“What would make me more beautiful?” Her gentle words slowly feed into his open palm.
“If you take this from this box, put it to your mouth, and breathe in.” His soft smile stints a smirk.
She readjusts her head back towards the window, yet her hand migrates around her – a simple signal of acceptance.
Knowing what is at risk here, “Sure.”
She rubs her fingers against the tread of the lighter, igniting it to life, combining flame and plant to produce ash and smoke.
It rushes with striking attacks against her throat. The smoke sending signals to cough, but she resists, refuses to let him see her weak. Holding it in only makes it worse; her tear ducts filled to their rim.
His eyes dart back; she lets it go.
His eyes dart forth. “Another hit?” She stares at his lips with an impulse that beats against the desire of saying no.
Before pain and release can break free of their wet chambers, he rushes in for the rescue. His lips against her lips, he sucks in the smoke, birthing it into the world.
“How does that feel?” His fingers stroke her hair behind her ear. “Tell me how you feel?” His words bounce around an empty mind, echoing with pings and pongs.
He pushes himself forth for another kiss, another make-out session, and she begins falling deep. “I feel amazing.” She spills into existence. “I love it.”
He continues to feast on this, giving her more kisses. Her hands now wrapping around the base of his head, pulling him in closer. One tongue fights to suffocate the other. Soft moans purposely slip; she kisses deeper into him. His bottom lip now her teeth’s new toy – gently pulling on it. His hand reaching up the back of her shirt, fidgeting with the conjoined bra strap. Her laugh fills their combined mouths.
She lets go, pushes back. “Tell me what else can make me beautiful?” He smirks again, but he doesn’t answer. He continues to stroke that one clump of hair behind that one ear.
For her, there’s no anticipation; no desperation for an answer, but she detaches herself from his embrace.
Her cheeks inflamed, but there is no worry. The seat stops swallowing her. Her eyes gaze into his, and she smiles. He’s a fool to believe it’s real.
The smallest hand ticks loudly in the hallway as it crosses ten – eleven – twelve past two o’clock in the morning, just returning home from work.
She freezes; her father is in the living room.
He says nothing. Eyes are glued to the television. It’s Family Feud again. In his hand, she sees his pen and his yellow legal pad. That legal pad that he uses to play along with this game on television.
She goes onto her room, rips off the clothes that reeked of sweat and grease, and hides it at the bottom of her hamper.
Sitting bare-naked on the toilet seat and waiting for the shower’s water to heat up, she scrolls through her messages until she hits the last one, the last conversation dated for October 8th, 2016.
This is such a hard question to answer, but if you weren’t so lucky, darling, to have me in your life. ;) Haha. But you’re cute when your eyes stare into mine after I’ve irritated you, but words can’t describe what makes you beautiful.
He had taken a long time to answer her question after he had dropped her off back at home, and it was in a text.
Her thumbs rub against the keyboard on the screen as she continues to read the last message that she didn’t know would be the last, Stupid Answer.
Tears run down her cheeks, catch themselves at her nose, but quickly drop to her screen.
He died in a car accident that night. Some drunk asshole ran through a stop light. T-boned his driver’s side door. The impact immediately killed him.
She throws her phone onto her bed, drops her towel, and lays on the floor. The last night in the car with him on a continuous loop of replayed memory in her head.
She groans to herself and wraps her body around the pillow she dragged down with her.
Her phone buzzes, but there is no budge, no desperation that draws her to see who wants her attention, so late in the night.
Headlights pierce their nails across her ceiling, distracting the candle light of her room with its beam of light.
She gets up off the rug, puts on clothes, plucks her phone from her thick sheets, places it on the charger and heads to bed.
• • •