It’s funny the way love sometimes works. When I started loving you, I didn’t know you. In fact, I suppose the majority of the population would say that what I felt for you wasn’t love, but what do they know?
I saw you for the first time at central library, discussing the logistics of fantasy magic with a brunette and another dark-haired girl. I suppose that here, I should say that your beauty startled me with its intensity…but it didn’t. No; it was your zeal that enchanted me. I walked back and forth along the computers, trying to overhear your conversation without seeming creepy. I already knew, without having ever seen more than the back of your head that if I didn’t make a good first impression, you would hate me and ignore me from that moment on. So I kept myself hidden, inconspicuous; I tried to gather hints about your character from your poignantly loud conversation. At one point, you quieted. I didn’t know if it was from boredom or from a deeper, quieter cause. The brunette began extrapolating on the beauty of the floating mountains to the other girl, asking her opinion on the story behind the picture on the computer screen, initiating a loud debate. You remained silent. Hush, I wanted to tell those girls. Look beside you! Can’t you see something is wrong? Ask her why she doesn’t speak!
Her…who were you? I still didn’t know your name. I became aware, as the conversation progressed to plans for the summer, how rarely we call each other by name. Why was it so much easier to say greet a friend with a hug or a wave than it is to shout across the tide of humanity? Why do we say “hey” instead of “hey Brandon”, “hey Ravdeep”, “hey Tamara”? Doesn’t it imply a desire for anonymity? A yearning for uncomplicated invisibility?
I remained invisible to you that day, thinking that I would simply hang around you to hear you name, after which I could search you up on facebook using the library computers; I had no way to do so at home.
Eventually, I heard your name- Marigold. No last name. But then again, last names imply history. They are passed down through the generations of your family, stained with the blood of decomposing forefathers, with details that are never remembered in the grand scheme of things. And to me, you always existed in the present. You were a moment, frozen like a snowflake on the jagged icicle that was my life. The only thing that seemed…
But no, first impressions count with you and, as this will be my only impression, I can’t mess it up with fluffy metaphors, regardless of their accuracy. I know how romantic drivel upsets you.
I followed you home, sat opposite you on the bus. I hid my interest in my phone’s black screen, but I watched as you leaned your head back against the hard window, eyes shut.
Why did you not listen to music, like other girls your age? Why didn’t you text or…look like other girls your age?
Your face was so serious, suddenly so much older with the flickering shadows creating hollows under your eyes. There was more to you than met the eye, I was sure of it. But what?
I knew I shouldn’t, but I followed you home. I watched you fumble for the keys inside your purse, then open the door into your darkened house. I watched the lights turn on, your silhouette clear through the window. And then I walked home.
No one had noticed that I was gone; my mother lay passed out on the grimy couch, bones protruding like knives from beneath her skin; my father too busy sprinkling white power over the naked breasts of his newest giggling crack addict/girlfriend to notice the door click open.
“Hi guys,” I mumbled.
For the first time in years, my dad looked up at my greeting.
“Hello Justin,” he growled in his deep baritone. I paused on my way up the stairs, looking back at the tableau. My dad held the woman’s legs up over her shoulders; I saw the slick pink folds of her pussy. My dad absent-mindedly ran a jagged nail over her outer labia.
“You’re what? Sixteen, seventeen now?”
“Eighteen,” I mumbled. He pushed his finger into her, then quickly drew it out. As she panted, he licked the viscous liquid off the wet digit.
“Well,” he smacked his lips together. “Have you ever had a woman?”
His gaze slipped to below my belt. He smiled.
“I can see you haven’t…Well son, care to share this one with me?”
I shook my head.
“Are you sure? She’s really, very bendy- probably would enjoy it too, wouldn’t you sugar?”
“Give you what, honey?”
He stroked his finger over her glistening folds.
He pushed his finger deeper in.
His face changed before my eyes. Narrowing and scrunching into a dark-eyes monster. He grabbed the bag of white power, shook it in front of her face. I saw her eyes widen. And then she screamed.
Blood as wet as her vagina had been dripped onto the hardwood floor. My dad spit a small pink piece of flesh beside the convulsing, wailing woman.
“It’s so hard to get a good fuck these days,” he flashed bloodstained teeth at me.
“But this one really wasn’t so bad…” I whispered, my eyes still on the pink nubbin beside her red face.
He looked at the flesh in front of him considering, head cocked to one side.
“You’re right,” he said. He started fumbling with the fastening on his jeans. I headed upstairs.
Every day, I went to your house. I watched you come and go. Your hair was a wonderful mystery to me- wildly curly some days, flatter other days. Sometimes, it was even flat on one side and curly on the other, a Cruela DeVille type of style. Or at least that’s how it seemed to me. Black and white; curly and flat.
One day, I saw you wearing a full, flouncy, tiny skirt. When you bent over to pick up the keys that you’d dropped, I could see clear to your underwear, starkly pink against your skin. Pink like that nubbin of flesh…Would your labia be as pink as hers were? Did all girls look like that with their panties off? If I put my finger on your labia, would you grow slick and wet too?
A splotch of colour against a hardwood floor…Paler than her screaming face…
A spear of pleasure shocked me out of my reverie. I bit down on my lip, hard enough that hot blood soon burbled down my chin. Pleasure and pain. But the pleasure didn’t go away.
Another day, purely by accident, I found you again at the library. You were hugging the same brunette from last time, bidding her goodbye I think. I know that from then till now, I haven’t seen the brunette again so that’s fairly safe to assume. Once she was gone, you turned to a tall red-headed boy and an Indian girl, and then headed back into the library. In doing so, you turned your back on me.
I don’t know why, but it hurt. That rejection I mean. I knew you didn’t know me, didn’t even see me. In all likelihood, you would hate me even if you did see me. After all, the only people biologically programmed to love me, couldn’t; so why should you, a stranger?
Only you didn’t feel like a stranger. I knew you.
Once, I‘d sat down next to you on the bus. You gave me a sideways glance, but otherwise, hadn’t acknowledged me. Why should you?
But I tingled. Every time the bus stopped, I’d use the momentum to accidentally brush up against you, just the softest touch. I don’t think you even noticed. But I blushed. Heat shot through me as you shifted on the seat and your skirt crinkled up a little.
When I saw your scars, I knew I should stop this…But a bulge grew against my pants. Pressure thudded against my dick, almost like being suffocated. I froze, swept a glance around and balanced a fat book on my lap to cover the erection now tenting my pants.
I took deep breaths, hoping to make my penis deflate a little. You had scars. You’d cut yourself. Whether it was from unbearable psychological/emotional pain or masochism, I didn’t know. But I pictured you with the razor- no, the knife. You were fourteen years old and squeezing your eyes close shut as you prepared to punish yourself. You pushed the kitchen knife- a clean blade, not serrated- against your flesh, not really aiming. Then you took a deep breath and sliced into your thigh. A gush of blood, vividly crimson, a hot flame against your leg. You relaxed, took a couple deep breaths. Tears started to dribble over your cheeks. And then you bent forward and cry. Deep, agonized sobs that tore my heart out.
But no, I reminded myself. I’d never seen you cut yourself. And I truly had no idea what was inside your heart.
But I wanted to know.
And I wanted to knife- but this time, I would feel your blood dribble cleanly over my own hands instead of your leg. Maybe your blood could clean me. Innocent blood. Maybe then I would forget.
The woman’s pussy was still wet as the pink marble bounced to a stop by her ear.
I decided to make a move. That night- the night of August 1st– I climbed up to your window. It was dimly lit blue from your laptop screen, although it was half past midnight. Your eyes were crinkled with humour, and I hoped you would see this as a romantic gesture instead of a creepy-ass thing to do. In my back pocket, I hid a knife- in case you wanted to have sex. I didn’t particularly want to bite off your clitoris- I thought that maybe it would be better to just cut it off. After all, red teeth were kind of disgusting; I knew from first experience.
It was my mother who’d done it, once I’d turned thirteen. She’d crept into my room in the dead of night and tied me to my bed. Immediately I’d come awake, heart punching my ribcage.
“Mom, please….please…” I’d whispered. I’d had no idea what would come next, but I already knew I wasn’t going to like it.
She turned to turn on my lamp and the light fell on her eyes, pupils huge and black, blind.
“Shhhhhhhh…” she murmured.
She bit me seven times of the neck, so deep and messy that I’d had to get fourteen stitches at the hospital, after taking the bus there.
But the memory of pain fades. Sure, you can describe it- red hot, burning, excruciating, awful, agonizing…The list goes on. But ultimately, after the pain passes, once you think back, you remember unpleasantness, but your neck doesn’t start hurting again.
What doesn’t fade is pictures. When I close my eyes, I’ll always see the image of my mother’s lips stained and dripping with glistening crimson blood as clearly as I’d seen them then. And her smile; a smug little smirk baring the edge of pinked incisors.
I lost my balance and fell from your window.
When I came to the next day, a headache was blistering my skull; however, my head was clearer.
I finally understood that I loved you. You were the only clean, perfect thing in my world of vampires and demons; how could I not love you?
It’s funny the way love sometimes works. We always complain that the movies and books work in clichés; we ask ourselves why the boy always leaves the girl if he loves her, and vice versa. Why not just declare your love? Why not stay and try to work it out? Why not, if you love her?
But we forget; clichés are that way for a reason. If it didn’t happen so often in real life, it would be a novelty in pop culture. And for once, I understand why he has to leave.
I love you, Marigold.
That’s one “why not” out of the way, at least.
A small smile lifts up a corner of your mouth, I know.
But I can’t live with you, because I would hurt you; however, I can’t live without you.
I know I should tell you that I love you because I want to; but why the hell would I want to love you?
After all, because of you, I have to die.