Promise Gid stood in the corner solid and beautiful. Amethyst darkness masked his face. I wanted to run away. I wanted nothing to do with him. But Gid never asked me what I wanted. He took me when he wanted me. He wrote his name on my nerves. He lifted me from the bed. Tayla rolled over and whispered something I couldn’t understand. All I wanted was to lie with her. All I wanted was to sleep without dreams or memories. But no. He lifted me. He opened the skin of my palm and licked the skin. “No,” I said. He made a circle on my forehead with his finger. “This,” he said, “is a promise.” “This,” he said, “makes you mine.” It brought a kind of euphoria. Different from dancing. Different from anything in the world but real and toxic as heroin. The rush of attention turned me soft. I waited. I looked for his face. “Why are you doing this?” I asked. He laughed. “Am I going to Hell?” I asked. “I’ve done nothing wrong.” “People like you need people like me,” he said. His finger wrote something in the center of my chest. “People like me?” “I exist because of you,” he said. “You exist because of me.” “This is nuts.” He kissed my chin. “Yes.” He walked away. The high ended. I jerked awake and stared at the ceiling. A spider made its way among the cracks and creases. Voices and faces leered and screamed. People like me? I asked myself.
Tayla rolled over and looked at me. “You okay?” she asked. I flinched a little. Not sure why. “Yeah,” I lied. “Perfect.”