"She awoke slowly from a long sleep, dragging eyes red with the fatigue of dilating up the tensed man hanging his head above her. His jaw was locking and unlocking into a striking under-bite, as if he couldn't get his molars to stop grinding. Teeth bared, pupils stretching out to encompass most of his eye whites, he resembled that of a black and white film monster: a tortured Igor, bent into configurations of the spine that alluded to stress, years worth of significant unclean pharmaceutical use, and lankiness.
"Hi, baby." She growled sweetly, clearing her throat, and eying the way his fingers were clenching and contorting as if they wanted the hell away from the hand that connected them. She closed her mouth and drew in her bottom lip, glancing down at the itchy blanket in which she lay and the rustled, messy space in the sheets next to her. She held out her arms, thinking that there should be a smile on her face, that she wished she could coerce a sufficed grin out of herself.
His eyes were focused on a spot on the wall, where a stain of what he imagined was the gut of some large unwanted insect was fading. He hadn't blinked and the dust was making his eyes water, but it was fine as long as he got to stare at the stain, which was sterilizing his thoughts. His brain was busy unfocusing the eyes; superimposing the insect's relic upon itself.
"You know," He said compulsively, snapping his neck two times from one shoulder to the other, "I tried to sit here and roll it all around in my mind." His words were almost painfully slow; his fingers began their progression in circles. "I tried to piece it all together, i did. Give me credit that I tried. But then I started looking and- and I obsessed- I spent all night searching for the pills and saying to myself over and... over that if they existed it was all like you said, and if they didn't then...something wasn't right." He had erased and revitalized the stain enough and now drew his eyes to her. She was sitting up now, full chest boasting its raised, puffy nipples out from under the tan blanket. He studied the variations of the color brown as it moved from the sandy dunes of her down covers to her tawny golden skin and deep chocolate aureola. Her chest stretched in and out laboriously and her brows were furrowed into a question mark.
"I don't understand." She began. Her tone was meek and unsure.
He snatched his hands up to his head at light speed, sucked his top lip up from his front teeth, and cut his eyes at her. She had been silenced with silence.
"Sweet pea," He addressed her, "I'm trying to be honest here. This is my honesty tangent. When we began this relationship we began it with all good intent to be completely level with one another. I appreciate that about you, honey, I swear I do. Only a handful of people really want that- fight for that- even out of all the ones who say it."
She touched her temple, where there was a migraine brewing. Her stare trailed around the room, trashed with clothes, eating utensils, and reading paraphernalia. On top of a crooked pile of stacked books was a pair of glasses- his- and an ashtray with two thumbnail plastic zip lock baggies stuffed to the brim with cannibus. He followed her line of view and pointed towards the bags. " I wanted you to know everything I was thinking about last night while I was killing myself looking all around this room for the pills. The pills that I didn't find that made me think option b might be in order to be explored."
"Are-are you okay?" It was a stupid question, this she realized, for a man that had begun to pace and to squint, clearly festering like a broken, untended wound. His hands were writhing and wringing and shaking as if to dry or to absolve.
"First, I went through your cell phone to read the messages- you know, see how things went down. Did you go there or did he come here? Did you spend a lot of time at that house or were you quick?"

"I wasn't there long, it was quick. I told you, he took me to the guy who had the pills' house to pick up, there were people there joking around, talking shit. I took a swig of tequila and smoked a little of the blunt."
He stopped her explaining with the wave of his index finger.
"I kept wondering as you were breathing on me, wrapped up tight in my arms, last night- you begged me to hold you as tightly as I could- why does she smell like liquor? Why does she smell like liquor? One swig of anything is not going to make it permeate off of you like it was."

"I threw up. It was on my breath because I threw up." She pleaded, then desperately, "What are you getting at? It sounds like you're doubting something but I don't know what. So what is it? Why do you seem angry?"

"Because I am!"
His fist jerked out and hit the wall. She shrank into her blanket; concealed her breasts. He hit it again, and like a catapult shot off in the other direction, to the trousseau at the other end of the room. On it, sat a lined paper notebook, folded back to a blank page. She eyed it, biting down on her lip.

"I told you what happened. Somebody gave me a joint laced with something- I don't know what. I went to go get the pills and there were people hanging out there. I took a sip of some tequila and smoked a little of somebodys joint. And I felt funny. So I came home. I couldn't stay there, I knew I was about to freak out."

"You know, I want to believe it happened like that." He spoke from the spaces of his clenched teeth.

"Are you really saying that to me?" She began to go into small convulsions, tossing her gaze around the room as if she were lost now; his statement had blinded her. "Do you know how many nickels I have for every time somebody said that to me?"

Now, he turned and looked at her directly. She was folding into a ball, glaring at him as though he were the past brought to technicolor. "So what are you asking?"

He brought his fingers down to rest on the notebook. She drew in her breath, quickly; inconspicuously.

"L-look," She began to stammer, she'd lost the small control she held over him sometimes with her soft voice and slow movements. He was often like a wild animal that way: easily startled. "I'm sorry I called you last night. I was just tripping so hard...I wanted to feel safe, but its not your job to make me feel that. It's mine."

Beyond the closed door of the bedroom, within the anatomy of the house, distant drawers opened. The suction of a refrigerator door was released and slammed back. He could see the change in her eyes at the smallest intimation of the presence of her roommate, Ean. Her shoulders were tense and she looked up at him with drawn in lips, afraid to continue their conversation for fear of being in earshot. "I want to kill him." She muttered softly.

"Does this...have anything to do with me?" He said, ignoring her discomfort and stabbing his fingers down into the notebook that she had been trying to ignore, trying to keep unnoticed. Her eyes grew jumpy once again. She was trying to figure out whether feigning ignorance was a sufficient plan A. Maybe she could pretend all she saw was a blank page of grade school ruled paper. She didn't know what was on the back at all. Perhaps, she had  written those disconnected, almost irrelevant phrases years ago. Yes, she decided, the last road was the tine on which to tread; softly, tenderly, carefully. His fingers spread across the length of the book, plucking it up and flipping it over, to the page where in wondrously feminine cursive it was scribed:


"I've never cheated on you."

"This has nothing to do with me?"

"Nothing. I promise. I wrote that a long time ago. I told you how I was."

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Short Story
writing dsr
One tear in a bucket, fuck it.
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