Page 19

just lust. A schoolgirl crush. He wouldn’t have ever wanted me, anyway, the way the other girls fawned over his good looks and his family’s money. Now, we sat in his kitchen. Always his kitchen. Bare except the small table and the two chairs we sat in. I touched his face and he looked away, but pushed his cheek into my palm. His shoulders sagged under a blue chambray shirt. He sighed, and one corner of his mouth twitched. He only let me do it because even a man who has lost his heart needs a warm touch every now and then. But I did it because I had to. If I couldn’t take him by the shoulders and shake him until he came out of this trance state— If I couldn’t scream into his face that I loved him and all I wanted from life was to know that he loved me— If I couldn’t have that, I had to settle for comforting him.

Love grew, a cancer in my belly. Mutating, taking over. Love like chemotherapy. Kill the cancer. Weaken the host.

Every time I touched him I had to force a smile through the downward push of forty-two muscles trying to frown. He looked back to me. When those eyes met mine, all the breath went out of me. My ribs closed tight around my lungs, crushing them. Threatening to suffocate me in my own emotion. Sometimes, he let me kiss him. He leaned against the counter and I sat at that kitchen table, tapping my foot against the light blue tile floor. I went to him. I put my arms around him and rested my head on his shoulder. He put his hands on my back, fingers splayed, and held me close. For a moment, our lips touched. It should have been perfect, but he was crying. 19

Profile for Alliterati

Alliterati Issue 8  

Featuring the best fresh talent in art and literature around the world. Check us out on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/alliterati) and...

Alliterati Issue 8  

Featuring the best fresh talent in art and literature around the world. Check us out on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/alliterati) and...

Advertisement