Phosphene

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
You were my sin, my poison, my only medicine.

Submitted: April 09, 2017

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Submitted: April 09, 2017

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I was less than ten when I first saw your face in tears. Amber blonde hair and eyes so blue the ocean would go green with envy.

 

Mother said you were useless, a waste of space. She said to go nowhere near the man drowning in self-pity. "Brother", she called you and each time I swear your eyes would twitch, almost as if in pain.

 

Why? Why? Why were you in pain?

"Sweet child, you must not touch him," Mother said. But why? You stank of liquor and your voice grew raspier each day from all the smoking. But you were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Why was I not allowed to touch you?

Why?

The sight of your tears when Father returned tore my heart to shreds. Nevertheless, they were beautiful. I was enchanted, no, I was enslaved. Why did you cry when you saw Mother's smile? Why did you look like the sight of their love made you want to die? You cried in your bed that night as Mother and Father were left undisturbed in their room. There were many things I did not understand at that time.

"Uncle, why do you like this odd liquid?" I asked one day. Your eyes were dead, the once ocean blue now seemed like dirty ice. My once kind and lovely uncle now seemed tainted. Even so, your beauty did not falter. You placed the cigarette on your gray flaky lips and replied, "It's my medicine."

"Then why did it seem so much like poison?"

Mother said that there was a time when women fell to their knees at your very existence. However, you did not grant any of them a second glance. Why was that so? 

Why?

By the time I turned twelve, I had answered all my questions. By then, it was so clear I had wondered why I did not see it sooner. But did you not think I looked like her? Was I not a suitable substitute, uncle?

"Just once," I said as I leaned closer to your face. Your hair was no longer amber, your skin was pasty, and your eyes... your eyes were the worst of all. The idea of women trembling in your presence seemed like a distant memory now. Mother had completely and utterly destroyed you, her and her blind heart. You were so beautiful, so very beautiful I dared not look away. Even when you stared at me with eyes that looked like the corpses of dead fireflies, I still saw you gleam. You had enslaved my existence. There was nothing Mother could do to ruin that. "Just once and I'll become yours completely. Do I not look like Mother?"

A gentle peck on the gray lips I have stared at for years. The faint taste of liquor was almost exhilarating. For the first time since Father returned, your eyes were not dead. Your mouth was agape in shock and your eyes widened as if I had just done something insufferable. "How did you know?"

"Because it is you." Because it is you, uncle. That is how.

"This is wrong."

"Why?"

"Because it is you."

"Is there something wrong with me?"

"No."

"Then why?"

"Because it is me. I am broken and you are whole. I am tainted while you are pure. You are my niece and I am your uncle. I can not touch you."

"Why not?"

"Because those are the way things are!"

Why? Why? Why? I have kept asking that my whole life. No one would ever love you the same way as I so why? Why must I live with this longing?

You had left that day without saying goodbye. Not even to my Mother, the woman you loved. I wonder why you had called me whole when your mere absence ruined me. I wonder why you had called me pure when I had already been tainted by the sight of your tears. Why? Why? Why?

The next time I saw you four years later, you had a beautiful woman by your side and in her arms, a child. Your hair was almost golden now and in your eyes, a flash of light. They could call you beautiful again and I hated that. To think there was a time when only I could see your magnificence. There was a time when I was your only slave.

You had smiled at me then but I wished you were in tears. If you were in tears, I could flaunt Mother's face and kiss them away. I wanted to be your medicine. I wanted to be your poison. It was as if I was cursed with the very feelings you have felt for Mother back then.

When we met for dinner, you acted normal in front of your wife and your little son who was no more than ten years of age. I wonder when this vicious cycle of immorality will end. Why was the taste of this impure obsession so sweet yet so bitter? I had cried so much in the balcony as the winter's wind blew. I was brought back to the time when you wept at Father's return and you had lost Mother forever. I had fallen deeply in love with your tears. So much so that you had owned my very being since that night. Why must it be you? Why? Why?

Then I had felt it, the eyes of a stranger. I looked down to see who it was and felt the flip of an hourglass. Your little son was staring at my tears in awe as if he had been completely enslaved. 

 


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