I took a couple more prompts from my wonderful little collection, so thank you all again, friends list. More Metanoia, so of course this has already been posted to riverside_hq.
Zander woke suddenly, with a gasp. “Shit,” he muttered, groaning. He lifted his head a little, dropped it with a ‘whoomf!’ onto the pillow, sliding one hand up to cover his eyes.
He had been dreaming. The dream, which had seemed so vivid and real a few moments ago, was already slipping away, fragmented, details lost. Zan found himself involuntarily groping after the tattered and fading shreds.
Everything had been in flux, colors and shapes inconstant and treacherous, melting and changing around him. Star had been there too. They had moved toward each other, inexorably drawn together, as if by magnetism. They had touched, and the boundaries between them had blurred and disappeared. They had merged, melting together, melting into each other. Zan’s fingers pressing into Star’s arm, Star’s hand slipping in between Zander’s shoulder blades, deeper than skin. Lips touching, and then closer than touch; melting together at chest and hip, arms, legs, breath, thought. No longer separate; difficult now to tell that they had been two, now together, same, unified, one, one.
Melded together, skin and bone and hearts and minds, nothing was hidden. Zander could feel/see/taste everything that Star kept bottled away, the shadows, the hurts, the rusty poisoned needles. He had reached out to the shades and sharp snags to soothe, to smooth, to smother…
There had been a painful feeling like wrenching; sharper, like splintered glass. Star had pulled away, one was two again and it was like a wound, raw and bleeding, the awful edges were Zan ended and Star began. Zander could have wept for the pain and loss. Star’s face was an ugly mask, and the shadows were all around him now.
“Don’t try to fix me,” Star had snarled. “You can’t fix me, Zan. Don’t try.” And he had turned and walked away and Zan was running after him yet somehow Star was slipping away, and Zander called after him to wait-!
And he had woken up, and the dream had dissolved around him.
Zander wondered fuzzily what time it was. Too early, in any case; it was still completely dark. He groaned again. These dreams were going to kill him.
He pondered getting up, making some coffee. He started to move, then froze as he heard the sound of Star’s door opening and closing. Hell. He didn’t want to face Star just then. He rolled over and pulled the covers over his head. If he didn’t see Star, he wouldn’t see the mood he was in. He could pretend Star’s awakening was pure chance, a coincidence. He could pretend not to know what, somewhere deep inside, he knew- that the dreams were more than just dreams. And Star could keep pretending, too.
Emily wasn’t quite sure what she thought about Lexi. It wasn’t as if she didn’t like him. He was charming, funny, smart- brilliant, even. And yet…
And yet. It had not been very long ago, still, that she had been married. If one could call it a marriage. She still didn’t know what had been worse, the pain and shame of what he had done to her… or the guilt and horror of what she had done to him. She still felt soiled and hollow on the inside, and it was fading slowly, but it was still there. A mark on her soul.
She wasn’t ready yet to try again, to open up to another person. Or even to find out if she wanted to open up to another person- Lexi specifically, or anyone. And so she kept her distance, parrying his advances, always in good humor. Even flirting sometimes, but never saying yes to his invitations, implicit or explicit.
Lexi, for his part, never gave up.
“Try buying me flowers,” she had said. She had been joking, and he had known it. Nonetheless, the next day she had walked into her room and found a huge bouquet of flowers on her kitchen table, nearly overflowing from their vase, bursting with color and shape and scent. She had smiled a little, and smelled them, and that was that. When next she saw Lexi, she had thanked him, and then it was back to their usual verbal jousting. There were some hurts that no amount of jokes and charm and flowers could heal.
Even so, several months later, the now dried flowers were still on her table, and she still smiled every time she saw them.
In case anyone cares, the prompts used:
1. The awful edges where you end and I begin (a line from the song "The Horror of Our Love" by Ludo)
2. Dried flowers