by Christi

Disclaimer: Ai no Kusabi is the creation of Yoshihara Reiko and was published by June

I can't believe this piece of blackened silver is all I have left of you, love. Even though he gave it to you, I keep it with me all the time. I place it on my tongue and I can almost taste the brine of your blood and sweat. I roll it around in my mouth and pretend you have come back to me.

It is nearly impossible for me to sleep anymore. You float up through my dark dreams and beckon me to join you. You are so dazzling, and I am so happy to see you again. But then I awake, drenched in sweat and tears, and when I reach for you I grab only air.

There were times I wanted you so badly I felt like I could turn you inside out, devour you, take every part of you inside of me. Even when I bit you or grabbed your hips too roughly, you just turned your head on the pillow and closed your eyes. I couldn't help myself, just like I couldn't help that night in Dana Bahn. When you turned away and I pressed you against me, the warmth of your body filled me with insatiable need. I reached down and took you in my hand, and you immediately grew hard. Were you thinking of him then? You didn't even cry out when I took your ring off. I licked your blood from my hands and kissed your lips and tenderly dressed your wound. I poured stout down your throat and cradled you when you passed out. Then I set off to face him, to let him know that you would always be mine. I thought he would discard you like a broken toy when he found out you were just another piece of Furniture. I never imagined that a Blondie could fall in love.

I don't remember the rest. I just remember waking up in the hospital with Katze at my bedside. He told me Iason had died in the explosion, and I laughed, goddamnit, because I knew you would come back to me. Poor Riki, for all your bravado you could never stand to be alone. But then he threw the ring on my chest and gave me the coldest smile, and he told me you went back to die with that fucking Blondie. I knew then that Iason had won afer all, and I howled and clawed at the skin on my face until the doctors came to strap me down. They filled me with drugs and shocked me till I was docile as a sheep, and I finally fooled them into believing I'd forgotten.

Of course I know you're gone for good, but I still sense your presence sometimes. It's like the pain I feel where my left arm used to be. The doctor said that's not uncommon, that the mind hasn't processed its absence yet. I will never stop turning corners and thinking I see you there, smiling at me. You came back to haunt me, but you know you always did, even when you were alive.

So that is why I have decided.

It will be awkward, and it will take me twice as long to bleed out with only one wrist to open, but this is my debt repaid in blood. I will swallow your ring as communion and take you inside of me for the last time. And if I turn that last corner and see you there, I will follow you anywhere, as a flower follows the sun.

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