I like about you," she said, head tilted like a bird listening, or as
though she'd lost track of gravity again, "is that you're so human."
I looked down at myself. My feet jutted out at angles, trapped in fraying chucks. I was S-shaped, and my curvy belly made me look like a sine graph standing on end. My nose was too long and my eyelashes were too short.
"That's not what I mean, jellybean." When I lunged to punish her for her rhyme crime, she giggled and fluttered out of reach, a leaf on the wind, a drunken bumblebee, elusive, elusive, elusive, little whirl of curls and smoke.
"S for stupid, S for simplistic, S for scared."
"S for spinner, sweetpea," she whispered in my ear.
She carouseled away again.
"I'm a changeling," she had told me.
I loved the heat of her, her unpredictability, her impulsive touches and words. She never spoke from herself. Her sentences came from the residue she scraped from the champagne-glass sky, turned upside down over our heads. Long fingers were well-suited for the task.
"Where is who you used to be?" I asked.
Her eyes collected drops of the sky's spilled champagne. "I can't find her, Senika."
The first time I saw her, I had the unshakeable impression that she had been dragged through the dust of stars. Her hair was cloudfroth, and her eyes focused somewhere beyond here. She always seemed to move about by accident, rolling around on a planet constantly tilting. It didn't matter how hard I concentrated at night when no one was about: I couldn't recall her face.
"Senika, do you believe in magic?"
"I'm not sure I even believe in you, Amira."
Smile, smile, smile. "I believe in us." She filled my mouth with hers.
She was a sieve, herself diffusing out and everything else pouring in. How long until none of herself remained?
I wondered how she had gotten filled with those tiny holes.
was like kissing the morning mist. She was everywhere, but she was
impossible to capture. I could feel her on my skin, and I shivered.
My greatest fear was that she would dispel with the ascension of the sun.
was all something of a lucid dream to Amira. When she was little, the
only way she could keep away from the nightmares was to spin and spin
and spin. Even when the danger was long past, she kept spinning. She
forgot how to stop spinning. Half unwillingly, I held for her the
threads of the story she acted out.
It was so tangled there was no way to tell where it began. I was not a psychologist.
"Hold still, love," I said. "We can find the little girl you used to be."
What I truly wanted to say was, "Spin me."
"Amira, little-girl Amira, was too small and too fragile and too pretty."
She was still all of those things.
"Her parents loved her too much."
I loved her as much as anyone can love an enigma.
"Worst were the times that they hated that they loved her."
I loved that she hated them.
"And it tore her up. It hurt in all the secret inside places."
She showed me the scars.
"What do you mean, if you don't mean because I look so ordinary?"
"You're human in your invisible places, doll," she said.
If I could keep her talking, might she slow her spinning?
"You can't choose between logic and instinct, and you stick. You struggle to believe in things beyond your possible comprehension. And," she took my hand, "you forget it all almost at once."
I was a little nettled and a little in love.
"What's in your invisible places, then?"
"Little Amira was rescued, stolen, taken. I don't know where she is now."
She's somewhere deep inside you. She is not lost, she is not lost. She's hiding. She's hiding from the sun and from the memories of old nightmares. The danger is gone.
"And here I am, in her place. Her little-girl thoughts trample mine, and I can't remember, Senika. I can't remember who I was."
I have never been good with words, said or felt.
"You are who you were, and you are who you will be."
The sun broke through the mist in her eyes. "Try to believe, Senika. I know your mind says it's impossible, but your invisible places can move when your mind gets stuck."
She took my hand. I could feel her breaking apart, fading away, unraveling. Desperate, I seized her other hand and shut my eyes.
A/N: Oneshot. Math class is a catalyst for them. :D
I love writing about girls because I feel like they're really underrepresented in fiction. There's plenty of shounen-ai (boy/boy), but shoujo-ai (girl/girl) is much harder to come by. (Of course, if you interpreted Senika, the narrator, as a boy, that's perfectly okay... though it does make you think about your assumptions and prejudices, doesn't it?) And puh-leez, I mean this in a non-anime sense.
As seems to be my current fondency, this piece is sort of ambiguous and in anachronistic order, but hopefully by the end it all comes together... Whatever, one of fiction's traits that I find so compelling is that it can, when it has that trait, leave you utterly breathless by its lack of answers. I try to create pieces that offer you, as the reader, just as much power in their creation as they allow me. Your perceptions make a piece yours, and that's more important than my role in sketching the outlines. Whether Amira is actually a changeling I leave to you.
I'm sorry fictionpress screws up my formatting on this... it's still readable, just not quite as pretty.