Beep. Beep. Beep.
I rolled over and hit my alarm clock. Eyes still closed.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Oh. Not my phone. I grab it, and see I have seven missed calls, and four texts. All from Amy.
Shit. The Halloween party.
It’s eight. The party starts in an hour. I text her that I’ll be there in twenty minutes.
Mom and Dad are in their room. I make sure they’re still breathing and grab my duffle bag.
We have an entire pantry dedicated to liquor. I grab nine bottles; they won’t notice, drunk or sober.
I stop by Elizabeth’s. Unsure if she would want to go to the party, considering her condition. I get out and ring the bell.
Her step dad answers the door, no shirt, and eyes me up and down.
“Elizabeth is grounded.” He stats without a hello.
“May I just speak with her for a second?”
“Sorry, kid, I don’t make the rules.” He shuts the door.
I go back around the gate to her bedroom window. I peek in and see her, oblivious to me, crying.
It breaks my heart. No, worse. It makes my universe explode. Everything inside me bursts into fragments of sadness.
She gets up, and grabs something small and shiny on her desk and sits back down on her bed, crying all the more. She holds whatever is in her hand to her wrist, and mimics a violin.
I see blood, lots of blood, start to pool up on her wrist and fall to her carpet. She’s stopped crying.
“No!” I yank the window open, and rush inside. I startled her so bad she drops the now crimson razor blade. “No, No, No.” I grab her wrist, and pull it to my face. I kiss it. The blood smearing across my lips and chin. I grab a shirt from the floor, and wrap her wrist in it. She’s started crying again.
I bring her wrist to my chest, and hold her arm. With my other hand, I wrap it around her and pull her next to my side.
We don’t say anything for a long while.
“Elizabeth?” I break the silence when the warm blood on my chest turned cold – letting me know the bleeding has stopped.
She nods. Silent tears still falling.
“I’m sorry.” I mumble behind the large lump in my throat. “I’m sorry I made you feel like this was your only option.” I kiss her forehead, silent tears of my own falling now. “I’m sorry you felt like you couldn’t tell me.”
She backs up, and places her hand on my wet cheek. “It’s not you.” She whispers.
I pull her close, “I will do whatever you want me to do. Not just about this, but about anything.”
She swallows hard. “What if I told you to leave me?”
The fragments of my universe get sucked into a black hole. The only thing left of me, is a bleeding heart behind a bleeding wrist.
She chokes, “You’re too good for me. For anybody. But, especially me.” She makes a face then starts to cry, again. A little louder, uncontrollable sadness.
I unwrap her wrist, and see the clotted brown red blood smeared halfway up her arm. The line when she sliced almost black. I have never known a sadness such as the one Elizabeth has felt. Is feeling.
How does she not see that she is too good for me? That the only reason I am who I am, is because of her? That my world, just as all worlds should, revolves around her?
“You’re perfect.” I whisper.
She falls back from me, to the opposite side of her bed. “No. I’m poisoned.”
Reflectively I glace down at her stomach. She quickly wraps her arms around it. Her bloody wrist touching the magic box which holds our child.
“No,” I lean towards her. “You’re blessed.”
She gets off the bed and opens the window. “Joey.” Silent tears fall again. “You’re not the father.”
The bleeding heart that is all I am explodes now. But not into fragments of sadness – but ashes. They scatter around the room and leave a mess.
I get up, and grab her arms again, careful of her fresh wound. “I don’t get a fuck who’s the father.”
She looks up, surprised. The look on her face – how did I not see it before? Just as I am ashes across her carpet, her ashes have long since blown away. She does not feel alone. She just knows she’s incomplete.
“I love you, Elizabeth. Regardless. And as I said before, I will do anything for you. You can stop loving me, and ask me to leave you; but I will always be in love with you, and will always do what is best for you.”
I kiss her wrist, a promise to put her back together.