7 months ago

Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Spark All night, I sat

Spark All night, I sat in the living room watching Tayla sleep. All night, voices shouted threats and commands. They told me people’s lives would be easier if I were dead. They told me people would be happier. I was a sinful, ugly, fat girl. I had no business breathing. All night, I listened to them and wondered what the world would be like without me. Shadows formed ugly masks in the dim light from the street. They fell from the walls like pebbles into a bucket. They shattered on the floor and grew in gnarled, ash-colored lines back to the ceiling, starting the whole thing over. Their raw, hideous teeth gnawed at my sanity. Breathing was hard, shallow and sharp. My ribs hurt. My eyes watered. Tayla lay on her side on the couch, her hair falling over her face, leaving her narrow eyes dark. Sometimes, she whistled through her teeth. It made me smile that I could sit there watching her without her ever knowing it. It was the only time in a long time that her face wasn’t pinched with anger and grief. “She’ll never understand,” Gid said. He stepped out of the shadows. Light lined the edges of his body like a pale halo. I closed my eyes and pretended he wasn’t there. I imagined that I for a moment. I didn’t want to feel the jagged edge of his voice. I didn’t want him touching me. But he did. He touched me. His cold fingers stroked the line of my collarbone and I felt sick. “Go away,” I said. “I love you,” he said. His too sweet breath rolled over my face like jasmine climbing a lattice. His burning lips marked my neck, the line of my jaw. Blood rushed out of me. I imagined looking at him, looking at his bloody face and for once knowing what he looked like. “You’re not real,” I said.

“You know better.” Suddenly, I was angry. I burned and twitched and all I wanted was to scream but I didn’t scream. People were sleeping and this was between Gid and me. This was a private battle. “You’ve ruined everything,” I said. “You’ll rebuild,” he said. No matter what I did, he wouldn’t leave. There was no escape. If I lived, he lived. If I breathed, he breathed. Suicide suddenly became much more reasonable. I mean, Tayla had kept me alive this long and now I wasn’t sure she’d even be there in the morning. I stayed up all night just to keep her from sneaking away without telling me. Now she was gone. Not gone, gone but gone as in silent and distant. Being around her was like cutting myself open with a glass knife. Gid came close. He was going to kiss me. I couldn’t stand the thought of that, so I reached for his face. He spun away. I reached again. “Don’t,” he said. His voice was thinner than usual, sharp enough to cut the air between us. “I need to know,” I said. He stepped back. He raised his hands. “You cannot know this,” he said. “It’s going to happen,” I said. “Someday. Soon.” “No.” He faded. Not even his voice lingered. It was little thing. Little but enough to spark a little light, a little hope.