He was the Lightbringer, Morningstar, how could I not love him beyond all else? His radiance lit all of creation; he was my very first sight, the beauty around which I shaped my understanding of faith and fealty. I could no more deny him than I could unmake myself, for it would be contrary to every heartbeat, every breath, every cell and atom and immortal particle within me. Glory, I sang, and glory did I mean. I do not regret my choice, therefore, only wish it be understood that to me it was no choice at all. Even the blood he shed in that great battle was liquid gold and just as searing, and when he fell his meteoric impact shook the universe itself. How could I not follow him down? There is no paradise without him.
Look, I know I seem selfish but you have to understand: I did my time, I paid my way. For thirty years I played the good eldest son to carry on my family’s legacy. I graduated first in my class, then summa cum laude; I played the violin and the piano, and spoke multiple languages; I went to every business and political function my parents asked of me, six nights a week and church on Sundays. I wore the right things, did the right things, said the right things day after day, year after year. I gave them the most formative and precious years of my life, shouldn’t that count for something? It was all lies, sure, but you’d have been hard pressed to find anyone who saw through them. Hell, even I believed them for most of that time. So it’s not like it was all for nothing, okay? Thirty years is a long time to constrain yourself to the service of others. I didn’t have a childhood, you know. I had boarding school and recitals and tutors and competitions. Every moment was spent preparing me for another moment somewhere in the future when I would inevitably be the CEO, the candidate, the husband of the pretty blond wife and the well-behaved children. That I made it thirty years before I broke is the real wonder, honestly – that’s what people should be amazed by, not the pointless shit that lead up to it. Did I handle things well, there at the end? Maybe not. But do I regret it? No. All I regret is taking so long to realize the choice was mine to make.
There’s this idea that if you fall in love with a crazy person, your love can save them – that, given time and patience and devotion, you can fix their madness, you can make them “whole”. It’s a load of shit. Madness can’t be fixed; it can only be suppressed, and will always come creeping, seeping, bleeding back. So why try? Why not accept the madness for what it is and wait for the morning you wake with your lover’s knife in your throat? At least there’s honesty in that. Believe me, the crazy ones know they can’t be fixed. It’s cruel to force them to go along with the charade when you both know you’ll end up at the same tragic conclusion anyway. Blood and broken glass are enough to bear; spare yourselves the disappointment, at least.
Life is one long slippery slope. I started at the top, but from the first my stance was shaky. I slid so early so easily and never managed to climb back up more than an inch – and that just to fall again anyway. Drinking to smoking to injecting, kissing to fucking to binding, it’s all downhill. Melancholy to misery to madness. Love to obsession to hatred. I’m not sure I’ll even know when I’ve hit the bottom; will it feel any different than where I am now?
The first time I made him bleed, I thought I would kill myself rather than live with the guilt. But I didn’t, and the second time that guilt weighed a little less on my shoulders. I barely felt it at all the third time; he knew the possibility was there, he could have prevented it had he truly wanted to. My point is, none of those instances felt like rock bottom. Maybe nothing will, until the time I unwrap my hands from his neck and he lays still and silent. I thought love might be the thing with which I’d climb back up that slope, but I was wrong. If anything, it only accelerated my descent.
I pray you never know what your lover looks like curled up on the bathroom tile, trembling and covered in a cold sweat. I pray you never know what his voice sounds like scraped raw and coated in blood. I pray you never know what his cracked lips taste like or how erratically his heart beats beneath his pale skin. I pray you never know the urge to cut out your tongue and eyes, scrape off your skin and mutilate your ears, anything to stop seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling the end as it approaches.
Do you exist without each other? Do you exist in the time before you met, when you lead separate lives? You never let me see those years.
Who was Will before he found Hannibal?
…we don’t ever learn that, I guess. Not really.
We don’t know that either.
Then there you have it. Whether the teacup existed before it shattered or not doesn’t matter once it has broken.
But– …I hate when you speak in riddles.
No, you don’t.
Does that make me Abigail, then?
That’s a riddle you’ll have to solve for yourself.
I have swallowed you down so many times, it is a wonder your seed has not taken root within me. I can almost feel it buried within the meat of my left breast, though, nestled safely behind the wall of my ribcage where it may grow in peace. Perhaps that strange twisting sensation I sometimes feel is the first little tendril breaking forth from its shell, tasting and testing the red soil of its birth. Soon its vines will go creeping through my flesh and wind around my ribs like ivy on a trellis. I wonder what manner of night-blooming flowers will push their buds out my eyes, or strange fruits ripen alongside my warm organs? I hope, should that day come, you will cut me open and reap your beautiful harvest.