Prologue 2

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A couple weeks later I finally send that email. It's short and awkward and it essentially declares that if its money he's worried about, it states plain as day in the paperwork that I don't want any. Two days later I get a response. It's short and awkward and essentially declares that he'll get to it when he does.

I reply immediately.

And when will that be?

His reply pops up within twenty seconds.

When I fucking feel like it.

My ears steam.

Fine.

GMail tells me my conversation with Jackson Killian has been updated and I click the little bubble.

Life with me must have been really intolerable for you. You can't wait for it to be completely over, can you?

What should I do? What should I say? Isn't he happier? Isn't his life better? He's free, he's alive, pursuing his dreams. The nuances and the details of that, I don't know. But I know that I don't come home to him glassy eyed on the couch anymore, eating vanilla wafers out of the bag and laughing at some stupid sit-com. I know that he just cut his first record. I know he collaborated with people I've actually heard of. Famous people. I know that I heard a song off it while I was at Starbucks. I know that it wasn't about me.

My reply is solid gold brilliance.

Whatever.

I'm such a child.

...

Apparently he is too, because a couple months later I'm in the midst of asking a bohemian princess with fat well-made dreadlocks and two nose rings what she'd like to drink when he materializes next to her and asks for a Pacifico.

All that smell-goodness and hair and eyes. Eyes like the mold that grows on the remnant of a loaf of bread. Grey-green. Haunted. I just stare. I legitimately just stare. Facebook-him and real-life him are these two wildly different things. I could touch him, here. I could reach out and... it would be so easy.

Little miss dreadlocks has nothing on us. Absolutely nothing. I've marked every inch of his body. Either in scratches, bite-marks, bruises or ink. Words of devotion, acts of devotion. I've cloaked him in it. There is no part of me that wasn't branded in the same way. In this moment I don't understand how the whole world doesn't see it written all over him. My name and the signs of my ownership.

All they see is the foreclosure.

I head to the bar, flustered as fuck and Jared can tell. "'Sup?"

I cover my hyper-reality with some kind of excuse. Honestly, I could just be making unintelligible sounds. I don't know. All I hear are the sounds of things breaking and splintering and coming apart.

Me. Shattering. Inside of my voice.

He loads up my tray and the Pacifico mocks me as it sits there next to her small bottle of champagne.

Are they celebrating something?

Why are they in Vegas?

Are they getting married? No, no. He can't get married. He's already married.

I hate my slutty uniform and my smoky hair and my smeared make-up and the pinch of these stockings and myself. I hate that I have to walk back over there and hand him this beer. I have to hand her her drink. I have to wait on them. In my casino.

My eyes are filling up and... fuck. I'm not going to cry over this. I'm going to get over it.

That's what I'm going to do.

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