Addie is smiling but I see a raincloud over her head clear as day. She’s mad at me. She’s disappointed.
It is so sunny out. I hate it. The sun makes it harder for me to see the things I see. I am so tired. I cannot localize the thing that drains me.
She looks at me one last time before she leaves, like she is hoping I am gonna say something, but I can’t think of anything to say. She kisses me on the cheek & says she will be back later tonight & to not wait up. Her voice has that faraway sound I have grown used to.
I walk back to our room. I don’t have any classes today so I might as well try to get some writing done.
Spring is always hard for me. I stare at the blank page & it stares back at me, telling me what I already know but am too scared to admit.
That I have nothing to say.
All I think about is her & how at the beginning of this year it was so different between us. The school year is almost over. I probably won’t see her during the summer. All our nebulous plans have fallen through.
I really think the Queen in Yellow is coming closer, though. She has her eyes on me. I have something she wants. I think it is Addie. She sees how happy she makes me & she wants her gone. She has been trying to destroy my world since I was three-years-old.
I remember because it was the last day I breastfed. My mother was one of those hippie types so she did not believe in weaning me off, so I had to be the one to quit. Years later I realized it’s just that she was a narcissist. The idea of me not needing her for my sustenance was not something she could handle. Once I stopped it was like I did not exist. I was not her baby anymore. Like an animal in the wild, she moved on, always on the hunt for something new to get obsessed about, something new she could possess & devour & consume.
My mother’s sad eyes shocked me. Saying, I quit.
Like breaking up with a dealer.
I went outside to the garden. The sun was bright. I found my way to the lemon tree. It was surrounded by a cool patch of clover that I loved to sit in & touch. Always dew kissed & cool even on hot sunny days. I noticed a few bees, but that was normal. Then I noticed a few more & then more. The few became a swarm that did not sting me, but gathered as one big black thing, buzzing at me & I heard her voice. She was calling me. I saw her eyes in the winged mass of velvet bodies, green like poison, glittering wet, so big, penetrating.
I watched her & she watched me. I got the feeling that even though this was the first time I was seeing her this was not the first time she saw me. That scared me. Her singular focus on me that I could feel like a magnetic pull. An arm emerged from the buzz. A hand, towards me & finally I reacted like any baby would, with sudden wailing cries.
My mother rushed out & scooped me up. She did not nurse me as she had done before when I was scared. She gave me a spoonful of honey with some lemon instead.
Now there was hate in her touch.
The queen returned to me every few years. Never coming as close as she did that first time. Sometimes I would faintly hear her voice calling me, telling me to do things or telling me bad things people were hiding from me. Sometimes it was just a smell. That faint smell of honey. The sweetest honey you ever smelled. Overpowering even in such small doses. The kind of sweetness that could make you hate sweetness forever.
If she takes Addie from me I will come for her. She took my first cat & she took my baby brother.
I know she is not done with me.
Sometimes when I sleep deeply after taking whiteibis, which I am prescribed, but if I take more than the dosage along with my day meds, then I get weird dreams. Sometimes when I am sad I take more just so I can have something interesting to look forward to.
I have really not been doing it as much since Addie moved into my dorm room. Even before we started becoming more than friends. The night she moved in I slept like a baby. I was able to cut my sleep dosage in half & my night terrors pretty much vanished.
Lately though, I have noticed her looking at guys, which bothers me more than if she was looking at chicks, because then at least I know we have something they can’t touch. But a guy I cannot compete with. They have the one thing I definitely do not have & if that is the thing she wants then there is really nothing I can do. I have trouble talking about my feelings when I am scared so I have kind of clammed up. I want her to ask me what is wrong. I want her to reassure me that she loves me. I am scared that she is over me so I do not even ask. I just quietly recede, waiting for the bomb to go off like I know it will.
When we first met, almost a year ago, it was one of those instant things. We did not even introduce ourselves to each other. We just started talking. There was a language already there, like we were simply picking up where a previous conversation had dropped off. By the second day of knowing each other we met for every meal of the day & when it was time for her to go back to her dorm room after we had been getting high all evening & watching I am Curious Yellow & Blue is the Warmest Color, she did not want to go & complained about how she hated her roommates.
I hated her roommates too.
She slept over in my bed. Nothing happened.
About a week later, my roommate moved out on her own accord & Addie moved in. It was like a party 24/7. We smoked so much weed. That is probably the main thing we did. I found myself actually telling her about myself. And she did not hate me. I felt seen, understood. We talked about all the stupid things we had done in the past & were able to laugh about it. One night, while listening to the new Lana Del Rey album, Lust for Life, we ended up kissing & making out for hours. We started holding hands in public & the whole campus was buzzing with it.
And now it is falling apart.
The buzz is loud inside my head & she is fading away.
I stop typing.
I hear footsteps. Shit. Is she back?
I jump in the closet because I hear a guy’s voice & I just don’t know how I would even deal with that right now.
They burst in acting like they’ve been day drinking. Her hair is already all over the place. I recognize the guy. His name is Taylor & he is a photography student. Code for professional perv. She takes off her top & he takes out his camera, laughing.
“How about some music?” he says, rubbing his camera lens with the edge of his flannel shirt.
“Sure!” She is excited, bubbly. She walks over to the computer on the desk by the closet & I freeze. I can see the sweat hovering on her pores, her eyes unfocused, her eyeliner smeared. I don’t understand why she’s even doing this. But I feel like if I come out now, I will ruin whatever is left of what we have. I will look jealous & insane & then she will definitely leave me, probably for this asshole. Why do chicks always go for the assholes? Every time. It’s like the hotter & smarter they are, the more they crave that beast to degrade them & make them feel like some thing to be used. I have seen it so many times.
Lost so many friends to their asshole boyfriends.
She puts on The Weeknd.
“Perrrfect,” he purrs, leaning against the wall, holding his camera like it is a beer bottle he is casually sipping.
“Where do you want me?” she asks.
“Why don’t you get on the bed. That way you can get into any position comfortably.”
She walks over to the bed & flops down gracelessly. She leans back & tries to look seductive but she just looks drunk.
“Yes, that’s good. Nice,” he says, clicking away from different angles & getting closer. “You are so beautiful, you know that?”
“Oh stop,” she says. She smiles & obviously definitely does not want him to stop.
“I’m serious! I’m an artist. I see faces. You have one of those…. classical faces. You know, very symmetrical.”
She laughs & gets on all fours, like a cat. She leans forward, looking both sleepy & fierce, as her red hair cascades over her shoulders & down her arched back.
“Very nice,” he says, getting closer. He strokes her back & smacks her ass. She laughs & sits up, startled. She just kind of sits there. He puts the camera down & sits down beside her on the bed.
“I think I got a good batch right there. We can always do more later, you know, maybe outside or something.”
They smile at each other. He playfully grabs her chin, shakes it side to side & kisses her on the lips & she sinks into it, like she was thirsty all her life for his kiss. She hops onto his lap, straddling him, grinding into him as he cups her ass cheeks.
I can’t breathe. I am paralyzed by what I see.
I had no idea she was even into guys.
Through my tears & dripping mascara I see him peel off her blue jeans & white cotton briefs, undoing his own pants & getting on top of her. Her moans are like knives to me. His sounds, like a beast. Each thrust stabs me in the gut. I have lost my appetite again. There is a bottle of whiteibis with my name on it. I could really go for a nice, big….long….nap.
The kind you don’t wake up from.
And then I remember.
It’s her birthday.