They whisper. In your ear. I can hear them. You say nothing. One of them. I don't know who. But she smirks. My gut hurts. Do they smirk at you? But I don't move. You don't know. You can't see me. I'm in plain sight. But you don't see. You only see him. The one you like. The one you almost love. But I say almost. Because I know you rolled your eyes. And then you look. And gasp.
They'll hear you.
But they won't care. You only gasp because you wonder. How long have I been here? Have I guessed? Does he wonder? Are you jealous? Jealous? Of what? Then you see. My arm. It's around her waist. Your best friend. She glares. I turn around. And lead her. We need to go away. This is unbearable. Your eyes dig into her back.
Your head. It ducks out of view. I am still watching. Waiting. Wondering. Your hair is buried in the smirker's shoulder. The sinking feeling grows. Did I really? Is it my fault? I don't want the answer. Even though I already know.
Will the hours finish quickly? I didn't want it. Any of it. Not the shame. Not the smirk. Not the gasp. Not the glare. Not even the girl. She's watching me. She knows I could care less. But she says nothing. So I don't either.
Your eyes. They meet mine. Enough. I watch your eyebrows. You watch my nose. I wonder if you're really watching. I've counted. There are 13 freckles. You told me. But will you count again? Maybe it's just a distant wondering. Wandering. Whispering.
I'll hear you.
Save your whisperings for another day. I am the only one who listens. But you whisper on. I walk away. I know you will whisper an apology soon enough. So I just walk. I close my eyes. My feet. They echo. It is all around me. I can hear her running towards me. So I wave my hand. Maybe it will tell her to go. But she does not know.
And then she grabs my shoulder. I spin around. Even open my eyes a little. Black. Grainy. My head. Everything is rushing towards it. Like I've just stood up too quickly. I can still pretend it's you. But then it clears. And it's only her. But I already knew that. You would never be like her. Never sniffle as you run towards me. Never even run. Never pull. Never shake. Never flail. Never care. But she is here. And I am here. And I cannot run. Running is all I ever do. But she has me here. With just a look. The pain in her eyes. I cannot move. Like a butterfly pinned down. Except I have no wings. That would be too easy.
She smells like apples. Like what you were never amused by. But your friends were. They tap their nails. They go through the alphabet. And when the skin breaks they giggle. The letter is their husband's name. Because an apple said so. It must be true. Did she think about the games? Is that why she smells of apples? Or is it just a coincidence?
She does not whisper. She never learned. She is not a girl of secrets. But she is hardly a girl anymore. She takes me. Wraps her arms around me. As if I am the one who has been hurt. As if it is not my fault. I close my eyes. It is you whose shoulder my chin rests on.
Then I realize. It comes to me in a wave. I push it away. But I cannot. Tomorrow. Will you look around? And tap your nail on an apple? And hope you stop on my name? She has long since done so. I am the one. I will watch her. She will float. She wanted yellow. Her dress is off white. Just yellow enough to be golden. This is perfection. Nothing will break the yellow dawn. Nothing will crack her yellow coloured window. I am merely a piece of her plan. Merely someone standing next to her. Someone to give her the little golden band to make the world her own.
And I will wonder. If it could have been you. If I could have stopped this. If you still know. She will never count the freckles on my nose. She will never really think of herself as my wife. No. I will just be her husband. And you will never be mine. Except in the flowers. My Pansy. You will watch me from the flowers. We have both been subjected to the careful stabs to the heel from her. But our downfall began long ago.
A/N: Thanks to caomoyl, Levana, and Giola for their help with this.