Ache for You (Trapped in Three Hill Book 1) (9 page)

              “I did.” She simply says.

              I rest my head in her lap. She leans back. We fall asleep like that.

  
Can’t Go Back - Flo

 

              I pull Mal onto his bed after he starts to drift, laying him flat on his back I curl onto his stomach. Resting my head on his hard chest, I love the sound of him breathing in. I love his heartbeat. I’m drunk with it. I love this. Fuck, how did I let this happen? How did I let myself come back here with him? I’m dead and dead girls don’t get second chances even though I’m sure a lot of them wish they did.

              Why me?

              Why us?

              Why this?

              “I love you Mal, do you know that?” I whisper into his chest, tracing a pattern I created in my head. “I have loved you since we were ten.” I don’t know why I feel the need to say this.

              I just go with it.

              “You were standing at the bus stop with a bunch of other kids, when some older guy showed up and started picking on one of your friends. I think his name was Alec, you stepped right in. You stood pretty tall for a ten-year-old and you held your ground. You called the big guy a tool. He almost wet himself he was so shocked. You acted like you were going to knock his lights out. You glowed.”

              Great. Now I feel like a tool letting all of my mushy feels out, but what’s the point in stopping now?

              “I fell in love with you, and I never meant to, I just didn’t seem to have any control. It just happened. I looked up one day at you and you kind of smiled and kaboom, I realized that I was in love with you. When we got older and started high school, my mind couldn’t contain how I felt. We always used to make out and grope, but I thought it was just because I was there, and we were so close. I kept waiting for you to move on to somebody else.” As I speak Mal moves, pulling me close.

              “You didn’t move on though; I mean not really. You slept with other girls, but you were always there when I needed you. Yeah, I was jealous as all hell but you didn’t know how I felt. I never told you. I think you always thought that I was just screwing with you.”

              Again Mal moves, spreading my legs with one of his own. Oh yeah, that’s a new move. I smile as we snuggle.

              “I missed you more than you will ever know and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain how much I love you. Letting you go now might just be one of the worst things that I ever have to do.” I look up to find soft green eyes peering down at me over a worried frown. His words are twisting with my own at the thought of either of us ever letting go. His voice is hard and cold and cruel.

              “So don’t let go,” he almost shouts, and I take a minute before looking back down at his chest. This is not the time right now.

              “Sleep Mal.” I lean my head down. I kiss his neck, his arms and his stomach muscles through his clothes.

              “I won’t leave you. I’m apparently not allowed. This death grip you have on my arms should be illegal.” I wouldn’t give him up for the entire world, but I would give him up for himself. I know that this can’t be real and when we are both forced to wake up it will hurt more than before. The pain is a hundred times worse than I can endure.

              I had the taste of him in my memories and as vivid as it was, it was nothing compared to this. This is truly bliss. Everything about it. About him. I feel like a drug addict in search of another fix. I’ve never been a big drinker but right now I’m throwing back shots and dancing in a club all alone, my body whispering to the music. I understand every lyric. Every song about heartache is one I understand.

              This is something grand.

              How did I get by without this for so long? I wasn’t even gone that long. I managed to run away for a whole month. Thirty days of pure fucking loneliness I was rancid with depression.

              I was too terrified to reach out for the fear that no one wanted to hear my voice to begin with. No one wanted me around. I had accepted that. Convinced myself of it.

              The problem with being truly sick is there is no cure for it. Death does not erase mental illness.

              I am not reborn. I am still sick. Held down by it. My brain is unable to process reason. Mal could look me straight in the eyeballs and ask me to marry him right now, and I would still laugh out loud. I don’t deal well with anything real.

              That’s why I chickened out. Am I a coward for taking the hard way out? I don’t think so. I felt trapped. Alone. Like I had nowhere to go.

              I could have gone home, stayed under the blankets for a while in my old bedroom. I moved out without telling Mal. I didn’t want him to know, for fear that he would demand checking my new place out or he wouldn’t care at all. That was the line we had drawn, the line we could not cross.

              He could never care enough. Even when we fought, and he told me to get lost, I was angry that he didn’t chase me down the block. Isn’t that messed up? I wanted to get lost so that he would ride in and save me from my thoughts. I wanted to make him cry to understand that he felt the way I did. I always deep down felt like I was somewhat replaceable to Mal.

              I needed him, and he showed up. That was never somehow enough.

              I know that I’m not making any sense now. I’m sorry. I’ll shut up now. I rest my head back down.

  
How Dare You? - Mal

 

              I can’t move. I don’t want to.

              Flo is on my chest. Curled into a small green ball and I feel alive now more than I ever thought possible. I feel real.

              “I love you,” I tell Flo. “I have always loved you. I’m in love with you, and I will always be in love with you.”

              Why does it hurt to say the truth? It shouldn’t. This much I know.

              I’ve told hundreds of girls that I loved them before now—okay, maybe not hundreds. Maybe ten or fifteen or so but you get where I’m going don’t you? Why did that not hurt at all until now?

              I feel broken glass whenever I try to move.

              I move my hands to her back and slowly drag them down, touching all of the PG parts of Flo. The R rated is what I want right now. I won’t take it though.

              I would die if I woke up without her after having her back. My hands cup her ass. 

              “Why are you wearing such rough pants?” I ask. The hard material scrapes my skin.

              I remember. Just like that. It all comes back. These are the clothes she was wearing in the description on the missing posters. The picture I shared on
Facestory
. I liked it and shared it again. No one commented. What do you even say to that?

              “I’m sorry man?”

              “My condolences?”

              Prayers don’t do shit. I know that.

              “You okay my friend?” Flo asks my chin. She’s awake. I already knew that because her breathing was uneven.

              Can one even sleep in her condition?

              To answer her question, no, I am not okay. I will never be okay again. “Did you expect to land?” I ask, moving my hands up and past her beautiful ass. I wrap an arm around her neck, looking down at her green head. Her roots are showing pretty bad.

              Why is this the thing I notice? I’m such a jackass.

              “When you jumped. Did you think that you should take a break for a moment and then you would land, and we would all simply be able to start again?”

              I kiss her head because I can.

              Flo squirms and makes me hard again. I pull her back in, breathing the scent of rain water in. This is where I belong and where I have always been, a human body pillow for my best friend.

              My life is back again.

  
Jokes Forever - Flo

 

              I smile. I laugh. I hide my face in Mal’s chest. I don’t just feel safe, I feel wanted. I feel like I’ve never been in danger. No one can say anything mean to me here. No one can make me insecure. I have no reason to doubt anything anymore.

              I know that this feeling will probably wear off in about an hour. I don’t care.  “So what do you think about another shower?” I tease, muffling my voice into his t-shirt. My shirt has somehow ended up on the floor. Again. I don’t care.

              “I can’t get the smell of dirt out of my hair. I don’t know why that’s the scent that has chosen to linger.” I eye the fading, green split ends. The roots of my hair are dyed black. At the time I thought it worked.

              Can you guess what I want to say here?

              Here’s a hint: (I don’t care)

              I snuggle closer. My fingers are pulling down at the hem of Mal’s t-shirt. I’m surprised that he doesn’t have chest hair. Does he shave? That’s awkward. He’s not a swimmer.

              His pecs indent and smooth over. I memorize the soft skin with my fingers. He’s pale at the moment, the natural golden tone less evident now than it was a few hours ago. He is soft all over but strong. I’m torn by the muscles in his arms. God dammit this makes me swoon all over. I have a thing for guys with strong arms. Especially when they wear well fitted t-shirts. I reach up to touch Mal’s hair. It’s long, and the ends are curled over. So dark brown it’s almost black. It is soft and grab-able hair.

              I want to kiss his jaw. His neck. I want to pull his whole world apart. Haven’t we already been there?

  
Not Here - Mal

 

              I kiss her, tasting her and pulling her entire world apart. I was asleep a moment ago, but now I’m here.

              My hands find her hair. I use my knee to push her legs apart, actively searching for her warmth.

              I need to feel every inch of her.

              “Come here,” I tell her.

              She whispers.

              “I am here.”

              I kiss her harder. Her lips taste sour. Her kisses are brand new and yet so familiar it hurts. I’ve kissed her before, of course; my body melds beneath hers. She feels sturdy in my arms and yet I’m terrified to break her apart. Her heart beats, and I’m afraid that the glass within her is about to shatter. I kiss her words apart.

  
Forever - Flo

 

              I feel tethered and torn apart. Bruised and injured. I turn so that our chests are pressed together. I’m only in my white bra. It has been turned grey with blood and dirt. Brain matter.

              I left this boy with a broken heart.

              I died and yet I didn’t go anywhere.

              I still haven’t gone anywhere.

              I haven’t done anything that matters.

              I'm kissing my best friend, and I feel alive right down to the tips of my fingers. I open my mouth and feel devoured.

              I want to devour Mal forever. I feel his hands leaving my hair, moving down my back to the clasp of my bra. He unhooks it without a care, and I try to pull back to let the fabric slide down my arms, but Mal won’t let me go anywhere. The straps slip and suddenly I am still covered and yet I’ve never felt so open before.

              I grind my hips against him when he asks for more.

              I’m close, and I still want closer.

              I’ve never felt like this before. I kiss him once more because I’m terrified of this moment being over.

              I want to stay with this boy that I adore. I want to stay forever. I want more. I don’t want to talk anymore.

              I’m not here. I’m nowhere. My life is over. I’m doomed.

              Dead from the start. There are no chances to start over.

              I want a do-over.

              I want-

  
Before and After - Mal

 

              I felt her. I felt every inch of her, and I want to roll us both over. I want her beneath me. Green hair is spilling out everywhere. I want in her God damned underwear. I want her forever. I shiver and feel as if my body has been forced into a cold shower.

              I open my eyes, and I’m alone in here. Flo isn’t with me anymore.

              I’m naked. My hands are resting against the shower. What am I doing in here? Where am I? Why is my face covered in tears?

How did I get here?

              “This isn’t funny.” I cry out, spitting blood out of my mouth. I feel like I got punched in the throat. It hurts to blink, to talk. I might choke if I try to shout. I can’t stand still.

              I need to lie down.

              I am alone.

              “Hello?” no one responds to me, no one at all. Like I always said and thought a hundred fucking times or so: I am completely alone.

              I don’t have Flo.

              Fuck.

              I need to lie down.

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