Authors: Nancy Beaudet
Is that you Pretty Girl?
"Flo?" I call out. I heard a squeal. Like a dog that just had its tail stepped on by some random asshole. I felt the air move. My heart is burning in my chest as it tries to get out.
"Flo? Come on. I heard you. I didn't imagine that. It was real. Don't go getting shy on me now." I laugh a little.
I officially lost my mind a few months ago when they called me and told me they found you. You went missing on a day trip. You wanted to run away, and if you wanted attention from me, all you had to do was say something. Come on Flo. Say something now. Do something. I can feel you looking at me. That's a lie. I can't feel much of anything but the fire in my chest is still burning.
What am I thinking? Talking to the empty air around me, looking at nothing. Looking for your face.
I will not go crazy. That’s just not in me. I’ll happily die before my mind starts to eat away at me. No way. I want to be of sound body and mind when I leave this place when I see you again one day. I will not let my misery murder me.
I drop my hands and walk away. I push back at the pain in my face, hoping to rub the tears away.
“You left. You fucking left me, Ruthie! Ruthie Jane! That’s your real name. Your birth name. Did you hate it so much because you hated yourself? Why were you angry? I can’t figure out for the life of me why you were so God damn angry!”
You had everything. You had a life. You had me. You had a choice and daylight and the sunshine and laughter and beauty. You had everything. You had me.
You tossed it all away. You broke me.
“How could you break me? You said you loved me. I read it in your diary a hundred-million times. I tore out my favourite page and kept it with me at all times. You said you loved me, and you couldn’t even say goodbye. Why not text me? Call me? Do something!”
“Say something Flo, please. If you are here with me, please do something. Prove that you didn’t leave me!” I will beg and plead. I will bloody God damn scream if you fucking find the need to hear me say such pathetic and whiny things.
I’ll do anything.
"Hey, Mal." I shoot him an awkward wave and shy smile, breathing raging fire out. Seeing him like this has turned my body inside out. I am covered in boils. My legs feel like rubber. I want to wash my hair. My face feels red and greasy from my tears. Tears that continue to spill over, I always was kind of an ugly crier.
"Oh, Mal I would give anything to kiss you right now." This is an embarrassing truth. I kissed Mal more times than I can count. I know the shape of his mouth better than I know my own. He is my safety. My home.
Was. Not is. That’s over now.
"Say something!" My soulmate shouts and I feel myself tremble. He wants proof that I'm still around somehow.
"God damn you're beautiful." I will only speak the truth. My chest becomes a crater full of doubt when Mal’s eyes drop down. I step forward as he turns around, flinging himself back down on the couch.
Those four words made my mouth dry out. I cannot speak them aloud. I don’t know how. I want the ground. I want to be cold. I don’t want to move. I can’t take this feeling. This weight. This guilt.
I change my mind. I want to rewind; I want to undo everything I’ve ever done in my short life. I didn’t want to die. I don’t want to die and yet I’m dead already.
“Please don’t do this to me,” Mal cries, and I am broken and weak. I am made of nothing and everything. He can’t see me and he can’t hear me. There is no point in me being. I am nothing. I am the worst of everything that one person can be. I am truly empty.
My best friend hates me. Taking my next step isn’t easy. My legs are shaking, but I need Mal to be near me. “Mal please baby,” I say, wiping my damp hands off on my jeans. I am shaking. I feel queasy.
“Baby I’m so sorry. I know that you can’t hear me but if you ever do anything in this life please just try. Try to feel me. Try to understand that I’m here, waiting and listening.” I kneel at his side, pushing his coffee table out of my way.
Mal’s chest is heaving. He’s gasping. Breathing does not come easily when you are dying. I reach out to touch him gently before pulling away. “I’m so sorry.” I can say these words a thousand times a day and still I know that they will never lose the meaning. They will never be empty. Not with Mal. Not with me. This boy means everything to me.
“Look I know that nothing I can say will make your pain go away, and I’m not going to lie and say that I’m happy. If you hear me, you would know that I was only bullshitting. Bullshit isn’t pretty, Mal. It’s just fake. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t think because I felt like I was too stupid to do anything. Everything I said or did only made me feel like I was getting it from every which way. No one ever agreed with me. You didn’t even like to agree with me. I know I shouldn’t have let that shit bother me, but I did, okay?”
I may be dead and worse looking, but I’m still me. This blood under my nails? It’s made of me. Everything about me is the same. I’m still a freak, but I’m a miserable freak.” I laugh at my own voice. I imagine Mal looking at me with pity. He has his arm over his face. Large hands clenched tightly. I want to calm his breathing.
“Say something Mal please. Speak? For me.” I reach out again but this time I force myself not to pull away. His skin against my skin is a happy memory, a place of lust and teenaged anxiety. Hot and happy.
“Mal?” my hand brushes the air around his red and ragged, tear stained face. His warm breathing chills me. I’m close but still so far away.
I’m burning up from the inside. I’m dead and alive. I’m learning.
“Mal?’ I’m about to touch Mal for the first time since I ran away and he just up and,
The days are pointless without you Flo. Fuck. I got up this morning and realized that I fell asleep on the couch.
My back is killing me. My shoulders ache as well, and my entire being swells with misery that won't let go. I ache for you.
I haven't bothered to clean my house in a while.
I don't see a point. No one has come in here in a good two months or so. No one sees my bedroom. You didn't while you were you were still around because I honestly just never bothered inviting you.
You could have just shown up one day.
That would have been cool. We could have hung out or had rough sex against the living room wall. That would have been cool too. I would give anything now just to taste you.
The making out we used to do isn't what I crave most of all now. I just want you Flo. Only you. Under me with your green hair fanned out across my pillow. I want to fuck you in my bedroom. I want to make love to you and leave your clothes in the hall.
I want a future and life with you. I want more than you gave me. I want to stop looking at my cell phone waiting for you to call. That's why I tossed it against the wall. The temptation to call your voice mail is too strong for me now. Texting you is futile. I just want you.
I strip on my way upstairs and flip on the hallway light. The bathroom is at the top of the stairs.
It’s dark and gloomy in there. I rid my lower half of my boxers and toss them back down the stairs. I hope they land somewhere that I’ll forget about it later. It would be super hilarious if I actually had company come over. I need to shower. I need to shave. I need to do all these normal things that I shouldn't have stopped doing in the first place.
My face doesn't look like my face when I stand in front of the bathroom mirror, fully prepared to shave. My green eyes look grey, and my cheeks are sunk in. My lips are heavy. I've been crying for days.
My weaknesses are showing in all of the right and wrong ways.
You'd be so ashamed of me, and then you would laugh at me, this is almost the same thing. I try to picture you smiling. You stopped looking happy when you saw me. I should have asked you why. My imagination hates me. I assume the worst things. Were you repulsed by me? Why? Is that why you didn't give me a chance to chase the demons away?
Come on. Flo talk to me. Stop leaving me.
I cover my face in shaving cream, picking up the razor I stole from my mom’s place. It’s pink. It doesn't cut me. I also stole her shaving cream. I hate going to the store, I hate shopping.
I hate making small talk with the shy cashier. The bathroom fan is going crazy. I turned it on without realizing.
I think my house is silent, but my ears are humming. There is music in my mind. Music and noise.
I'm screaming on the inside. No headphones can block out my own screams. Believe me I’ve tried, a couple hundred times. It just keeps aching.
The urge to start bleeding hangs in front of me, like a wet rag I’m too grossed out to throw away. I don’t want to touch the damn thing; it could have a disease. Doesn’t that remind you of me?
I mean, I haven’t had an STI or anything.
I’m clean, metaphorically speaking. I spread shaving cream over my jaw, slapping it to the sides of face. I start shaving.
I stayed up all night. This shouldn’t mean anything, the dead don’t need sleep. At least, that’s what the world makes you think.
I still need sleep.
I’m still lazy, and would much rather do nothing all day than do a hundred fun and exciting things.
I don’t like people; I don’t like talking or joining in on activates when nobody wants me around. This is why I preferred sleeping during the afternoons when I was supposed to be at school.
I stayed up all night, kneeling on the ground beside you. I spent all night watching you and loving you, my heart broke when your breathing finally evened out. You fell asleep on your couch.
I cried beside you. I cried like a pathetic, whiny ex-girlfriend who couldn’t let go but was being forced too. I forced myself, I know.
I was never your girlfriend Mal. I sure as hell am not your ex now.
You woke up, looking around as you cursed yourself out. I backed up, pushing myself up using the coffee table. “Mal?” I whimper, smudging snot off of my face with my knuckles.
You look awful. You sound awful. Your voice is hateful. I cling to it in the shadows. I cling to you.
You peel off all of your clothes, and I see all of you. I’ve never seen all of you. We’ve kissed, we’ve groped. We never made it into a bedroom.
I don’t know if I’m thankful for this now, or if I regret it more than you will ever know. You once told me that you wanted to watch me let go.
I follow you into the shadows. You stumble up the stairs and I stay behind you, fully prepared to try to catch you if you fall.
Oh God, this is something that only a truly perverted bitch would do. I'm watching you shower Mal. I'm standing right behind you. I’m in your bathroom. That quick shave did nothing for you.
Wipe the pain out of your eyes and let the crying go. Holding it in only looks worse on you.
My body hums when you turn around, and I look down south. I can't help it okay? I always wanted to jump you but to see you vulnerable awakens all sorts of emotions that I buried long ago.
I swallow and blush when you look me and up and down. In reality you are just looking at your bathroom wall. You can't see me at all. I am invisible, a ghost. I could probably touch you and make it real if I concentrated for a decade or two, at least if all those ghost movies were telling the truth. But I don't want to freak you out.
"Mal?" I reach out and slink back when you dead eye the shower curtain, kicking it out of the way as you turn the water on. It is hot and loud. The mirror is going to fog up even with the fan set to loud and annoying as all hell.
"So what do you think of the new iPhone? I would totally get one if I weren't dead and all." I try to chuckle but can't find the sound.
Mal steps over the tub and right away I follow.
This makes me worse somehow I know. Standing behind him when he tugs the shower curtain closed. Water hits my clothes, and I instantly feel relief when I am instantly soaked. I love knowing that I can still feel. That the water can still touch me. I don't know how that possible but I don't care right now. Mal turns around, fidgeting, unsure of himself and again I look south.
His ass is perfectly hardened and small. The back of his legs perfectly toned, his feet are huge.
God damn, Mal.
He dips his head under the hot waterfall and braces his arms against out the shower wall. I am so entranced by his muscles. He's like a god; a beautifully handsome soul that should never be in this much pain let alone any pain at all.
Suddenly it feels like there is too much space between or souls and yet not enough space at all. Not even close. Before I can think my next move through I reach out, breathing in water nice and shallow as my fingertips grace the back of his skull.
He shudders, but I know that's because of something besides what I'm doing right now. Something about the water or something else. Something I don’t even know about. Something new.
"You can't feel this can you?" My fingers drop down. Touching the back of his neck. His shoulders. I trace the tip of my nail down his spine, stepping back a step or two because I’m overwhelmed.
I have my hands all over him now.
I am a real creepy perverted and horny ghost. Don't judge me! How dare you! Mal growls and suddenly my own legs almost knock me down. He turns around. His gaze is shooting for mine like an arrow. He has me in his strong hold, and suddenly I know that he can feel me because I can feel him too.
My hands are against his chest, and his hands and arms keep me in front of him. Pushing me back away the splash soaked shower wall. His nose touches my nose. Our lips are so close.
"Mal?" I say, but his face doesn't shift at all with the sound. I try again. "Mal?" My voice is choked. His arms cage me in like an animal. His green eyes are wild. Mal breathes in and breathes out. His entire body is vibrating my own before his arms drop, and he simply turns around.
His shoulders are tense, and my body is full of fuel. Right away I know.
“You felt that too, didn’t you?”