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Wisps of smoke danced into the wintry air from my lips, creating ornate designs that could never be replicated. I carefully tilted the corners of my lips into a smile that I meant to be wry. Of course, it's difficult to articulate emotions that I can't feel, but I find that irony is relatively simple to demonstrate. I inhaled the toxic vapors of the cigarette casually. Its sinister, black cancer couldn't cripple a seventeen-year-old boy with no lungs, let alone a heart.
I glanced in the direction of the horizon, and flinched. The sun was dying flamboyantly, casting its radiant colors across the sky. Its last waves of light caressed my cold, pale skin. I wanted to snarl rebelliously as I felt its warmth slide against me deviously.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”
My muscles went rigid, and I had to focus madly on controlling my shaking hands. I would know that voice, that beautiful, disastrous voice, in the realms beyond that of Earth. I grated my teeth, reeling in the disturbing sensations that she unknowingly always aroused in me.
I cocked my body towards her arrogantly, and lifted my mouth into a crooked crescent moon. I felt my eyes flashing, but I worked vehemently to fixate an arctic, hard tone into the dark of my indigo irises.
“I find the sunset lifeless and meaningless, actually,” I countered flatly, and a beat too late.
She laughed merrily, and I struggled within myself as my mind and body became entranced by the beautiful movement of her laughter as the colors of the sun played about her.
“You amuse me, Darian. How can you have such a pessimistic view of the world? The sun will not be lifeless until it disappears beneath the horizon, and the night falls. It’ll rise tomorrow, though,” she said.
I dared not think of her name. I hated the way my soul-if I had a soul-thrilled when her voice lingered over my name. It reminded me of music. I had to close my mind defiantly as I thought of music. I wanted nothing that resembled passion.
“That’s an inane notion that foolish women entertain. You want poetry, and ridiculous vows of forever. You aren’t difficult to read. If you want that sunset to mean something, then you want unrequited love. It doesn’t work like that,” I growled unmercifully, angry at her for unleashing the flood of feelings upon me.
Her lovely green eyes shifted into hard emeralds.
“What do you know about me, Dare? And what’s so wrong with having dreams? And why are you talking to me like that? I was simply commenting on the sunset.” She tossed her red curls, clearly miffed.
I lifted my chin, and blew smoke in her face. It was easier on me when she was angry. I don’t know why she bothered with me. Why she was brave enough to confront me. Why she didn’t follow the laws of the superficial high school we both attended. Why she didn’t stay away from me, like everyone else.
“You’ll die from that smoking, Darian.” She glared at me. We’d had this argument a lot. I lifted my eyebrows, and turned away from her, signaling that the conversation was over.
She didn’t obey, and I sighed.
“You know, Dare, you could let yourself feel. You could understand it.” Her voice was soft, a whisper in the darkening air. She was air. My air.
I reviled the potency of the emotions I could feel pulsing through me. I ran a hand through my black hair nervously, my body skidding with strange, unfamiliar energy. I didn’t want to answer her. Why didn’t she leave?
I made a fatal mistake when I looked at her. Every nerve inside of me screamed, as though my body and internal organs were recharging hurriedly in the rare moment of my awakening.
I think I felt my heart beat hesitantly.
My voice seemed like that of a stranger. It had a rich, deep tone to it. It had color.
Something in my expression changed the way she was looking at me. It may have mirrored the arrangement of my own features. She became vulnerable in that instant.
“Kiss me.” She whispered brokenly.
Surprise jolted keenly through me. God, I wished I was numb again. Everything felt electric-too intense and too vivid. Emotions scattered across my being, a mutinous invasion of the raging war against myself. I was defenseless and an easy prey to her request. I breathed jaggedly, and there was a husky vibe to it. Want. I recognized it more clearly as it bloomed vibrantly through me.
And she was waiting. For me.
I destroyed the walls I had so warily built as I leaned towards her. She lifted a creamy hand and laid it tenderly against my cheek, the expectation making her bold. I moaned, and closed my eyes. My own hands loosened, and reached for her face greedily
Something hot-burning-ignited against my skin. I wrenched myself away, dazed by the unpleasant sensation. Had a spark traveled through our bodies? That’s when I noticed the cigarette kindling like a faint ember beside my marred hand. It had burnt me. The throbbing pain brought a wave of consciousness through me. Reality. And I stared at her face, inches from mine, and something clicked inside of me. Gears that began humming smoothly, like a tuned clock. I pulled back, and tossed her hand away like it stung. I grimaced as the vitals within me slowly resumed their state of nothingness, and shook my head to clear it of its nonsensical ideas.
She watched the change take possession of me, and tears began to collect in her eyes.
I found that I could care less.
I grinned at her, and mocked, “I taste of cigarettes, Clara.”
She got up shockingly to her feet, and backed away as if understanding for the first time what I was. Tears stained her nondescript face.
I smiled, that careful replication of a smile, and said acidly, “Did I humor your silly fantasies well?”
Her face crumpled entirely, and she pivoted away and ran sobbing from my scathing ridicule.
The sun died, and all was dark.