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Written on my Skin
She had three words on her pale right arm, I love you. It wasn't a tattoo. You can’t have a tattoo before you were even born. No one knew what it was made of. The common theory was it was simply melanin. She didn’t care.
The words were special, the last words her soulmate would ever say to her. She had made him promise to never end a conversation with those words. To this day he hadn’t.
The landline rang, breaking the stillness with a shrill noises. Normally she would have winced, but she had been waiting for this call. Royce was finally calling home. He was out of the country on an assignment.
They chatted about normal things, what color they should paint the bedroom this week, what toaster they wanted.
“See you later," she cheerful said, forgetting its meaning.
“Hey, Susan,” he said. “I love you.”
The connection was lost. For a minute she stared in quiet shock as tears leaked from her eyes. Her hand crushed the phone. She ran out of the house. She didn’t grab a coat, or shoes. She no longer cared. Grief was written in her puffy eyes, her trembling lips. No one dared to stop her. She ran to the airport. The security could not stop her, she was a hurricane. Terrible in her sorrow. She ran to the fastest jet. Somehow she opened the door. Outmatched guards trailing her.
“We leave, now.”
The pilot nodded. There was nothing else he could do. This woman scared him. The hopelessness in her eyes nearly drowned him. They flew, as fast as the jet could go. When they landed in the middle of a desert the woman leaped out of the plane. Her eyes scanned the forsaken sand until she spotted the flash of crimson, of scarlet. She dashed across the sand that burned her feet. She hardly noticed.
Her legs collapsed beside the body. She picked up a limp hand. It had been hours now. She knew, knew, that too much time had passed. She did not howl her grief to the world. She sat silent, a broken mockery of a human.
The sand loomed up in the distance. The plane had to leave, otherwise they would all die. The pilot tried to force the woman back inside. She shook off the hand on her shoulder. With many agonizing backward glances he trudged across the swirling sand and took off.
To this day he wonders if he made the right choice.
The sand swept past the two bodies. One alive, one dead. It was haze and darkness and confusion. Just like her heart.
The words on his arm were see you later.