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The Aftermath

We sat on a park bench in the middle of a little park, far away from our apartments or our workplaces, far away from anything too close, too real. Snow drifted around us on light winds, in slow motion, dazzling our eyes like miniature, cold stars. They lighted on my fingertips, tiny little flakes too small to survive on the ground, warmed oh so subtly by the magma flowing, hot and angry and dangerous, deep below the crust of the earth. It seemed odd to me how such a subtle difference in something so small, something that comes straight from the integral portion of something’s being, could have such catastrophic consequences. These flakes would be safe with me though; their hushed chill matched my own. The magma flowing sluggish beneath my flesh would not harm them, not anymore.

You looked up at me, finally. You’d been silent for a while now, and all I’d been given to know you were alive were the rough and ragged breaths you tried and failed to control. You didn't look into my eyes as you stared, or even really my face. The bright blues of your eyes, lined with rain that threatened to spill over your pale lashes, they skated over my face and to my hair. You watched the wind run its fingers through it, the short tips, peeking out from my wool hat, ends that barely glanced my ears. You watched me shiver, used to a thick curtain of locks to shield my neck and jaw and ears from the onslaught of winter’s kisses.
You settled your hand on my jaw and let your fingers drift along the pale flesh that coated my bone. Sometimes I wished you could reach straight through my skin and stroke the bone that lay underneath, to give me justification for how deep your touch rippled through me. You let your fingers move for a few moments longer as you stared at my jugular, exposed by the sagging of my scarf. You watched its slow pulse, hot and heavy and reassuring, and I felt myself flush under your gaze. I wanted to grab you, run my fingers through your hair and gasp as you suckled at my neck. I wanted to stroke your skin, feel your muscle flex under my touch, shiver under yours. I wanted to moan and kiss and sigh, but I couldn't.
I was too tired, my body worn out after struggling under the weight of its own existence. I wanted to eat you alive, taste your sparky words and your salty desire on my tongue, but I was nauseous, my appetite failing under poison rays. My body was sick of itself, and I was sick as the doctors fought to keep me inside. I was sick as you looked into my eyes finally, and pulled your hat down, trying to hide the tears that slipped from yours, your cup running over, your tide turning high. I settled my hand on your neck, feeling your fire pump beneath your skin, knowing your fear as you swallowed and cried. I pulled you close to me as you gave in, your sobs wracking my body, shaking the cage surrounding my heart. I wept as you did and swore I would never love another, whether I survived or not, as our tears fell down our cheeks and onto each other, reflecting in the pool of our bittersweet promise.



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