by Prophecy Girl

I don't mind spending every day out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile, ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved..
-Maroon 5

Angel in blue jeans. In leather pants, in a slutty skirt, in high boots and low tops. High from.. from what, from the thick smoke curling around my head and sinking into my skin in that last place. That last horrible, smoky, liquor-soaked place with too many people and things and drinks.

She's beside me, stumbling and laughing and falling all over herself. She's drunk.. stoned, maybe, but not in all her wits either way and I feel the same only I haven't smoked or touched the drinks she orders for me even though she knows. Knows that's not me, that's her, I'm the good slayer. The good one.

Sense memory, like the smell of popping corn or baking bread or baby powder. Remembering so long ago, being told.. you're the oldest, you should know better, be in charge, watch your sister--

Except not. Because she was never real and this is, this cloud of smoke from menthol cherry red lips that smack. This urban bombshell broken babywhore in front of me. She's only fifteen, just a baby baby baby..

"Oh, baby." She grabs me and I yelp, swat at her, secretly don't mind. She looks tough like all that leather but she's fragile and I see it in her eyes, like a big cat, injured but refusing to show it or give in. The hurt is there. You were supposed to laugh and get me back, her eyes say accusingly. So I do. And she is light again, laughing and falling to the ground. Ring around the rosey.. but Giles told me about that song.. ring o' ring o' roses. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. It's really about a plague.

Where is my mind? It's on another planet, far away. How many miles to the sun? The radiant smile in front of me beams brightly, faltering every now and then. The tiny imperfections stand out suddenly--the stray eyebrow hairs, the tiny zits here and there, the crooked smile and a filling visible only when she talks. Or laughs with that big wide open luscious mouth..


Just because she is seduction given form doesn't make it any less sick that she's had sex with more people than I know and she's still just a baby, not even an adult yet.

The girls used to call me Faith the Slut and try to kiss me on the playground and the boys were always putting their hands up my skirt and sometimes I let them.

I was so horrified so surprised so embarassed for her. I saw it all, the writing on the chalkboard, the taunts and tormenting, the time they all surrounded her on the playground and threw rocks and sticks at her and laughed, laughed, laughed like she's laughing now, wild and crazy and free.

People who bully don't like themselves. People who sleep around and wear too-tight leather pants and laugh a little too loudly at their own jokes don't like the people who taught them how to be, how to live. I think she hates her reflection, that's why she never looks you in the eye. Can't stand to see herself there, but I caught her eyes once before she looked away and they glistened with the slightest hints of green. Like a jungle cat. Jaguar baby.

She opens slowly like a flower, blooming before me. She doesn't keep secrets from friends, she says and I ask then what do you do with them? Give them away? She laughs again and shrugs and tells me she's never had a friend before, so she guesses she keeps secrets after all.

I touch her arm and let my fingertips linger on her elbow and the contact is too much for her, she shies away and mumbles that she has to go. I have to let go--if you love something set it free, so I let her fly away home and wait patiently while she invents problems with me and her and us. She wants to kiss me, but it brings too much with it, she says. I don't want to use you, she says. I don't want to commit. I just want to be free and easy, friends like I dreamed. I've never had a friend.

My heart breaks but I don't waver.. just hug her and lie that it's okay and I'm not hurt and I'll love her only like a friend. No, I can't, but I won't tell her we'll never be friends. She won't mind if she finds out. All she ever wanted was to be loved anyway and until now she had to settle for being desired. I will be loved, one way or the other, whether it's a lie or a truth that hurts, her eyes say now. Tinged with green.

My heart turns and drops to the floor. Help me, I'm falling out.

She's walking away and I barely have the strength to not call after her and demand that she kiss me just once.


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