This will hurt me worse than you he thought, before he buried himself inside. Bloodstained bedsheets became the tell-tale signs of youth and tender virginity lost. The razor scars that carved her abdomen must’ve cringed her eyebrows as much as the pain that now penetrated her hymen—a temporary hurt, becoming the sort of blissful ecstasy that only firsts can ever know. Or will ever know again.
He felt the sting, sore in his gut, before he even knew her name. Now, six months later, they held each others’ sweaty hands—their hearts full of fear, wonder and lust.
“I have to leave” she said.
Nausea filled an empty hollow inside of everything he ever wanted to be. Her rose lips had grown thorns, enveloping his insides. He needed to feel their soft petals, to smell their perfume. To feel her inside of him—no matter how much it hurt, he couldn’t live without knowing her garden.
Her vacancy filled a dingy toilet with his undigested dinner.
Even if she only went home to her curious parents, she took everything that meant home to him with her. All he could think about deep into his sleepless night was wanting to become a part of her womb—an attempt at trying to get something back that he’d lost so long ago that he couldn’t remember when it was, or why. Or who he was becoming.
Not long after, warm petals gave way to the sort of winter that came as naturally as her need to move on. No matter how much she loved him, he could never replace cavalier freedom of youth. He’d wander empty school hallways, full of non-conversations between adolescent peers, until he knew he’d pass her and wave. When she stopped waving back, he knew everything was over.
To regret ever having been in love to begin with seemed begrudgingly ungrateful. Then again, he knew he’d turn into his dull and listless parents if he kept going as long as they did—aging and dying with each passing day of their lives.
With cold steel buried deep in his throat, he knew that he could only paint such need in a grotesque portrait—
A colorful array of reds and the grays of disillusionment that would stain the white and otherwise empty walls behind his skull, drawn recklessly by pulling the trigger in his mouth—
If only to preserve that garden forever.