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Victory by HarrietHopkirk
Format: Short story
Chapter 5: You were wrong.
I swerve around a corner. It is raining so hard that it drowns my lungs, causing me to cough and splutter and spit. Through the falling water, I hear the strange sound of voices and they cause me to lose balance. I thought I was alone in the dark night.
Slowly, I peer around the edge of the building. There are people; their stench engulfs me, overpowering my senses. A girl... I feel her before she walks into my line of sight. She looks like you, she sounds like you. Her feminine laugh echoes into the empty road. I hear her shoes splashing around in the puddles. I can smell her perfume. I can taste her breath.
I step out from my hiding place, revealing myself. She stares at me, a grin sliding over her lips and uncovering brilliant white teeth.
Her hair is dark, a sweeping shadow across her face. It flows over her shoulders and her warm, pink skin. She is shorter than you, but she still manages to loop her arms around my neck and plant her lips on mine. I can feel her hands on my skin, and they are clammy, sweaty, and uncomfortably warm.
Not cold. Not like you.
I want to turn her into something. She would do, I had reasoned. She would be the example that I set to you. I want to show you that I have moved on, that you mean so little to me that I could have simply brushed you aside as you did to me.
My heart wants to stop. My hand wants to reach into my chest and rip the beating organ through my skin. My foot wants to grind the vicious, traitorous piece of my body into the rain-spattered pavement and so then I would not have to have to feel guilt, or feel love, or feel anything for you and whatever you do to me.
I cannot do it. I cannot do it to you as you did it to me. This girl cannot become him - the one you ensnared in that dark room and then proceeded to tear to pieces - she cannot show you how Iíve moved on, some horrific pretence of normality. Because I havenít.
But I want to. I really want to. I want to so much that I kiss the girl fiercely, so fiercely that I bruise her lips and pull at her hair. I rub her skin raw, but she doesnít complain. She stays with me, and we breath the same oxygen and share the same space.
ďHello,Ē she breathes. It covers my face, clouding my senses.
I return the greeting with another kiss. I probably shouldnít.
I tell her we canít do this anymore, and she understands. She knows about you, of course. She squeezed it out of me before I had any chance to protest or lie or try and tell her how I had never known you.
(And in a way, I hadnít).
She wants to know all about me, know all about my past, my parents, you.
Especially about you.
I donít want to tell her about how much you affect me. I know you know, and that you exploit that. You exploit the fact that I worshipped the very ground you walk on. Not anymore, though. Not after what you did.
She asks me where I am going, and I tell her I am headed home. And in a way, I am.
She departs after a fleeting embrace. No tears, just smiles, parting like old friends who probably shouldnít have ventured into the vague territory of romantic entanglement. The relationship flew by so quickly that I had no time to detach myself from you and fully open myself up to her.
And now I am alone, and searching for you.
I remember the way my fingers trailed over your skin. I remember the way you shivered and shuddered and sighed at my touch. I remember the way you kissed me.
I am running again, now. I am as fast as lightning, and ready to burn you.
I take a sharp right, and then I arrive.
My feet teeter at the edge. My hands press against the fence, stopping me from reaching you. The sea is raging against the cliff and the houses are small, with their lights blazing.
I watch as a man struggles against the wind, his umbrella useless against the thundering rain that rips into my cold, stoic body. I feel like you.
You wanted to do it to yourself. You wanted to throw yourself off that cliff, you wanted to drive that dagger into yourself, you wanted to dive into the water and never come out again. You wanted to return to heaven, to the angels, where you thought you belonged. It was wrong. You were wrong.
You donít belong there. You belong here with me. You were born for me. You said so yourself in your strange, unreal, supercilious way, and I couldnít help but feel a little proud at your words.
I remember that dark room and that other man. You smile. A single drop of blood falls from your lips, but it is smudged and smeared by his ravenous mouth.
In your usual insane, conceited way, you practiced with someone else first. You wanted to see the damage it would do to your beautiful body, whether cracks would form in your faÁade, whether you would return to your ethereal home a destroyed, shattered version of your former self.
You propelled him off the precipice of the cliff, off life. You sent him falling to his death. You, the sun, burnt off his wings so he could not fly, and sent him falling into the darkness. You watched as his bones splintered and you watched as blood trickled from between his lips. You had the temptation to go down yourself, to kiss the stain from his skin, to mix it with your lipstick so your mouth would be an explosion of red. It was then, at that exact moment, when you were looking at the broken, bloody heap before you, that you decided that it wasnít worth it. You never wanted to look like that.
And now you are locked away, hidden from view, in a place so cold and desolate that I think you must feel at home. You think you are safe, but the taste of your guilt and the stench of his rotting flesh draw me towards you.
I donít give second chances, but you knew that already, didn't you? If not, you soon will. I'll see to that...
I suppose I am happy that you threw me aside before you reached that stage, when your immortality and your magnificence became all you could think of. I suppose that he meant nothing to you and I feel better.
The wind is howling now, ripping at my skin and pulling at my hair. I quickly scale the fence, dropping gently down onto the other side. My feet are so close to the edge that I should walk backwards, away from the danger, but I find myself moving forward. I find myself not caring.
I breathe in and out, and jump off into the water and into the depths.