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We’ve had fights, arguments, falling outs, sure, but nothing like this. The square is humid and dry, dusty and dim. It’s dead man walking time in early October. I smell the grisly yet beautiful death of the leaves. I crunch their bones with my boots. Something is off set and eerie, but I ignore it. I ignore my intuitions and meet my enemy on neutral turf. When he approaches he is solemn, but at the same time so.very.sly. He has insulted my honor, now he must pay.
These are the times when I become aware of my body. I feel every tendon tense in agonizing pain, pressure on my skull and my heart and I become two separate beings. It knocks, my heart does, faster than a machine gun, rampant and explosive. My long, twisted fingernails puncture my arm turning the skin an unspeakable, chalk white. I yelp, but at least it is something to ease the pressures whirling about in my mind. Oh, the memories.
The street lamps glow orange now. Last giggle of a young couple fades away down the broken path. A symphony of bass, broom thistles and car horns all become a memory. Now it’s just him and I. No witnesses. A draw.
When a smile leaked messily down his lips of perfection I thought about giving in. It wouldn’t be so bad. And his face was so perfect. How can something that perfect hold a horrid grin like that? It was like a nun holding a 22 Magnum, just not right. But I straightened up my back, grimaced then shot a sneer that spread faster than wet, dark blood across my mouth. If I practiced this smirk a thousand times in the mirror it couldn’t have been any more perfect.
It was time. I reached into my jacket as he reached into his. I felt the hot chrome burning my hands. "Bad idea," I told myself, but I’ve never been one to listen. It seared my thin skin and felt wrong. So VERY wrong. I could tell he was hesitating, also, but neither of us was backing down. Not this far in the game.
The chrome was so enticing and alluring; that didn’t help. Ah, so sleek, how could I resist?
His wiry fingers were apparition ashen as he held his fate so tightly in his ghastly, little hands. It was life or death for him and I had the advantage.
So I drew my weapon closer to my heart, slid three steps backward, then tilted my quivering chin up and boldly sauntered towards him. I thought I might throw my heart up any minute as it sneaked up my throat, but you could not tell. I felt like Joan of Arc valiantly approaching the stake. Casting my hands to the side I let everything go and began to run towards him. Fast, faster, racing speeds.
The memories kept hitting me, stabbing my temples again and again, knocking me down. I ripped my torso towards the sidewalk, crying hysterically. The memories, they flooded in, drowning me. I dragged my sweaty hands hard down my face then held them taut against my cranium. Pressure. Collecting myself, I sprung back up, smeared the onyx black mascara down my cheeks and dug the makeup remains from my eye pockets. I wondered if I looked like the Joker to him.
Then I just stopped.
My wet fingers slid down the weapon so carefully. His gaze met mine and I knew I had my victim trapped in a corner. It was only a matter of time. I gashed my lips with my teeth and a metallic sensation overwhelmed my mouth. Then I saw a finger slide out of the corner of my eye.
I had won.
For it was too late for my victim.
He had already pressed send.
I reached for my weapon, a chrome cell phone and checked the text from him. “Can we get back 2gether? I miss u. <3”
I danced around the fallen soldier, twisted my scarf around his neck and laughed.
The thrill of victory embraced me. I knew I would not be the first to give in.
He laughed, too. We walked hand in hand. Here we go again…