Why’s a girl like you alone?” he slurred, weaving his hands through mine, pushing a curl of my hair behind my ear. Every neurotransmitter in my body filled with preparatory breath for one, big, harmonious, panicked song.
“You’re beautiful and smart and funny.” The skin on my neck tightened–tiny cracks spreading like wild rivers across my trapped knuckles. I forced my lips to curl and my eyes to sparkle, while I thought about slamming his weathered face into the coffee table.
“There are hundreds of men who wish they had someone like you,” he ambled. “I wish I had someone with a heart like you.” He touched my knee and my hip and my face, feeling proud and accomplished with his prey pinned beneath his canines.
“I wish I could have you.”
My stomach churned, wrapping my stomach around my might, tangling my strength with my muted voice. I felt the gears inside me rattle and shake,thudding against my bones, vibrating the muscles in my head, humming unpleasantly behind my ears. I closed my eyes, gritting my teeth behind my expected smile and finally, they slipped, spinning wildly, nothing to grab onto. Like me–no purpose, no partner, just constant motion.
Every predatory memory I’d suppressed rushed over the barriers I’d built to protect myself years ago. The scary stories I told myself weren’t real, like slumber party folklore, filled a library in my mind with the blink of an eye.
Please show me the Reaper.
I’m too tired for another.
Ms. Worth, I believe you.
Take the pain away.