Everyone is a little messed up, but whose fault is it really?
To us, firsts were everything. It wasn’t always like that, but after those stuttering first impressions, and awkward first kisses, nothing seemed to parallel those feelings.
“The first signs of being in love are always the best,” he would whisper in my ears late at night, and I always wondered if it was worse after the first signs. My wonderings would end by his lips traveling across my damp, bruised neck for the second and sometimes third times those nights. From my neck, it was always the same pathway, a bite below my collarbone, a trail of kisses from there to my stomach, where he would kiss and caress every scar and open line across my skin.
“Was the first cut the best?” he asked one night.
“Yes,” I answered, but only because I thought that was what he wanted to hear. I had long since forgotten what that first cut was like, or even why I did it when I did.
“I love you,” he whispered that same night. I knew he didn’t mean it, and it hurt me more than any of those scars on my stomach.
“I love you too,” I whispered back. The moment burnt in my brain like any other fake moment, but it was sacred. He was sacred. We were gods at that moment.
After that night, our meeting became more and more separate. Sometimes I saw him twice a week, other times only twice a month. He would come to me and explain that he had been busy, but he had missed me. Those loose, fumbling explanations were what kept me alive then, I think. He would continue to talk, telling me about his children, his wife, and his job. His wife, he would say, was as wonderful as ever, and he loved her, but she just couldn’t do life like I do. ‘Fucked up?’ I would think, as he continued to talk.
The second to last time I saw him, I told him to stop talking and I led him into my work room to show him the right wall. It was a mural of our bodies, his in red, and mine in blue. I think it scared him, but we made love against that wall that night.
“You were always very talented, lover,” he spoke against my hair. He would know. He taught me everything. “Sometimes I fear that I ruined you.”
‘You did,’ I thought. ‘I was so young. You should have known better.’
“Do you regret anything?”
“Yes,” I answered quietly.