|Burn Like Hell Fire
Author: xxALICE PM
Sometimes there is nothing in the world that will make it alright.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Tragedy - Words: 1,223 - Published: 12-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3085915
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Their love was the smooth surface of coffee creamer in the morning. It was the way boulders, over eons, are obliterated into sand. It was a girl sneaking out of a window after her parents were asleep. It was cartwheels on a reservoir wall at midnight – a bruise or two on the side of the grass, a watery death on the side with the water. It was flawless and dangerous and crashing like the sound of the cymbals that swiftly fades from the crest of your ears as the curtain falls.
And one day she woke up afraid of it all. Paranoia had not consumed her, but it was biting at her fingers and toes. She stayed up all night, wondering if he was falling out of love with her with the passing thuds of their heartbeats.
How could anyone love this?
"I need to tell you something," she started timidly.
"What is it?"
"I've been feeling weird lately. This is going to sound so stupid…"
"What's wrong? Just tell me."
"Why do you love me?"
He frowned, unsure of how to answer such a question with such a messy fringe. He spoke softly.
"I don't know. We fit together. I love your quirks."
She was sated. Those words would ring in her mind for weeks. We fit together. It's as simple as that – We simply fit together.
One night, her sister didn't clean her room. She watched from the hallway as the light in the bedroom flickered – Mother threw a lamp, Sister dodged. Mother knocked things over, Sister glared. Mother slammed a door, Sister cried quietly as she pieced together the broken bits of a porcelain box that had hit the wall on its way to the ground. Eyes wide, mind racing, she retreated to her own bedroom, unsure of what to do. It wasn't the first time.
Her mother swore it would never happen again. The pain stayed fresh for a while, though.
He was there, at least. She couldn't tell him what had happened, but she could tell him she was just feeling a bit down.
"Why do you love me?"
Another frown. She keeps asking why. Why?
"Because you have a beautiful mind."
He took her breath away with those words. No one had ever said that to her before. Sure, she was smart enough, she had some talents, but a beautiful mind? That was an incredible thing to say to someone. She couldn't believe it. She smiled when those words echoed off the curves of her skull, she smiled when she thought of the way his lips formed the phrase. She sighed deeply when her mind wandered to the way it sounded to her. You have a beautiful mind.
One fine night, she got a phone call. It was her sister. She told her about the morning – she hadn't woken up on time for school and Mother grabbed her by the hair, and then kicked her out the door. She wasn't exaggerating. She closed her eyes. This could not be happening. She crashed to the floor, choking back the grief. It had been over a decade – this kept happening.
But he was still there, and she didn't have to say anything this time. He noticed.
"Babe, what's wrong?"
"I know something's wrong."
"It's just… Why do you love me?"
"Because you go after what you want and you get it, every time. I love that about you." The words leapt off his tongue – he didn't have to think about that one.
She was speechless.
"That was the greatest thing anyone has ever said to me."
Their love was late-night confessions, hot tears of joy, slow, knowing smiles, electrifying eye contact. It was the way the moon cuts waves into the ocean. It was a vast expanse of bright green grass, as deep as the sky is bottomless. It shook like the scraping of the earth's surface in an earthquake. Their love could change path of the moon.
To her, it was an oasis. And she couldn't believe it existed, because one day she witnessed something so breathtakingly horrible she couldn't help but replay it over and over in her mind, her heart breaking every time. Her home was no longer a home. Try as she might, this was a hurdle she simply could not bring herself to overcome. She confessed everything to him. She told him every intimate detail.
His heart dropped. Rage grew in his chest and caught fire. He swore to protect her, to be there. He told her to never have fear because he was going to make her happy no matter what happened between the walls of her house. She breathed in his love like a drug.
That night, she laid wide awake, eyes dry from staring. The ceiling stared back at her. She tried to remember what he'd said to her but she couldn't – it had all slipped from her mind. She checked the time – 3:58 AM. Where was he? With someone else, perhaps. She was sweating, thoughts incessantly eating away at her. Paranoia was choking her and its grip would leave a mark.
When she saw him again, she eyed him carefully as he told her he loved her. He repeated it when she didn't reply. She said nothing; her gaze burned a hole in the pavement. No matter how hard she tried, she simply could not bring herself to believe him. He sighed, frustrated. She didn't love him anymore.
But she did. God, she did. More than anything. It ripped her apart – all she could think of was the fact that no one could love her, especially not him. She couldn't even fix her mother. She couldn't be there for her sister. She just wasn't good enough to deserve him, and she knew it. The thought of him was burned into her mind like the engraving on a ring, the ring she dreamed of wearing for the rest of her life. But now she knew that could never be.
There were more painful phone calls, more difficult conversations with her sister. More twisted memories made and branded into her vision.
She looked into his eyes one day, cold. Her love had to be buried. She knew he was lying to her. He held her hand tight, as if he could keep her from what she was about to do.
"I don't understand why you're doing this."
"I just don't feel like you care about me anymore. I can't stay with you like this."
"I care about you more than anything – more than anything in the world. Why are you doing this? Why now? Did I do something?"
"I just know, alright? You don't have to keep pretending."
"For God's sake, what do you know?"
"I just know. I need to leave."
He returned the ring.
He got a phone call one day.
Their love was abandoned snakeskin. It was a fossil in limestone of a creature that had long since been extinct. It was the tired feeling in your legs when you try to fall asleep for four hours every night and can't, you just can't. And it burned like Hell fire as he stood behind her mother and sister, watching a coffin disappear into the cold ground.