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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. 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 in my jacket as he reached in his jacket. 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, oh so wrong, yet so right. 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 white 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 I had to finish the job. 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, making me back 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 accidentally tasted a metallic fountain. Then I saw one pesky 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.
Victory; I knew I wouldn’t give in first.
He laughed, too. We walked hand in hand. Here we go again…