Euphoria eroded the shell of panic off of me, cleansing the immediate air of my rancid angst. The doubt had evaporated out of my muscles, and the fear in my soul had vanished. But the best part was that my head had finally numbed. I let out a heavy sigh of relief and rinsed the dark blood out of the Spike. The white water rushed out of the spigot in a purging torrent. I stared into my reflection and watched as a slight, upward arc appeared on my lips. The pupils in my grey-blue eyes had shrunken to the size of pin-heads and I was at peace with the world. Even if something had happened to Johnny I knew that I wouldn’t have to feel it for at least another hour or so.
And, for just a second, I almost didn’t want him to come back.
Maybe I’m free. The notion was dreadfully whimsical. I had never truly entertained the idea of a life without Johnny- a life without the anchor of a madman dragging me into the depths- which was silly, because I had only known him for a few weeks. Yet, he was a part of me now- a scar on my heart. He was a thick and hearty slice of cherry pie that sat in my stomach, slowly rotting away and never giving me the chance to fully digest everything else that threw itself down my throat.
In all of eight weeks, I had never truly thought about a life without pie.
But the thought only lasted for a moment. It was a star’s wish made in vain. I would never be free, even long after his absence, because as soon as the relief and the guilt set in I heard the bolt to the room’s door unlock, and familiar footsteps came through the threshold.
He’s back. My heart skipped a beat. I had thought the anxiety would have receded, yet it was oddly present, like my gut was still telling me that something was off. Then again, when it came to Johnny everything seemed a little crooked. Maybe I thought he would sense the guiltiness in my heart. I just wanted to jump into his arms, and slap him across the face for scaring me so. Or maybe it was for coming back. But the door didn’t latch shut right away. The foreign rhythm of another person pitter-pattered in behind him.