I Always Come Back to You

At first I thought that I loved you. You: the sharp jut of your jawline, the creamy consistency of your black eye liner, the soft flesh of your thighs that grazed the tips of my knuckles when you walked to your desk, the warmth that seeped out from your palms when you hug me, and the way you never leave my mind. My plus one to the chaos of my life. The smell of your sweaters fill my lungs when I cry into your shoulders. But slowly, I started to hate you. I hate that you only existed in my mind. I hate that I don’t feel your lips weld to the back of my neck, just under my hairline, as you pull my hip to rest next yours. I hate that I have to manipulate you into loving me. I hate that I can’t stop loving you. In my head, I tell you “Baby, I am a wreck when I am without you. I need you here to stay. I always come back to you.” In my head, you say it back. In my head, our love feeds off desperation and pain. In my head, you don’t flinch at my touch. The worst part is I do hate you, but I love you ten times more. I love every molecule that creates you. I want to climb through your nose into your brain and watch you live. I want to live with you. I want to merge with your skin and experience everything the way you do. But I can’t. Instead my fingertips get pierced by a thin needle as I sew you together. I wipe the blood with the rag that I used to clean you off my floor. A smile hikes up my face and, finally, finally I will live with you. I will live inside you. I will live as you. I finish the final stitch, knotting the thin raven threads together. My hands slither into your skin, my fingers dressed as yours zipping up the skin. I feel it sink into mine, combining and fusing together. Our ocean blue eyes see the skins of many old lovers; you feel scared but with time you come to love them as I love you. I have so much to teach you about me and you have so much to teach me about you. It’s us against the world until I find another to love.

Blue and red lights flash through the window. The door blows open from behind us.

“No!” We scream. “No!” Guns point at us. They take you away from me. They kill you. They know you can’t survive without me but they take you away anyways. At first I am worried but then I remember: I always come back to you. We will be together once again. Handcuffs wrap around my wrist digging into my lonely flesh, tearing at my bones. They are too tight. The cold numbness of heartbreak settles over the next few days. Bleak prison cell blocks stare into my eyes as hours and hours pass. Eventually they come and get me. Eventually they tell me I am “mentally ill.” They are wrong. They are the ones who are sick. They tell me it wasn’t my fault. That my mind controls me. That I need help. Why can’t they see that they are the ones who need help? They are the sick ones. They tell me they have a “safe place” where I can get better. It’s called an asylum. They tell me everything will be okay. Don’t they know that everything would have been okay if they kept me with you? I have to go now. They are coming to take me away to the “safe place.” Remember: I always come back to you.

The light turns on in the hallway; it’s orange glow sliding through the cracks in my door. Socks slide against the linoleum flooring, casting shadows in my bedroom as they slide across the crack at the bottom of my locked door. My teeth grind into my lip, blood pulsing and pushing to escape the cage of my lips. Tears threaten to fall, but I can’t make any noise. “It’ll only be flicker,” I tell us. “…only a small flicker.” Carefully, I unscrew the cap on the red container and tip it over, watching as a thick black liquid slithers across the floor, sinking into the devils of the wood flooring. The same wood flooring that a second mattress used to lay on. The chain digs into my skin but I refuse to feel pain. I refuse to feel. I pull my knees up into my chest and slide my pointer and thumb into my sock, feeling the cold metal spring to life in my palm. The lighter sparks ripples of goosebumps up and down my arms. My thumb presses into the ridges of the wheel and slams upward. Heat glows in front of my face as I feel a smile curl my lips upward. “Today is the day I’m free,” I think, “I’m coming to you.” And then I drop the lighter. I watch as the oil reflects fire, burning with the same rage I feel. I know I said that I would refuse to feel but I feel happy. Happy as the smoke and fire escapes this cage. Pure joy as the screams of others fill my ears. Excitement as coughing and sirens follow. Happiness as fingernails chip away the wood of the doors in desperation. Euphoria as the smoke paints against my skin, dancing in between my lungs, spinning around in my head until it’s so thick that my vision goes black. But I made a promise. So I refuse to feel anything as death greets me to you. I remembered: I always come back to you.