The roads and streets are deserted. There is no one around. I pause briefly, breath flowing back into my lungs and freeing my chest from the tight hold of pain. I can see my reflection in a puddle of water.
I look dog-like. Boring. Not beautiful or ugly or anything you wanted me to be.
I want to change. I want to change my face, my skin, my voice with just one thought. I want to see if I change my eyes, whether that will affect my vision or my memories. My mind already flickers back to that darkened room and to the countless moments spent with you. I want to eradicate them.
I can change, but so can you. Your change isn't in the body - your beauty remains constant - but in your mind. You can change your desires. Your personality mutates and evolves at lightning speeds: one point laughing and happy and in love, another cold and unforgiving and obsessed by your own image.
You change so callously and so quickly that I don't have a chance to keep up.
I do now. And I am running.
The air has left my body and I am floating, uncontrollably and undeniably floating. I have passed the roofs of the house, passed the clouds, through layers and layers of atmosphere until I reach the dark of the galaxies. I feel so light without you holding me down, without your hands tight around my throat.
Now, of course, your hands are elsewhere. Your cold, coarse touch is driving someone else to breaking point.
I am watching you now, and I canít look away. A dreadful, traitorous part of me is stunned - as always - by your empowering beauty. By you.
I can see his hands trailing over your body. I hear your quiet shudder as his lips are mere inches away from yours. I hope that small sound is some sign of guilt, that you are recognising the fact you are ruining what we had between us.
Your dress has fallen, exposing your white skin, your shield. His fingers trail warmly across your collarbone, down your shaking throat. Your hands are clawing at his back, ripping at his shirt. You have this animalistic need to be the one in control. The one who is superior.
Your eyes meet mine in the darkness. I search them, looking for regret or repentance or anything. I canít find it. You are as coldly beautiful and indifferent as before. I see a flicker of excitement, and you look more like the devil - like a mixture of the monster inherited from your father and the noxious blood from your mother.
You smile. A single drop of red falls from your lips, but it is smudged and smeared by his ravenous mouth.
You have this ability to make me think that this was my fault. With one look - which I would have treasured before - you can make guilt and confusion course through my veins as if I was the one with anotherís mouth on mine, with anotherís hands on my skin.
He pushes your dress down your arms, and he kisses the vast expanse of purest white between your neck and your shoulder. Mumbled words like Ďloveí and Ďyouí are thrown around callously, bouncing around the room, off the walls, off his lips.
Your smile fades. You are staring at me now, suddenly very still. You are now longer writhing with lust or power or anger, but simply standing as he attacks you with his lips.
I can see you, truly and really, for the first time since we met, since we started this war in which you are clearly the victor and I am merely the object of your pent up frustration, something to destroy. A target. Your insatiable appetite for my destruction has driven you all this time, kept you going until this point. Itís ironic how the child born at the end of an old war gave birth to a new one.
You open your mouth. Your lipstick is now covering your chin and your cheeks, and it looks like you have been feasting on something.
I hope, for a moment, that you are going to tell him to stop. I hope, for a moment, that you are going to tell me how much you need me.
You continue to stare at me. You don't blink, and the lights of your eyes are shining out of the darkness. They are heavily lidded with desire, whether for him or for me I don't know, as you just look at me. Of course it's because of him. It took this to finally tell me that you don't think of me like that, that I can't do those things to you.
We still stare at each other, your infidelity fluttering around the room. I want to capture it, harness it and use it against you: another weapon in my arsenal against your beauty and your charm.
ďI love you too,Ē you say. Your eyes still donít leave mine, and I find I canít look away.
I am floating so high that I touch the sun and burn.
I fall. I am a bloody, broken mess. Now, of course, there is no one there to catch me, or to tend to my wounds.
Stumbling out of that dark room and back into the light of the party, it takes a while for breath to come flooding back to me. There are people everywhere, but I cannot hear them. I cannot hear anything: just the thumping of my own heart and the rushing of my blood and the sound of your betrayal.
I grab an entire bottle of champagne from a waiter. I hear someone calling my name, but I ignore them. I want to be alone. I try to find somewhere dark, somewhere warm, where I feel at home. There is still someone following, their footsteps fast and loud on the stone floor. I don't turn around. I don't look.
I don't look because I know it is you. I can't look at you now.
"Please," you say. The pleading quality in your voice surprises me and it takes me a while to remember that I now loathe you.
"Just look at me."
I want to. I really, really want to. You know you have that effect on me. You revel in the power you have over me.
You take a huge breath, and I hear it shudder around the room. We - and the word seems so repulsive now - are standing alone in this great, cavernous hall that only just seems to fit you in it. Every move has an echo. Someone calling back to us.
"I love him." That echoes around my head a thousand times.
"He's different. He'll do anything for me," you continue.
Of course he would. I would. Anybody would.
"Do you love me?"
"You said you did."
"I was wrong."
I still can't look at you. I can almost hear your wry grimace, your sad, patronizing smile. I have grown to hate those lips, red or no red.
"If you loved me, you'd understand."
Your voice is suddenly loud, and I can feel your breath on the bare skin of my neck. You are right behind me. Closing in.
"You'd understand that I need to be with someone I truly love and adore."
You should live a life with yourself, gazing at your reflection in a heap of shattered glass. You place your hands on my shoulders and I stop floating. I am pulled out of orbit and brought back to your side with a single touch. Your fingers curve around my throat, stroking the delicate skin.