They talk and you try to listen but it’s hard when your heart is so heavy in your chest. As things go, you are fine by all outward standards and tell people you are fine all the time. You hold it together and hold it in. The sins you commit in your mind are locked away, sealed up nice and tight. In the shadows which stroke you beneath your skin, there are the bad things you don’t want to admit you want and these thoughts begin to stir inside of you out of nowhere in the center of the sunny days you spend with him by the lake. It only takes a split second for your world to go black, your palms to itch, the dizziness to send you spinning like a top. You know your triggers. You keep them a secret because the secret is you seek them out on purpose.
The whiskey helps and doesn’t help but it goes down your sweet little throat like a perfect flame. Like a tortured season made for ritual burnings. The highs aren’t nearly high enough anymore and you know the danger of that. You know you know better but so few promises have ever come true for you either way. There was the guy at the bar who looked you up and down like you were an animal and the way the feeling of his eyes on you melted hot between your thighs. You want what you are most afraid of and there is no way of explaining that, not even to yourself. When he spreads his thick fingers through your soft hair, you moan against the way he presses all the way into your mouth.
When the sun is too bright and the cruelty in the eyes of those all around you tears tiny cuts all across your skin, you imagine what it would feel like to just give in. Let it all go. Set the wilderness that screams inside of you free and take the punishment like it’s a precious gift. Ecstasy and dread and the way they sear into one another until you can’t separate them no matter how hard you try.
You weren’t always like this. You don’t think so, but it’s tough to remember the past when you spend so much time slicing it up and burying it in places you hope you won’t ever find. You weren’t always the one with the sad saucer eyes or the timid smile. There just doesn’t seem to be any reason for the madness of the world or the insanity of its harsh judgment of a girl like you. You have become the thing they warned you about becoming. And as night readies itself to swallow you up into the haunted halls of quiet dreams, something in you whispers in your soul like a stiff wind through naked trees. Tells you the truth is that you have been this wicked all along. It touches you all over. Grins and bares its teeth.