126

by Violet

You think you want to know her, but it’s better if you don’t. It’s better if she doesn’t tell you how she lit the wrong end of a cigarette once when she was drunk. It’s better if you don’t know all the indecent things she got up to in her youth. It’s better if you don’t see the scars, don’t attempt to imagine her pain, and don’t try to look beyond her smile.

She wants you to see the good things, but she’s worried she’ll run out. There aren’t enough Cinderella moments in life, she won’t always be wearing a midnight blue dress and those pastel heels with flowers on top. You notice how she spends more time looking down at her glass than looking into your eyes, because wine never lies. Even in daylight you should not pretend to know her.

You see the faint edges of her tattoo escaping from the hem of her dress, and the outline of her had you mesmerised, so deeply infatuated you didn’t hear her warning. She told you not to fall in love with her ruse. She laughed when you called her an angel, because she’d broken men like you in the past. There are always men like you.

If you listened closely you’d hear no joy in her music. The sounds have been snatched out of her by a heartless monster, and she’s trying very hard to stay walking, never stopping to rest, never allowing herself a second to process what has happened. She was too busy engaging in her self destructive ways to count her losses.

But terrible thoughts occur to her before sleep arrives fashionably late like an old friend. What she could have said, what she ought to have done, what she would say if she ever saw him again. She looked at you and realised she didn’t want to play the game.

It wasn’t easy to ignore the way she looked at you, like no one else in the room mattered in that moment when your eyes met, and for a second you believed another glass of wine might just make you fall in love with her. She poured another, just to make you weak. There are always men like you.

 

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