so long darling
goodbye

-April 2006, In All Honesty


She smiles.

"I'm so glad," she begins, speaking slowly and enunciating each individual letter, choosing her words with care, "that it's over."

One by one she pulls rings off her fingers and flicks them away. They land in haphazard patterns, skittering over the polished wood floor like startled mice. She giggles at the sight, and doesn't watch to see where they end up. One rolls under the bed, one falls down the heating vent. She hears that one, but she doesn't look. She doesn't want to know, doesn't want retrieving them to be an option. This way is more fitting.

"Please don't take this the wrong way." She tosses another one as if she were throwing crumbs to the pigeons. It wheels around her foot, so she kicks it away instead. "I'm not being mean. I can finally say that I'm truly happy that you're happy. I can finally know that I'm not giving lip service."

She pauses, then flicks her tongue with another giggle. "Or tongue service? Whatever, I need my mouth for other things now. I'm happy too, you know. You're not the only one."

She swings her legs, the hard tips of her toe shoes coming together with soft thuds as she turns them towards one another. She's still thinking carefully about each word she says; as a result, her speech comes in short bursts every few moments. Silvery blonde bangs fall over her eyes. She focuses on the room through the bars they create. She used to like it that way, used to think it was fitting to look at everything from behind a facsimile of a cage, but now she brushes them out of the way.

"It's nice," she says at last, and smiles again. "It's nice to see clear. It's nice to feel good enough. It's nice to feel… pretty and wanted. It's nice to be happy again, you know? You know."

She hasn't fastened her shoes properly. The satin ribbons dangle down over her legs, tawny skin showing in streaks through the tears in her pink tights. She'd found her Swan Lake tutu and put it on for fun. Her shirt is black. Emily Strange. It doesn't quite fit in, but she's always been a bit hard to place that way.

"It's sort of funny, because things still remind me of you. Like someone will be talking about—teacups. And I'll say oh, she used to prefer orange juice when she was sick, and it will have hardly anything to do with… anything. All my stories involve you! It's funny. Only it's not. But it's okay, I think it's normal after so long together."

Her nail polish is chipped. She notices this belatedly and starts picking at it, showering dark burgundy flecks all over the pristine tulle of the tutu. The shoes thud softly some more.

"I miss you a little, once in awhile. But everything's okay." Her fingers look strange without their usual variety of too-many-rings, it sounds strange when she touches them together and no metal clicks. She frowns at the unadorned skin for a second. Then she smiles again.

"I'm so glad that it's over."