She had constellations printed on silk, the rain soaked it and I could see her bra through the star formations. I think she wanted me to, she was always creating accidents like this.
“What did you come for?” I asked, no song and dance, no invitations. She was like a vampire in that respect, had to be let in with your mouth.
“Can I come in?”
She shivered, and of course my shoulders dropped and I conceded. “Alright, but only for a second.”
She smiled through wet red hair that looked like drying blood around her neck and face, she sauntered in.
“What do you want?”
“Can’t a girl just stop by her old friend’s place?”
She had a toothy grin, it crowded her face and I used to like the predatory impression it gave off, I hated it now.
“You got sour on me,” she pouted, another thing I hated: her plump lips.
She ran a moist hand up my arm and I thought she’d covered her tracks so good, no one would follow her here. She was hiding out, hiding in the love I used to have for her.
“Why are you here?”
“Because it’s almost daylight and they’re going to find me,” her voice cracked.
“Because they won’t suspect you,” she whispered and pulled me closer to her crystalline eyes.
“I can’t do this with you,” I was suddenly angry. “You need to leave, I’m not cleaning up your mess.”
“I wish you hadn’t said that,” she frowned. “Because you really don’t have a choice.”
She slammed my head against the door and I saw those speckled blinking orbs of space float through my darkening vision.
The room was upside down, it was blurry and dim. My cranium felt like shattered eggshell leaking bits of brain through my scalp. I saw her feet approaching, naked like her legs, and as I moved my eyes up her body, I saw all of her uncovered.
“It’s been awhile since you ran your eyes over me like that,” she cooed and knelt next to my throbbing head. “Look at you, hating every inch of me, but unable to look away.”
I felt her hand at my throat, she softly massaged it, felt the pumping veins protruding from my displaced position.
“I know it’s hard to believe, but I always loved you,” she paused and began pacing across the room. “I know the break up was bad, that you thought I was a monster, I doubt this situation changes your mind much,” she laughed, almost nervously.
“Well I fucked up, and I’m sorry I just left you, I’m also sorry for what’s about to happen.”
She leaned her mouth into mine and kissed me, tasting of copper and honey berry cough drops.
“Remember,” she continued. “When you wake up, now you know, all the stories are true, follow the rules.”
Her face was melancholy, it might have been the first time I saw something akin to genuine remorse or tragedy etched in her eyes. Then she locked her mouth around my vein and I felt the blood run into my vision.
He was bleeding out, she nuzzled her nose into the crook of his neck and licked the wound. That would slow everything down, just enough, she thought. She cut the rope that she’d used to string him up by and his body fell to her arms in a heap. Carefully dragging him through his studio apartment, she finally tucked him away in the dark nook of his shrouded loft bed. The sun would be up soon and there were windows everywhere. That was going to be a problem. She pulled out a pen and notebook from his drawer, removed a sheet of lined paper and scrawled a quick note. Then she descended the ladder and went back into the kitchen where she made a cup of coffee and smoked several cigarettes.
The sun came up as promised and she looked on at the scalding bringer of morn. It chased away the hazy dawn and her skin began to bubble, her eyes burned. She held herself together as long as she could, she wanted every last second in this place where she had felt her heart beat once more. Then there was nothing left, save the smoldering cigarette and it’s ashes now mingled with hers.
My eyes snapped open. I was in my bed, and it seemed dusk had settled in. How long had I slept? The dreams I had, of red and black, of her naked standing on the hard wood, the pain. Dreams. I shook my head, it felt odd, something was off. There was a sharpness to the moment, everything in ultra high def, from the sound of the faucet drip below, to the color of the carpet, to the fibers of the carpet. I looked at the clock, it was almost eleven, the apartment should be dark as pitch, but it seemed only gray. Then I saw it, tucked under the lamp on my bedside table, a white note. I flicked on the light, it blinded me momentarily. I shrank back to the shadows gripping the paper. My name was scrawled on the front in her handwriting, I opened it and began to read:
Your place has too many windows, you will need to find another apartment, probably a basement unit. This is my last ditch attempt to make amends, I hope you appreciate my gift to you, I have no use for it anymore. I truly loved you, no matter how loud my actions might have suggested otherwise. Take care of yourself and remember what I told you about following the rules. We are real, you are real. Don’t get caught in the daylight.
Forever yours, with all my heart,
By Emily Smith-Miller