Her eyes were yellow slits, dull from the years of torment, but harsh with a burning neon fire that lay vaguely concealed. Her words were always carefully coordinated, secretly scripted, dancing around the truth in a way that she knew was safe for her. She knew she couldn't let anyone get too close.
Her sleeping form lies in a different part of the hospital for once: the part for normal people. She breathes like she is afraid to, her unconscious mind telling her that there is something to be feared here. It's only me.
Her boney legs swung around my waist, planting her hips just above mine, her hands innocently touching , though her eyes gave way to something less than innocent. Her unblinking eyes fierce, cocky, lit with something more than the true reality of her unfair life. She smirked in that beautiful way of hers.
"What's the matter, love?"
She was mocking me, I knew, but I didn't really care.
I smirked back up at her, gripping her waist as I leaned towards her bright eyes.
"You know exactly what the matter is, sweetheart."
I stared at her lips. Her eyes softened for a moment, just a moment, before closing into mine. Her lips were always soft, her kisses were heaven, but she didn't love me. I loved her, but I knew, she would never love me.
She's scary like this. No matter how violent she had been rumored to be, I was never afraid of her. Now, her blood being feed to her through a tube, her skin flaky, her lips that were once so soft were dry, cracked, I was terrified of how damaged she now was- damaged because of me.
Our laughter echoed through the dim hallways as we ran towards nothing.
"If you really think I can't catch you, then you're going to be sorely mistaken!"
She giggled as I tried desperately to catch up with her skinny legs. She was about to turn a corner when she suddenly ran back and grabbed my hand. Still in shock, I was pulled into an empty room as she quietly closed the door.
"It's a doctor. We have to be quiet or we'll get in trouble."
She was still holding my hand. I looked at our intertwined fingers like an extinct species that was just rediscovered to be alive. She looked too, but didn't pull away. I lifted her knuckles to my mouth and gently placed a single kiss on her pale skin. She could have pulled away. I was stronger than her, but I would've let her go. She didn't even try to pull back. I should've known then.
"I don't do love, never have, never will."
It was a whispered confession, too small and frail to have been true, but I believed it. I should've known then.
Except I didn't.
I sat on the edge of her bed slowly. It cracked under my weight the same way she probably would. Her eyes refused to open. Her mouth refused to form the words I so desperately needed to hear. My thumb traced her lips lightly, ghosting across the bumpy flesh. Blood trickled down her chin, she didn't feel a thing.
We stood in single file line behind the rest of the occupants that had made this asylum their home. A few people ahead was a girl our age, brown hair, pale skin, blue eyes. She drowned her cup of pills in one gulp, showed the nurse her tongue and walked away. She was pretty enough, but nothing compared to the girl in front of me.
"You know she's schizophrenic too."
She had caught me staring at her.
"Really? Small world, I guess."
She didn't look at me. I remember thinking about my outburst that morning. Jake had been in charge of that lovely incident. My demons were Jake and Paul. Hers were Cindy and David. In all my time there, I had never seen a single outburst from her.
"Hey... how come I've never seen one of your episodes?"
She wouldn't look at me.
" I keep some things to myself."
"So....you're saying that if you did see them right now, no one would know?"
"Exactly. That's why I'm denoted as safer and you're denoted as crazy. It's the same thing, I'm just not a bitch about it."
"That's stupid, dude. You can't just not tell people these things. What if you were hurt, for instance? What would you do then?"
She stopped, looked up, breathed out slowly.
"I would die."
They told me that it wasn't my fault. The same doctors that I had despised all the time that I was here were comforting me. They said that one of her demons probably told her to do it. They said that she couldn't hold in all the pain that they were causing forever. They said she didn't even know what she was doing. They didn't know her. They didn't talk to her. They didn't love her. They didn't know what I had done to her.
"I need to speak to a human, for once! I can't handle the guessing games, the constant wondering if you and I could ever be something, if you're even more insane than I am! You said it first, remember? You don't do love, never have, never will. So fine, don't love me and I won't love you."
I turned away from her. I missed seeing the tears flow down her cheeks. It was the only time she had ever cried in here and I didn't see it. I didn't know. If I had known, I would have turned back and ran to her. I would have told her the truth. I would have told her that everything I had said was a lie, that I thought it would be best for her, that I really did love her, but it was too late.
I walked away without knowing that I had broken her heart, without knowing that she had loved me and that I had just done the one thing she always knew would happen.
The beep of her monitor brought me back to life, but it did nothing for her. A dull reminder that she was still alive, for the moment, nothing more. It wasn't a bright and glimmering symbol of hope for a new day, hope that she would wake up and everything would be fine. She would jump into the air, thrilled to be alive, and kiss me. She would forgive me and say we could start over, start a new life. We would eventually get out of here with bright red smiley face stamps on our documents and be finally free to live the way we were never allowed to before.
It sounded wonderful, but... looking at her ashen face, her chewed nails, her stringy hair, I knew that that could never happen. The girl I knew would never have done something so stupid and risky. The thought would never have crossed her mind, but this girl laying here, the girl who destroyed the optimistic ball of perfection that I once knew, this girl would never forgive me.
This girl would wake up defeated that she had failed at her final act of self destruction. She would look at the same walls and floors that had been her home for so long and she would see a prison. She would be escorted to a more secluded room with security and less visiting rights. She wouldn't care. She would slowly become what she never had let them label her as: crazy.
I used to marvel at her unblinking eyes, but now I wished that they'd blink, just once, and show the fiery eyes I once knew. That won't happen. She'll never be the same, she can't be. She wants to die and she's not dead yet, a dreary existence.
The doctors will come in soon. I can just picture their horrified faces at their mistake of leaving me alone with her, but it'll be too late. I love her and if this is what she wants, then she can have it. I can hear the panicked screams of the nurse who left me alone finally realizing where I am, but all I hear is her strangled breathing and the ghost of her laughter singing in the air.
I lean down to kiss her one last time as I finish what she started for herself. The doctors frantically run in to stop it, but it's too late. I smile and blink.