Part One - Lust

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CHAPTER 2

"You know," Mia said as she let a puff of smoke out of my window and into the night sky. "I think we should stop doing this."

She didn't look at me, just continued looking at nothing in particular. Her leg was dangling off the window sill, swaying slightly. She was wearing one of my oversized t-shirts.

"Stop what? Smoking? Because I totally agree, its- "

"No, B," she interrupted. "This," she gestured to the space between the bed where I was sitting and her. "Us."

I tried my best to keep a straight face, I didn't want her to know that the air had been sucked out of my lungs and I was struggling to breathe. I took a handful of crisps and ate them slowly, thinking that chewing would, somehow, make the lump in my throat disappear. But all they did was make it even harder to swallow and catch my breath.

After a while, I said "so you're breaking up with me?" like I didn't care.

Mia screwed up her face. "We were never together, Billie. You know I don't do labels."

We had 'not been together' for a year and a half. I didn't even know I liked girls until I met her. A pain in my thumb was telling me that I'd started scratching my nailbed, but I carried on. It was stopping me from crying. It's not like I wasn't expecting it, she'd started ignoring my FaceTime calls and was going out with our friends without inviting me. She stopped wanting to hold my hand or climb playfully onto my back whenever we walked anywhere, even if it was just down to the corner shop. In turn, I'd started texting her more, waking up in panic sweats and creating bizarre break-up scenarios in my head. She's cheating on you. Or definitely getting bored of you. I could sense her slipping away, so I'd started chasing after her at twice as hard. It had created a weird dynamic between us which, I guess, deep down I knew was too late to fix.

"Oh," was all I managed to say.

Mia stayed the night but by the time I woke up the next morning, she was gone. I haven't seen her since.

That was a month ago.

Since then, I'd felt like I'd just been floating through life, detached somehow, like it no longer had any purpose or any meaning. Part of me, a really big part, had been cut away using blunt and rusty scissors.

She'll hurt you, you know. Olive said two weeks into mine and Mia's relationship. She's an enigma, a free spirit, this is a girl you're not meant to get. I chose not to listen, as people in love always do, because I couldn't see an end to us. It was early days, but Mia always talked about a future we'd both have, the places we'd go and the things we'd see. I thought I understood her. I thought we had that something that's always talked about in poetry; that stupid unbreakable bond.

But now there I was, alone, lonely, drugged up and still hallucinating a woman who calls herself the human embodiment of 'Lust' in my bedroom.

I let out a sigh. "Please, just leave me alone."

She was still sitting on the bloody dressing table like she owned the place. In fairness, she did look like she owned the place. In many ways, she was the kind of woman I wanted to be. Her back was always straight even though she was sitting down, she looked poised and confident and her eyes were strong and intense. This was a woman who knew who she was and made no apologies for it.

"Sweetie, if you wanted to be alone, if you truly wanted to be alone, I wouldn't be here."

I blinked.

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