The Perfect Spiral
I looked around the room. It was dark and empty except for the crumpled paper in the corner. The brown walls were stripped and bits of white primer was gleaming were pictures had recently hung in their glory. The reminder of the room’s imperfection mocked me as I stood in the middle, unable to move, unable to breathe. I could fix it, I could make it perfect. I could get rid of the marks and the appearance of perfection would then gape back at me. My hand twitched, my wand raised half an inch but then it fell limply back by my side. Perfection. The word stared back at me as if it was written on the wall. Perfection. Perfect. Perfectum. I squeezed my eyes shut, go away!
I glanced at the window, it was dark and my sharp face stared back at me. Perfect. I looked back to the walls. The white marks laughed. They danced around in merriment. Twitch. I turned to the door and dropped my wand; it clanged against the wooden floor, the mahogany wooden floor that I had waxed a week earlier. The sound echoed in the empty room, bouncing off the walls and the reverberation screeched in my ear. I looked down. I wished that it would dent the floor. I wished the wand would break. I wish something would be destroyed. Perfection? Twitch.
Took a step away from it. Slow. I wanted to grab it. Wanted to fix the chaos. Another step. Twitch, and then another. I shuddered and kept walking. My hand was on the door and I threw it open, it banged against the wall loudly making a dent. I smiled and walked out. Where was the perfection now I wanted to scream, as my feet tripped on the rug. Cashmere rug sewn in India. I kicked it and kept walking my hands grazing the furniture. Desk imported from Italy, lamp from France. Mirror from Greece. All wood. Dark and masculine. Perfect. It had been perfect. Picture. I stopped and stared at it. It was happy; they smiled at me and waved. I watched the girl, her erect posture and her nose turning redder and redder from being in the cold. I watched as he swung his arms back and forth as if he was getting ready to pounce and then he suddenly grabbed the girls arm and spun her around. Her hat fell down in front of her eyes and a brief moment passed when she smiled, really smiled before she went back to standing like a mannequin as he bounced around like a dee
I remembered this day; it was a week before he had told me he loved me. I didn’t want to be outside but he had persuaded me, told me to let my hair down for once. We spent the whole day out there, playing, laughing, and just being with each other. This was taken at the end, when I was so cold I could barely move. My hand reached up and took the picture off the wall. It felt warm in my hands, capturing our immortal perfection.
Smash. I stepped over the broken glass. Twitch. One word, it would only take one word to fix. I walked on. Perfection. Destruction. They were one. The stairs were steep and I wondered if I could walk up them, I wondered if my legs would carry me. I felt weak; I looked back at the broken shards of glass, and stared at the picture that had floated to the ground. Twitch. I stopped, they had stopped moving. Were they screaming at their sudden descent? He was, but who was I kidding? She wasn’t. She peered coolly around as if someone would dare disrupt them. Unchanging. Untouchable. Mistake?
He walked down the stairs then, his suitcase in hand. Leaving. Deserting. Our eyes met, his messy blonde hair curled behind his ears. He was frowning as he got to the bottom of the steps.
“Molly, what are you doing?” He asked, looking at the shards of glass. My beautiful mess. I looked at them too and smiled, tilting my head. Perfect. Broken. “Are you alright Molly?” I looked at him, he looked concerned.
“Perfect!” I said, I smiled in what hoped was a reassuring grin. I twirled around then, my bare feet moving round and round
“Watch out!” He said. Too late. My feet crushed the glass and drops of blood smeared against the floor. “What the hell? What the bloody hell are you doing?” He dropped his bag and grabbed me by the arms. I gazed into his blue eyes.
"Perfect Molly’.” I mocked in a singsong voice, remembering bitterly his words to me. “Am I perfect now Lysander?” I tried to draw him into my dance but he held tight and pulled me away from the glass. Resist. Why should he care if I kept dancing on the glass or if the blood kept trickling out? He didn’t. He didn’t. He didn’t, my mind chanted, my mind? Someone else’s? I looked at his deep frown and the way his eyebrows knitted together. Wasn’t this what he wanted? He was silent while his hands held me still. Firm. I shook him away and tripped backward a few steps.
“Isn’t this what you wanted Lysander?” I cried his name again. “Am I so perfect now?” I continued yelling. “Lysander, tell me, is this what the fuck you wanted me to be?” I had never sworn before. The blood trailed as I stepped toward him, his eyes were widening in horror. Or was it surprise? Despair? Happiness? Did he want me now? Was he seeing my imperfection?
“I think I better go now.” He picked up his bag but didn’t move. We continued staring at each other, silent and watching, the red and the blonde, the dull –and the bright. So different, so opposite, and so perfect. So, so, so. The word echoed in my brain, so, so, bow, toe. I giggled. Some of my hair had come out of its twist and tendrils stuck to my sweaty face. Leaning against the wall I let myself slip to the floor. Slip, slip, slip. I looked at the trail of blood behind me and then to my feet. A piece of glass still stuck in the bottom, I hadn’t felt it. I gawked at it, noticing how it fit into my skin... so perfectly, like a puzzle. Reaching down I plucked it out ignoring the fresh blood ooze out of the cut. I hated blood.
Look away and breathe. I pushed my hair away from my face. We had been perfect. So perfect. Everyone said perfect. Everyone knew. It was Molly and Lysander. Not Molly. Not Lysander. Both. We had a plan. I looked up at him as he shuffled uncomfortably. What the hell went wrong? The plan was perfect. Live together for a year then marriage. Maybe children afterwards. Fool-proof, a step-by-step formula. Perfect. Plans don’t fail. I closed my eyes. 3 years. The perfect number, now it was useless. Gone. Wasted. What the fuck happened? My eyes snapped open and I stared at Lysander. Leaving. Lysander. Lysander. Lysander. Plans don’t fail.
“Get out.” I said. People do. So Imperfect. “Get out, I hate you!” I need you. I love you. No, my mind fought back, imperfect. Worthless.
“Molly, I didn’t want you to change, we’re just...” He started to say, but ended just shrugging his shoulders lamely. I stood up, my feet hurt.
“Damn you! Get out, 3 years!” I screamed tugging at my hair it fell out of its twist and tumbled around my shoulders. Twitch. Imperfect, imperfect, imperfect! The words shouted in my head. So imperfect. I glared at him. I hate you it said. I love you. Imperfect.
“Leave, okay? Just sod off.” I turned away from him and heard the front door slam shut. I reached up and smoothed my hair twisting it back into submission. I felt my colour returning to normal as I flattened out the wrinkles in my skirt suit. I took a quick glance around. Destruction. Twitch. I ran to the picture and picked it up.
"Reparo,” I muttered under my breath. I set it on the desk. Perfected. I continued back to the empty room. My wand still lay in the middle of the floor. I bent and picked it up and felt the ground for signs of damage. There was none. I smiled. The white marks had stopped dancing. They cowered instead. I raised my wand. Perfection.