My English teacher called it scary.
I took it as a compliment.

Some kind of salvation

He's smoking in the kitchen. On the table, today's paper is in a neat little pile, and beside it, a plate of eggs over easy and bacon, untouched. A cup of pitch-black coffee next to it – almost empty. The vase in the middle of the table is vacant.
Casually, he's thrown the flowers into the bin.

She wakes up too late.
Walking is a Herculean accomplishment. With difficulty, she drags herself from the bedroom to the flat's tiny kitchen. Her head is aching – a dense feeling of too many sleeping pills, swept and swallowed with whiskey. She leans in the doorway for support; the betrayal of her week knees threatens to make her fall.

He blows a ring of smoke in silent contempt at the sight of the pitiable figure that is she. His eyes show neither compassion nor sympathy, no, they show nothing. They are as empty as two endless chasms, the kind you could fall down into and never get up from again, if you don't practice suitable caution.
These two empty voids meet her at the breakfast table. With a nod of his head he acknowledges her presence, not a word addressed to her leaves his lips.
She stops dead in front of him, on her shaking, instable legs, drawing a deep breath of smoke-polluted air. Like a diver, saving her last breath in her lungs as she plunges into the dark ocean, surging out to sea.
His indifferent gaze glides and changes focus slowly from her nearly exposed breasts in the tattered bathrobe she's draped herself with in a slovenly manner, to her face, a perfect asymmetry of smudged make-up that covers her usually noble features.
"You put something in my drink last night."
Her voice holds no resentment. It is as empty and blank as his eyes. Her worn out line, her voice resembling the sound of a shop-worn crackling record, it isn't a question so much as an assured statement, hanging in the air between them, unanswered.
His gaze is filled with scorn at her words. It's a mockery in itself, silently ridiculing her. Her quaking outline against the light is as blurry, as wavering as the sole chilly evening in July.

He takes his time answering her. The cigarette is brought once and again to his lips; he's killing him self slowly and meticulously. The smoke is making the air thick and toxic, and her lungs are filled with the enticingly seductive contamination; passively smoking his cigarette makes her aching head hum and buzz.
Then finally he condescends to answer her. He cocks an eyebrow, but it's hardly needed to empower his expression of arrogance.
"You're paranoid."
She could've laughed at this, but the pain searing through her entire body is such that the action seems impossible to accomplish. All she can bear is a fast intake of breath that cuts like a knife through the air with its raucous honesty.
Her entirety is bared in an instant, just one breath and she's revealed, and loathing her own weakness she looks away from him, she can no longer force herself to let her eyes meet his.
The chair opposed to his creaks as she sits down heavily on it, as weak of limb as a rag doll. As the cold, hard steel of the seat cuts into her thighs, her eyelids flutter imperceptibly, and then, nothing.

"Is there coffee?" She throws the words out into the air. Maybe they'll just fall to the ground, and then again, maybe they'll manage.
With a shrug, he gives his almost emptied cup a push over the table, grins and says in an almost content tone of voice, like a cat that's captured a rat: "All that's left. It's been a hard night, you know."
She shudders. As she brings the cup to her blue lips, a numbing pain shoots through her arm. There are small marks around her wrist, purple, like indentations in the delicate pale white skin.
Her left wrist is identical to her right one, she knows it.
His grin widens at her grimace of pain, baring his teeth the way a predator might.
"That's got to hurt."
"You should know." Her tone of voice is as sharp and as brusque as she can manage without her already soar throat beginning to sting, as well.
But he shrugs again, his nonchalant way of answering. As though they were, in fact, talking about something completely irrelevant: oh yeah, sure, the weather's been just fine lately. The light forcing its way through curtain-covered windows creates a halo around his fair hair, and he's crowned king of the world and of her.
"Slept well?" he asks – a monotonous tone of voice defining his utter lack of interest. He's not asking because he genuinely cares or wants to know; there's ignominy behind the words, and what he's really asking her is: how much did you notice of last night?

How much did you feel of what I did to you?
Your screams, were they the result of a bad dream, or was it I who made you wail in pain, in desperation – in panic?

Her tired eyes, framed by black shadows that witness about blows and weariness, almost resemble his in their emptiness and lack of feelings. She licks her dry lips, these lips that haven't enjoyed forming into an honest smile in so long, these lips that have split in several places and are always swollen, before she answers him.
"Not worse than I usually do."
In other words – if you thought I missed out on any of the show, you're wrong.
Your rape on my body and my mind, I experienced it to its full extent, every hit, every harsh and brutal caress to your own pleasure, every mocking word. I drank of the sensation like a parched flower, longing for water, longing for some kind of salvation.
Her silent lies, they colour the world blood red.

Thus using up the last of her strength, she arises from her chair, her skin separating from the steel as he heaves herself up to her feet with her hands against the safe solidity of the kitchen table. She pulls herself around the table, still with one hand convulsively gripping the edge of it, until she reaches her seat.
He looks at her with the same old derision in his gaze, but there's something else behind the blank facades of his eyes. They glint as she slowly lowers herself onto his knee, straddling him, and she closes her hands behind his neck, where they rest.
Her face is so close to his now that she can feel his nicotine breath against her own, and she breathes heavily, as an escaping prey, when in fact she isn't moving an inch.
Her inner thighs are still wet from last night, his bodily fluids, something to do with a physical expression of love, but she's never thought of it that way. He has no love to give. Not physically, not emotionally.
And nor does she.
He's closed his eyes now, and almost as in a dream, his hands slide around her waist, where they lock her in a firm grip. As though she would try to escape, if she could. Their air mixes. Becomes a unity. Their very own atmosphere, it exists only between the two of them, in the small space left between their bodies.
His jeans chafe her naked skin, and she throws her head back, locks of raven hair cascading down her back. While his cold fingers trace her spine, up, down, up, down, her lips seek his, hungrily, and he answers her advancement, as ravenously as though he wishes to devour her, rather than kiss her.
Tongues dance, callously, methodically, systematically.

"You put something in my drink last night," she pants as her hands leave their place behind his neck and start to rip open his shirt, button by button. An echoing hollow recycled line, like something taken from an old black and white melodrama.
"Yes," he answers, and his breathing is violent as he tears off her bathrobe, her last protection, her last little cloth of security. "Yes, I did."
"Why?" Her question is no more than a whisper, a short exhalation – the only thing she can handle at the moment. "Why?"
"Because I wanted to spare you!"
Six words, forcing their way out of his mouth before he even has a chance to stop them. The second after, he wants to cut out his traitorous tongue. He's betrayed himself – almost, almost revealed the last little insignificant part of him he's kept in the most secret depths of himself that still possesses suchlike feelings. The last part of him that's human.
And she stops so suddenly that his nails lacerate her skin, blood trickling from the wounds, as she pulls back where she's sitting, but she doesn't even blink, and no sound comes out.
"I haven't asked you to spare me," she says, her voice reproachful and so cold it would make anyone jump, except for him. "You're not following the rules, it's not equal. It isn't fair."
His eyes, that could've spoken a thousand words with one short glance ten years ago, but that now are the empty voids she's come to trust as a constant element in her life, glint again. Rapidly, dangerously, a consuming fire that comes alive. His predatory smile is soon in place again, and that moment, that negligible drop of time in the sea of aeons, has passed.
He's back.
"I'll never do it again," he mumbles against her neck, and his tongue flickers across her skin, over and again.

Short story by Liv Sol Möller
Read 1026 times
Written on 2006-09-26 at 09:57

Tags Love  Hate  Broken 

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