I kiss her eyes and they flutter shut. I pull the knife out from her ribs. She's so beautiful, and in death she will remain so. Living things are so ugly, inside and out. How could anyone doubt that this way is the best? Beautiful things that die tragically young are never forgotten. And her greatest fear was to be forgotten. ** She walks in, swaying her hips and eying everyone in the room, that flame in her eyes part challenge and part invitation. Nothing more than an act. Every single sidelong glance is calculated, I know because I've seen it, lived it. She waits until they are watching before she so much as blinks. When nobody's looking, there's no gleam in those eyes. She's dead inside, just waiting for somebody to admit it. I want to go to her. I can feel her pain from here. I could help her. But I can't move. I'm frozen, I don't know why. She's not particularly beautiful, she's nothing I haven't seen a thousand times from a thousand angles. She's not that special. But there's that challenge in her eyes, flickering in and out and being replaced by that grim determination to keep her heart beating for just one more minute. There's no place for her here. Looking at her, I feel a longing I thought dead long since. I want to make her feel alive, safe, loved, special, beautiful, I don't care. I need a connection to this, I can't let this go. It has nothing to do with her. I need it for me. Still, no other woman will do. She's talking to someone now. She's batting her eyes, she's pretending to be demure, I want to hit her for that. She shouldn't lie to herself like that. He can't tell what she really needs; I can. Only I can. Why won't she look this way? Just one look, I'm sure, and I could make my feet move, open my mouth. She's kissing him, and oh god it's all wrong. He's the one kissing her. His words and gestures were gentle a moment ago, but now he's aggressive. She pushed too far, and this is wrong, no hands should touch her that way. I can't look. I can't not look, I wish those were my lips! They leave together, he drags her out, she might as well be chained for all the choice she has. She doesn't know she doesn't owe him anything. It's me she owes. She's disgusting, she's disgusted, I need to make her mine! It isn't long before she comes back. Her lipstick is impeccable, every hair is carefully in place, she's wearing a new dress, it doesn't suit her. Why is she back to play this game? She's already lost, you can see in her eyes that she knows it. She is the picture of a loser; she won't give up, and she won't change her strategy, the one she already knows doesn't work. This time she is mine, she belongs to me, she belonged to me before I ever knew her. This time, it's me she bats her eyes at. I won't stand for that, and I let her know. I feel your pain, I tell her, It resonates. I can see your soul dying as we speak. You and I are not the same as these people. They are real. What are you? Where did you come from? You don't even know. You can't answer me. Do you still remember how to cry? She shakes her head. She hasn't said a word since she walked in the first time. She didn't say a word to that loser. I'm not that loser; she will speak to me. You have a voice, don't you? So use it. Prove to me that there's something in that head of yours. How long before I forget you? One little sentence, and everything shifts. She thinks to forget me? That's not happening. I won't be forgotten. Not by her, at least. Maybe others will forget me, you can't have it all, but she will never forget me, and she knows that, I see it in her eyes. Her words are all a lie. She knows she won't really forget me, but there's more to it than that. Everybody is forgotten by everybody else, she says, You're right, you're no different than I. You'll be forgotten, and I'll be forgotten, and what good? Death and taxes. My head is spinning. I see that people are shying away from us. Why? Neither of us has raised our voice, she is practically whispering. She has no passion left to give her voice volume. I certainly have done nothing out of the ordinary. Still, even with the extra space, I feel very cramped. We should get out of here, and she nods. She knows a place. It's a short drive, I don't know where she's going but the city lights are fading and the world feels very open, this road seems very familiar. Maybe I've been here by day. When she stops, we're overlooking the city, utterly alone on a black black plane. Where is this? I love it. I love her for taking me here. And that reminds me of my need, that connection that I'm now sure I won't live properly without. She is mine, she just doesn't know it yet. And she will be for the rest of her life. I don't want to belong to her, though. She wouldn't know what to do with me. She doesn't know what to do with herself. One more reason for me to take her. She turns, and I see something new. I see passion. Maybe the presence of people scared her passion away, but now, alone, she is a burning flame of incredible intensity. This suits her better than her dress ever could. Do you think you could ever do something that matters? Where does she get these questions? What is going on in that mind? I can't bring myself to answer her, though. What does she mean by “matters”? I can make a difference in the here and now, isn't that enough? No, she says. Here and now are so small, here and now never counted for anything, not in lives like ours. You and I have no power, we don't know the people who do have power, and what sort of knowledge have you contributed to the masses? Have you cured cancer? What about the people who DO cure cancer, years from now? What difference does that make? Cancer patients will still die, just like everyone else. I don't think she's ever said so many words together in her life. Her eyes are shining, and I can't tell if it's rage or anguish. Maybe it's both. Suddenly I see a much deeper beauty in her. This isn't some random girl picked up at a bar. This is a mind and a body and thoughts and feelings and desires. Yes, she is beautiful, under all that make-up and costume, why didn't I see it before? Something in my mind shifts. My desires are now whatever her desires are, I don't know and I don't care. She's holding a knife and looking at me. Where did that come from? Does she mean to use it on me? I wouldn't care. Do you think you could ever do something that matters? It sounds different this time. As though asking if I thought I were capable, where before she were merely asking if anything could possibly matter. There's something very significant going on here. ** I don't know how we got to this state, you and I. But I do not think we are two. If it didn't sounds crazy, I'd think we were the same person. You infected me, or maybe I infected you, but whatever the truth, we're inseparable. Which is a shame. I pull the knife out from my ribs. I wish you had been smarter, then we could have hit the heart and died quickly. But maybe it's better this way. We could leave behind some clue of the significance of our death. But you don't want to. I know. You can't keep your eyes open anymore. I fight it, but I give in. I have no more energy than you. Your breath comes in shallows gasps, and I wish I had the energy to reprimand you. Dramatics at a time like this ruin the moment. The sun is rising off in the distance, and I grimace. It's too poetic. There is no poetry in a death like this. You wanted to stay young and beautiful and alive in memory. I could not deny you. We fight to open our eyes one last time. Our one regret is that there is nobody here to hold our hand. But we will not die with our eyes closed, as though in fear of what's to come. There are no fears in this future, only in that past.