“Do you object to loving me?” he asked, cigarette in hand. She watched the smoke winding into the air the same way his fingers wound vines up and around her spine. The way he wound immaculate lies in and out of her naïve mind.
“You know how I feel about you,” she sighed deeply, searching the floor for her t-shirt and her dignity. Then, worried her point had been unclear, she added: “you disgust me.”
He looked bemused, but oddly flattered. Blood crept into his cheeks, melting her heart. She remembered those vines; how they had tightened until she feared her ribcage would collapse. She remembered seemingly never-ending nights. Cold water in the bathtub. The endless adoration of him, and how could she forget – never getting anything back. She shook her head, a half-hearted attempt to clear the blue smoke of her memories. He studied her, skeptically, crushing his cigarette in the ashtray and lighting another.
“I’m sorry for having taken so much of your time.”
She searched his end table for her wedding band. “No, you’re not.” She exhaled. He smirked.
“You love me.”
“Don’t you ever say that!” she shouted. He had said out loud the unspoken secret they’d both known; one she was much too frightened to admit to herself. The honestly was refreshing, albeit a bitter pill to swallow, and at that moment, she wanted to scream from the rooftop about how much she didn’t love him. She wanted to graffiti it on the walls, try to make him believe, although at this point, she was rather unsure as to who she was trying to convince – him, or herself.
She adored the way he looked at the stars. She adored the way he kissed her neck. She adored the way his eyes panicked but his mouth smiled in the same moment. Bittersweet, like loud whispers and silent screams.
“No,” she whispered loudly. “you disgust me.”
He laughed and flicked the ashes from the end of his smoke. The ashes flew onto the floor.
“The only ones willingly awake at this hour are the lonely and the loved,” he mused. “so tell me, doll face, tell me honestly - who is lonely, and who is loved?”