He loved her. He always loved her. She never loved him.
This Is The Way
'This is the way the world ends... not with a bang but a whimper.' --T.S.Elliott
You're the one that I need, I'm the one that you loathe.
I watched her every day.
Saw her come and go.
I never thought she'd look.
It would have been better if she hadn't.
'Way! OI! Get back to work!'
I looked around to see the cover teacher scowling at me from where he was wedged beneath his desk. I frowned and looked back to the messy scrawls on the thin sheet, tracing the contours of my work with an amorous fingertip. I peered from beneath my lashes to see he had started writing again, hand flying across the page.
'Gerard?' A quiet voice, little more than a whisper caused me to turn my head sharply.
She couldn't have noticed me, could she?
'Gerard!' Her delicate fingers waved in front of my face, casting flickering shadows across the gentle relief of my face.
'Oh sorry. Yeah?'
'You've got-' She pointed to the curved tip of my nose. 'You've got something-' My hand aimlessly wandered across my face, trying to find the blemish.
'Here, let me.'
She ran a neatly trimmed fingernail down the bridge of my nose, the touch making me shiver internally. Her eyebrows unlaced themselves from their furrowed position as she removed the fleck of paint, and began picking it from beneath the nail.
[End of flashback]
I traced my fingertip along the contours of that same work of mine, the memories flooding back relentlessly.
I imagined its human counterpart, with silken red hair; pale, smooth skin; the light dusting of freckles across her cheeks. I remembered what it was like to run my fingers through that hair, watching it slip away like liquid fire. I remembered how I felt the first time I touched that skin, smooth and flawless as I held her hand. I remembered her figure, her effortless, beautiful body moving like an almost ethereal creature as she talked, sang, laughed.
I remembered her.
You can watch me corrode like a beast in repose.
I had stood, watching, staring as she kissed him.
I was numb at first, my heart frozen.
Why would she do this?
I had felt the cold, the pure, relentless cold as my heart shattered. Shattered into millions of pieces, struck apart by daggers of burning ice.
'Hey Gee! GEE!'
I saw her jogging lazily down the hall, dragging a boy behind her.
'Gee. I'd like you to meet Frank. He's new here.'
'Hey.' I returned, scuffing the toe of my shoe against the floor. I turned my face up to see him. Him. The guy who took her away.
She grabbed my hand, dragging me a few feet away, then swung me around to face her. I felt a cold hand on my chin. Her hand, easing my head up until our eyes met. I looked into those dark whorls, almost violet around the edges, seeing the gentle layering of kohl and mascara outlining the dark pools, making her seems more beautiful than ever.
'Gee. What's wrong babe?'
'Nothing. I just- nothing.'
At this she ran her finger down my cheekbone, carefully avoiding the newly purpling bruise under my right eye from a drunken fall the night before. Suddenly her face lit up, a grin spreading across the crystalline features.
'So?' I replied, confused now.
'What do you think of him?' She asked, gazing at the profile of him. Of Frank.
'I dunno. You like him?'
'To be honest, I do. He's really smart, and he plays guitar.'
At her words my heart froze, the inner core turning to lead and pushing it's way down, all the way through me. It sank faster than it had fallen for her.
[End of flashback]
As I found those dark whorls on the page, I remembered the way they shone with guilt as they met my dull hazel orbs. I remembered turning on my heel and striding out of that hall, across the courtyard and through the gate. I remembered going home, reaching down the key from the top of the clock in the living room and opening the cabinet. I remembered unlocking that cabinet, and searching for the drink with the highest alcohol content, and downing it in one.
I remembered black.
Cause I love all the poison.
I had stumbled down the basement stairs, intoxicated.
I had tripped on the final step, collapsing to my knees and dragging myself across the dusty carpet.
I had reached under the loose floorboard, dragging out a clear plastic bag containing white powder.
I had taken those drugs, passing out on my bed a few minutes later.
'Gee! Wait up!'
I slowed my pace, and waited a couple of seconds as he fell into step beside me. I looked up to meet his eyes, half covered by a fringe falling across them. I could see why she liked him.
'Gee, I- I wanted to tell you something. I. I kinda... asked her out.'
'You WHAT???' I half screamed, turning heads within a large radius.
'I asked her out. And dude, I'm sorry. I know you have feelings for her too.'
'I can't fucking believe you. You knew, and yet you still do it.' A single tear slithered down my pale cheek, glistening in the harsh artificial light as it reached my jawline and fell.
'I'm sorry man.'
I pushed my feet into a jog, sauntering down the hall. I heard him coming up behind me, so I broke into a sprint as I left the crowded building. I ran past the gate, my feet slapping against the pavement as I ran, breathing heavily, arms pumping regularly at me sides. I reached the end of the street, turning to see Frank's small figure hanging back at the fence, watching me go. I spun around and continued running, the tears coming freely now.
I had pounded down street after street, my mind becoming numb from the repetitiveness. I slowed to a shamble as I pushed through the front gate of my house, my keys clinking softly as I turned them in the lock. My bag slipped from my shoulders and landed with a muffled thud, my keys tumbling next to it.
[End of flashback]
I reached forward from the position on my bed, opening a drawer on the far side, ensuring I did not crumple the picture laid on my lap. I dragged a shoe box from the drawer, the lid carefully taped down, a small note on the top reading 'Only for emergencies'.
I ripped the tape from the dark green cardboard, flicking it from my fingertips and carelessly, flinging the lid across the room. I lifted its sleek, black form out of its prison, letting the box now drop to the floor as I flicked a catch.
Juliet loves the beat and the lust it commands.
I had started a band with them.
I had trusted her not to control me.
I had trusted him not to use me.
I had been stupid.
I lifted the cold barrel to my temple, the alcohol in my veins making me sway. I held it there, trembling, trying to find any logical reason not to do this. I stayed like that for a while, tears streaming down my face, alcohol beginning to wear off. As the warmth of intoxication left me, it was replaced by a barren emptiness, a cave which needed a fire.
Drop the dagger and lather the blood on your hands Romeo.
I had tried so hard to get clean.
I had tried for her, but she still wouldn't accept me.
I had thought she was my closest friend.
I had loved her.
I pressed the warming metal to my head harder now, quivering with the adrenaline running through my system. I sat, thoughts racing, moments of my recent life coming to me in streams. The tears had slowed, but they were renewed again at the memories of him. Of her. Of them.
Give me a shot to remember.
I had tried to do this before.
I had been stopped, by her.
I had trusted her with my life.
I had always loved her.
The tears ran rivulets down my face, the skin becoming red and blotchy. I started slightly at the sound of the front door of my house opening, footsteps thumping to my door. I saw the shadows moving outside, trying to open my door, rattling it gently.
The rattling turned to an incessant thumping as they tried to break the lock, the key falling from the inside and clattering down the steps. The noise ceased as the metal pressed harder to my skin, my body rigid and sore.
If it looks like I'm laughing I'm really just asking to leave.
The door crashed down, splintered wood whistling through the air as she jumped down the steps. The gun pressed to my temple was shaking, but inside I knew what I was about to do.
'Gerard...' She whispered, her flaming hair in her dark eyes, as she stumbled forward, reaching out for the weapon.
'I'm sorry, Kayla.' i replied, whimpering as I tensed my finger, squeezing on the trigger.
This is the way my world ends- not with a bang but a whimper.