Leopard-Print Love.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story that starts at the end, jumps back to the beginning, and then fills in the blanks as it progresses. A story of love & loss, of music & mohawks, of allegory & alliteration...
It may confuse you, it may enlighten you, it may frighten you--but most importantly, it will give you something to do instead of cleaning the bathroom or mowing the lawn.

Submitted: February 15, 2009

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Submitted: February 15, 2009

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I. The End.
In that quiet moment just before your death, you made an odd sound. Like the creak of a floorboard stealthily stepped on in the night. Your dark eyes, as beautiful as ever, looked up at me until I knew they could no longer see my face. I let a tear slip out; it slowly trailed its way down my cheek, landing on yours, and in that moment I never loved you more.
I don’t know why I did it. No, I suppose that’s a lie. I know just as well as you did what my reasons were. And soon perhaps the whole world will know. I don’t care. My life was over the moment I realized that you could never love me like I loved you. In fact, I don’t think it is possible for any human to have half the capacity for love that I had for you.
You could have done any damn thing in the world and I still would have loved you. But it wasn’t something you did that broke me—it was what you wouldn’t do. Why couldn’t you love me? Am I such a hard thing to love? I never understood that about you. And I thought I knew you so well.
The moonlight climbed nimbly in through the slats of the venetian blinds, flooding the room and casting a bluish hue across your face. It made you look cold, though I knew you were still warm. Our shadows merged together on the wood floors of your bedroom, in a way we never could.
As you lay there dying, my last words to you were, “I love you, baby,” (with only that quiet sound from you as a response). I like to think that in the moment your soul escaped from its mortal coil, you did love me—if only so briefly.
If I couldn’t have you, then no one could. Especially her.

II. The Beginning.
You seemed to really like me at the beginning. I was wary of you; you were excited, energetic, exuberant, insisting on taking me out on what you liked to call “real dates.” I did like you—a lot, actually—but it was this that made me nervous around you. And I was afraid that perhaps that made me seem boring and disinterested. I didn’t feel like I was quite myself in the beginning.I felt I’d made the wrong impression.
Eventually you drew me out, got me talking, made me feel at home in your arms. Your friends and I got on right away, and you told me how happy that made you that I was part of the group.
“My friends really seem to like you,” you said one night, driving me home, “That is important to me, and I’m glad you guys get along. I really want this to work out. These guys hated my last girlfriend,” you’d said, laughing. This cheered me up—finally, a promising relationship with a great guy.
Granted, it’d been a shot-gun romance, and had a rather random beginning. We met through a mutual friend, who was at your house one night and invited me over. I asked for directions, and he handed his phone to you, and that was the first time we spoke.
Your voice hypnotized me—though this may just be casting the past in a glamorous light… I got to the house, and you met me in the street. I was immediately stricken by you, even when you were nothing but a silhouette. Such an intense look you had; so pale, so carnivorous, so… starved. You led me into the house, where several people were talking, laughing, drinking. There was loud music playing, and a card game in process.
“Is this a party?” I asked.
“No,” you answered with a grin, “most of these people live here. This is basically what we do every night.” You led me outside and we smoked cigarettes and talked about ourselves, and we asked about each other, and mostly we talked about music.
I was in awe of how much you knew about music. Everything I knew was old news to you, and you continually fed me more information, more artists, more genres and sub-genres; you opened new worlds of music to me, and I was hungry for it. I felt like a child in the presence of a grown-up, a real adult. I gave you my number that night before I left, and you called me even before I got home.
“Hey,” you whispered, in that peculiar tone of voice you had, (everything you said ended not with a period, but instead with a…) “I’m just calling you to make sure you didn’t give me a fake number.” I could hear the faint smile in your voice. You were probably lying in your bed, and probably with your lights out. I could hear your ever-present music quietly playing in the background.
“Now why would I do that?” I countered, playing along.
“Oh, you know how girls are,” you answered, “or maybe you don’t. But I don’t always have the best luck with women.” You invited me to come over again the next night.
We sat for hours that night on your ratty twin-size mattress listening to album after album from your impressive music collection. You had vinyl, you had cassette tapes and compact discs, you had mp3 players, and a computer hard-drive full of more. For each question I asked you invariably had an answer, and usually a song to go with it.
That night I went to bed with you. It didn’t feel like a cheap hook-up; it was meaningful. You treated me with care, gently lifting my shirt, looking straight into my eyes, kissing my softly. You seemed to read my mind. It was wonderful. It was like bedtime stories, goodnight kisses, a glass of milk, evening prayers.
Afterwards, you made very sure that I understood what your intentions were; you weren’t just after sex. You made a point to tell me that you had a true interest in me, who I was as a person. Your words poured over me, and call me stupid, but I’d never felt so special in my life. It was startling.
You had a habit of looking me directly in the eyes when you spoke to me. I felt like you could read me, examine me, interpret me. Anytime you asked me a question, it seemed you already knew what I was going to say. I was naked to you, transparent. Yet despite this, neither I nor you could have known how this would end.
I feel as if I’ve aged a million years since then.
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