[Written by Julia Hegele (she/her)]
Content Warning: Abuse
How many times do I need to tell you I’m warm enough? These constant, cloying gifts of fibre and fabric are too much for me. I appreciate the gesture. Believe me when I tell you that I love you. I love the things you give me, small tokens in comparison to my own offerings, but still. I notice them. Beings are different, we show love in different ways. I’ve given you swaths of myself to build on, my blood to drink and my skin to charr – and you’ve given me yourself. Trust me when I say, that that’s enough. Getting to watch you grow from a small, inexperienced clump of cells into a full-fledged deity, a billion pieces of flesh moving in unison, all the while burrowing into me for warmth, for guidance. I felt so needed. I had been alone, beautiful but isolated for as long as I could remember. My time had been ceaseless with my infinite knowledge, but with no one to share with and no one to trust, I’d felt only the blackness and chill of a universal loneliness.
And then you. My communion. My everything. My lover. My abuser. I wanted to show you everything. I watched as your eyes opened in awareness, as you moved hesitantly towards the splendours I had waiting in my arms like candied nuts and fireworks and soft pillows at the end of the day. I held you close to me, body to body, from the day you first blinked. You moved on me gently, never scarring or searing but never really caring. I didn’t mind. Feeling someone close to me was enough to ignore your speedy growth and your sparks of discovery. I could close my eyes and imagine your kiss as you broke into my body with a fervour. I could sigh and fall against you as you plumbed the depths of my waters. I let you lattice my skin, let you build and trace and draw upon me with permanent settlements of gold and marble, testaments to your presence on my corporeal form. I always knew that you loved me despite your roughness. I gave you direction and adventure and health and wealth, and you gave me words to describe those things. But then you asked why. One should never ask a lover why they give what they give – but you insisted. I held up my arms in supplication but you took that as a surrender. You catalogued me and dissected me and took me as a specimen. Pinned down on your desk, under your magnifying glass, you determined how to pillage me for the love I had already planned on giving. Ηow best to exploit the gifts that I had tucked away, to unwrap with you on a frail autumn morning just because. You moved swiftly and before I had fully grasped what had happened, you had taken my agelessness, my clarity, and my ability to give.
I woke up dazed and fuzzy, knowing I loved you still. You were flying, overjoyed with your progress, and all I could be was happy. You were so beautiful, so centred and strong, no internal issue could’ve marred the smooth unity of your body as it grew and blossomed and eventually swelled with a lustrous weight. Like a Grecian prince, dripping in wine and honey and utterly content with yourself. I saw you at your most beautiful and tried to drape you in belts of gold and trimmings of violet. But I stumbled. And in that second you saw me. Your eyes widened and filled with tears. But you kept the feast well lit, your cup overflowing as my ribs drew tighter and my throat ached for wine. My spine blew away like sand and I crumbled into a mound of my former self, sifting through your desperately grasping hands. I almost smiled at the intention.
My blood runs heavy like syrup now, my breath comes in gasps that wrack my body with tremors. But still you hold me close. A bit bored with me I’m sure, I see you gazing past me at the celestial beings that tantalize you when you look up and into the jet-black sky, but I don’t mind. You’ll stay with me till I’m gone, maybe even a bit after. Looking coldly at my present form, absentmindedly musing on the beauty I used to present to you. You seem to think that I’m freezing; daily you present me with a shawl, a blanket, a throw. But I haven’t felt the sharp, life bringing, pull of the cold in centuries. Perhaps you’re making me comfortable. Yes. That’s what I’ll tell myself. Comfortable in my fleece and plush prison, safely bound to my tired lover in a web of sweat and shoddy knots. Waiting for the day where I’m smothered all together, dying hotly against your uncaring form.