Codependent Chemistry, Part 3
We’re writing a Round Robin story this week. My partners in crime created a doozy for me to finish. If you haven’t read parts one (written by Amy McLane) and two (written by S. C. Green), please read them first. Otherwise, this will make little sense, and you’ll miss out on a strange, fascinating read. For those who are ready, here is part three.
“Hi,” I said. And then the tears came. But this time only his. I felt the burn, the lump in my throat, but my eyes stayed dry.
David pulled away and sat up. “What…?”
I shook my head just the tiniest bit and felt my lashes fall. They crumbled to dust as I blinked them away. When I reached up to wipe the specks from my eyes, David stopped my hand. His fingers met my arm and continued, shifting the skin like salt crystals.
“No,” he said, as my sharp inhale sanded down my windpipe. “No, no, no.” Then he was up from the bed and rattling through the bathroom cabinets.
“David.” My tongue tapped my teeth like a rock against tree bark. I stared at my hands, not believing, not willing to move even my eyes.
You’d think turning to dust would hurt, but of all the ways I’d gone, this was calmest. No shock of water in the lungs. No splatter or gelatinous goop. There’s something zen about dust. It simply scatters and settles into peace.
“Stop!” he yelled. There came the sound of breaking glass and a slew of his special words flew around the room. “I got this,” he said. “Don’t talk. Dont. Move.”
I would miss him, of course. But the thing is, none of this was right. Not one single moment since the first time I woke up.
“It’s wrong.” I pressed the thumb and index finger of my right hand together and watched them disintegrate. “I shouldn’t be…” My lips went next and with them my words.
David stumbled through the doorway, arms full of clanging bottles and candles. He took one look at me and made a sound like a gutted bear. My feet had crumbled to two piles at the side of the bed. My legs raced to join them. I tried to tell him with my eyes it was okay. To let me go. But then I felt my spine giving way, the slow inching upward, bringing with it a rush of dying synapses, firing off a final time.
Across my eyes, they flickered in reverse. All twenty-three. Back through each one, my memory skipped, and I watched them flip like pages in a book. The drownings. Falls. Electrocutions. That awful thing with the hedge trimmer. Farther and farther back, and in between memories of David and me, the good and the bad. The times he carried me, and the times he dragged me down. All the while the unraveling made its way up and up, until it reached the base of my skull, and then — then — I saw the third time. The second. I felt it close. So close. The first time. Just there, the next page to flip.
You’re wondering if I found it. If I remembered. If I was able to make it stop.
Look at me. Would you be sitting here, pieced together like this, living a never-death if you had?
I took the subway here. Yeah, sure people stare, so what. I’m thinking today I’ll give the tracks a go. Haven’t tried tracks yet. Not that it’ll do any good. David will be there.
David is always there.