Flash fiction prompt 29 (Love Lies) and 30 (Numbered), because I couldn’t resist doing a list instead of a straight-up story. This piece is split into two parts, with the second part to be posted tomorrow. Now that the characters who have taken up residence in my head over the last few days have told me their names, I wanted to give them one more chance to speak to each other before prompt month ends.
If you haven’t read the previous parts of this strange little collection, it’ll make more sense if you read them in the order they happened rather than the order I wrote them – Push, Near-Death Wish, Drowning and Drowning Part 2. Today’s piece is from Brett’s point of view. Noah’s will be posted tomorrow.
1. I love you.
2. When you’re getting dressed, I look at you the way most people look at someone getting undressed. You’re beautiful as you are, but watching you put on clothes is like watching you put on armour to do battle with the world. Sometimes I wish I could tear down your walls, but right now it’s enough to know that you’ve built some of those walls around both of us and I have never felt safer.
3. That first night, I would have let you do anything and I would have done anything for you. I would have let you kill me if you’d wanted to and I would have gone anywhere with you if you’d asked. The following night, I almost didn’t go back to meet you because I was scared of what would happen. I wasn’t scared of what you might want. I was scared of what I already wanted.
4. The night you walked out, I lay awake until it got light outside and imagined you coming home to me. I thought it was a fight. I thought you’d assume you’d won. Now I know better and I know you don’t see the world in such simple terms. Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll stand in front of the door and refuse to move until you tell me all the things you’re scared to say. I’ll listen and even if I don’t understand, I’ll accept everything, all of it, all of you. Then I’ll move aside so you can leave if you want to but I know you won’t.
1. Never, and I don’t think I could. I don’t think I have it in me. I’ve spent my life pushing boundaries, testing limits, and I’ve found the darkest and brightest parts of myself in those experiences. But that feels like a line I couldn’t cross.
1. I would though, if you wanted me to. I would, with you.
About the photo
I wanted an image that suggested love and violence, since it’s fairly obvious from the ‘lie’ and the ‘unspoken secret’ that there might be a bit more of both in these guys’ shared future. Weirdly, or not that weirdly if you know me, I have two very similar heart-drawn-in-blood photos in my archives, taken a few years apart.