighting over me; I have had them betray their own friends for me. Women wanted me; men wanted me and wanted to be me. I run my finger across the scar on my left cheek; even my brothers were jealous of me. But she didn’t want me. She had no desire to know me, and I didn’t turn her head… so I had to have her. Nobody could say no to me, and I had to know why she was immune to my presence.
But I didn’t think I’d fall in love.
I splash my face with cold water and look up into the mirror again. Now, my eyes are sunken in and my face looks hollow, making my eyes protrude and my cheekbones appear to stick out even further. I look like something out of Tim Burton movie. I’m not the handsome man I was before; I look skeletal and sick. My jaw seems sharper, my lips are peeling, and my skin is almost grey. Maybe it’s because I don’t sleep, maybe it’s because I don’t eat. I’ve always been a small guy, but they used to boast about my strength. My eyes travel down my body and I can count each of my ribs. I am less than half the man I used to be.
But she’s still vibrant and beautiful. I’ve broken her spirit, but she glows the same way she did years ago when I first met her. She is the only light around me, and if that goes out, I have nothing. I have nothing else guiding me through this life, nothing else keeping me here; everything I do is for her. I promised to build a life for her, she just needs to wait for a little while. I don’t know if I can give it to her, but I know I am useless without her. She’s suffering for me, but for as long as she burns, I need her.
I hear her stirring in the room.
She’s getting up to leave, go now, go right now, go, or she’ll leave, GO.
I immediately pull open the door and crank my neck to where her body lays still and limp, with just her chest slowly rising and falling, her silhouette defined against the streetlight outside the window behind her. Exhale. She looks beautiful and so helpless, the sounds of Einaudi enveloping her body. I love her like this, when the fire has died down. When she doesn’t have the energy to do anything but just exist peacefully and safely in my presence.
The clock on the bedside table glows. 03:17am. By the heaviness of her breathing, I know she’s still asleep, so I return to the bathroom sink. I turn the tap off, dry my hands, and walk over to bolt the front door, which I usually do every night, but I had forgotten this time around. The building is secure and my neighbours are great. I bolt it because it’ll take her longer to leave after I hear her fumbling with it.
You stupid fucking idiot, she could have gone. You left it unbolted. You’re pathetic. Next time you do that she’s going to leave and fuck someone else. Then you’re going to have to kill them both.
I walk back to the bed and lay up beside her, careful to not let my cold hands touch her bare skin because I don’t want to wake her. I lay listening to the second hand ticking on the wall clock and the soft sounds of her breathing; I enjoy the little time I have whilst the whispers have stopped. She looks so serene, so peaceful; but the ghost of a frown lingers on her forehead, perhaps etched onto her from the earlier events of the day. Perhaps etched onto her from the events of everyday.
There are no lights in the room, but I can see where her neck darkens around the middle. I look down at my hands and they’re dripping with blood.
I stifle a scream and run back to the bathroom, turning on the light. I peer down at my hands again; nothing.
Fucking idiot. That’s what will happen if you leave the door unbolted again.
My heart is beating off the insides of my skull, the voices are shrieking in my ear and suddenly she’s screaming.
I look down and I’m back in the bedroom, knife in my hand and blood dripping onto the floor.
Now Playing – All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me) – Bullet for my Valentine