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[soundtrack: ANYONE'S GHOST - THE NATIONAL.]
this song is beautiful. 
BUT I DON’T WANT ANYBODY ELSE~
www.virgin-pages.tumblr.com 
--- 
anyway time for l'histoire

~ 
(MMN)
~
I’M FUUCCKKKINNNGGGG EXCCCITTEEEDDD.
collab with both @little-red and @emgeemtee —

two of my favorite people.

it be true
~


November 30th, 2011:


“You missed quite the excitement in Law today,” Robert smirked.

I rolled my eyes. “I hate that class,” I paused. 
“I’m thinking about dropping it, actually.”

He raised an eyebrow
(trying to hide his disappointment)
and asked, “Why? Professor a bit hand-sy?”

I rolled my eyes but blushed a bit.
That was a night I didn’t want to remember.

“No, no,” I said, placing on my sunglasses 
as we stepped out of Greek Row. “I just don’t think Law’s my thing.”

Rob crossed his arms. “But you’re so good at it.” I shrugged. “I was thinking something I’d…/enjoy/, you know?”
 “Prostitution?” “Psychology,” I corrected, shoving him off the pathway.
He chuckled and laughed to himself.

I listened in near pity.

“Is that even legal?” he asked, jokingly.
“What are you going to do, study yourself?” I looked down at the path, frowning.
He noticed and placed his arm on mine.
 “I was kidding, Cam.”
 I shrugged him off and put my hands back in my jacket.
The cool, late Fall air caused him to shiver and stutter.

“How’s that going anyway?” “I’m still taking pills,” I said softly. 
“I haven’t seen anyone for awhile though.” He nodded. “I’m sorry,” he said again.

I nodded back and we were awfully quiet.
I thought of the kiss we shared in his limo
and then achingly really wanted to be alone.


As we reached the plaza, the wish was diminished 
as Nate practically bounced up to us. He had two girls with him,
both of them in my French class just as Nate was. He grinned at me.

“Hey, sleepy,” he poked and prodded my jacket. 
“You missed le French today.” 

I tried my best to smile.
“Yeah. Madame Kass just bores me too much, you know?” “Oh, I know!” the blonde girl clinging to Nate practically shouted.
“Yeah, I wish I slept in!” the redhead added.

I stared between them with dead eyes.
“You are?” There was an odd silence.
Nate and Rob smirked at each other.
 “I’m Brianna, and she’s Bree.”

They sounded like a bad Disney duo
but I pasted that smile on again.
 “Interested in some coffee, girls?”

Nate, beside me, grinned from head-to-toe.

“Oh yeah, the café! I heard they had a great special today, Cam. 
You should really go.”

I gave him a suspicious look and he practically giggled.
He was probably high, but I didn’t ask.

The two girls were jumping up and down in excitement 
and before splitting Rob whispered in my ear—

“That smile and those dark bags under your eyes do you no good, dear.”

I swallowed hard.

“C’mon, Britney and Brianna.” “It’s /Brianna and Bree/,” one of them corrected 
with an odd, small giggle.

I waved a hand and asked them about homework 
and class assignments for French. As we entered the café,
they exchange an inside joke of Madame Kass that I laughed along with
(for who-knows-what reason, I did not even understand it at all, not one bit).

But I did laugh along,
And although I walked in the cafe 
with two giggling girls by my side,

I walked in alone.

I shuddered in my bones
and drawled my cardigan around me tighter.

As I scanned the menu
(croissant? bagel? peppermint mocha?)
I vaguely made out the whispers of Thing 1 and Thing 2:

"Oh God, it's Rivera,"
"Who are those losers that they're with?"
"What is all that hair on Alex's face? Ew!"

My neck practically snapped.
I whirled behind me to face a table
that had one girl looking at me dully.

I felt something in me sting as I stared at Elle,
and she stared back at me, and we were both cold.

I opened my mouth to say something—
anything that'd leave her and everyone there with my name—
something that will get them stirring or whispering and acknowledging.

But I froze,
seeing another gaze,
a very curious one—

his
(him).

Alex.

And my face crumbled
along with my heart
as I quivered and I
kept it all in with
a tight smile,
a tight face.

"Rivera."

Someone else spoke,
harshly and shrill.

Elena looked back at me, unmoved.
"DiVello."

We exchanged faces of pure challenge,
but it was a near sin—lying with weapons—
and I gazed in her eyes and they were light.

I tried so hard not to look at anyone but Elle
but the intensity killed me.

I was shaking and had to turn away
before I collapsed to my knees.

So I said, "Oh, and Elle, that's my dress,"
and whipped around with watery eyes.

"That's my drink," she called right back,
and it left an echoing whistle in my ears.

I looked down at the Soy Chai in my hands
(the one Bree or Britney or Brianna or Barbara)
just ordered and felt a sting of bitterness freeze over.

I looked back at Elle and she looked back at me.
There was so much I wanted to say and so much to be said.


I simply looked away
and walked out of the café. 


Outside (Bree? Brianna? Britney?)
said, “She’s /so/ lame, right? Like, I heard that boy George 
cheated on her because he was so bored with her.”

And (Barbara? Beatrice? Bailey?) replied with, 
“Oh yeah, with that fake personality? 
I wanted to leave the café as soon as I saw her.”

I stopped in my tracks and turned to the two.
“Girls, thanks for the company, but I’d really like to be alone now, ‘kay?”

Wide-eyed, they nodded, and rushed away.
I put my hand over my mouth and pondered and pondered
as I continued walking aimlessly around Verona, shaking from the cold.

I stopped at a bookstore and bought numerous of novels 
without looking at the prices as some sort of retail therapy. 

I ran into Erickson and flirted with him as some sort of therapy,
but even he noticed the three black holes in my face—
two eyes and a mouth—“You look awful.”

I walked 
and walked
and found myself
in a place I’ve been before—

Somewhere amongst the dark forestry that surrounded Verona—
I clutched a tree, coated with ice, and clenched my teeth.

I closed my eyes as tight as I could
and wished for this all to be some sort of nightmare.


I saw Elle’s light eyes
and Alex’s beautiful face
and Rob’s disapproving stare
and Nate’s failed attempts to help
and my dad’s blissfully unaware state
and my mother’s snow-covered grave.

Memories flashed,
and thoughts stung,
and it filled my senses
and the tears fell then, quickly.

It was so real—
so full, so significant—
that I pulled away, surprised,
at the scent of a familiar smell;

A smell that has haunted me,
a smell that had scared me,
with a mother, a lover—

I wiped my tears and followed it.
And like a lost, curious puppy, 
I came across something

that I shouldn’t have found.

She was a mere reflection
blowing out smoke that was as black as her eyes;
She looked lost, and wicked, and she scared me —

No—

I felt nothing.

“I thought I was alone,” she said hastily. 
Her voice was seductive in a way.
 
She was intrigued, it was clear.
I set down my purse and my bags
and I slipped out of my heels and she raised an eyebrow.

With a drag, she stood and blew another puff of smoke into my face.
It didn’t bother me, but was instead a haze that 
hid everything I’ve been trying to cover.
 
She smiled, near evil.
It was silent and she didn’t speak;
She only smoked and studied and smirked.

“Is that a joint?”

My voice came out nearly a whisper.
 
She nodded,
“Yeah.”
 
I watched as she escaped—
with another drag, her eyes rolled back
and she looked powerful and in control
and most of all, she looked very /sure/.

She stepped a bit closer and I froze
as she held her arm out and 
dangled the joint in my
face.
 
“You wan’ a drag?”
 
I stayed quiet.
I merely stared.

I thought of the nightmares.
I thought of the promises.

I was living the nightmare.
I was the broken promise.

I reached for it without a twitch,
without a word, without another thought.

I grabbed the joint and placed it between my lips
(just as I’ve seen her do, just as I’ve seen him do) 
and without another warning, I was out of control—

No—

I was perfectly in control.

And it was one drag,
two drags, three drags, four.

My vision got a bit blurry
but everything got lighter
and I was smiling at this
stranger’s curious eyes;
Such dark, dark eyes.

I was soon giggling—
She was so funny! —Such an amused expression.

“Alrighty, give it back now, that’s enough…” she was smirking again.
 
I watched as she swiped the little charm out of hand
and took another drag herself.

I swayed a bit,
no, danced—
she laughed.
 
We were soon passing it back and forth
and everything of mine felt as if it…
weren’t mine, and that was just great.

“Are these my arms?”
I swung the limbs to-and-fro.
They moved so quickly and they were so light, so tingly. 
 
Effie (I learned of her name)
laughed again, and handed me the spliff.

I took it eagerly.
“Yes they are m’dear.”
She sat beneath an old birch and stared at me.

I did the same, but sat on the thin layer of snow
that I hadn’t noticed was falling.

Instead of clutching my jacket to me,
I took it off, and lay back in the snow,
and watched the flurries fall on my face.

I felt as if I were one of them,
and I grinned widely at the wonderful feeling.

“Do you always feel this … free?”
Effie was a miracle it seemed.
 
To always feel like…
like a snowflake.

Melting on the hot tongues
of lovers and disappearing in hairs.

“Every time,” 
Effie whispered,
I think—There was another whistle among 
the trees that I listened to instead as they sang.

I stared up at the sky and wished to be one of those stars.
If I closed my eyes tightly, I could almost see myself floating with them.

I could look to my side and see the face of a cute boy—
one with messy hair but a neat smile. I smiled.

To my side,
Effie giggled,
and I felt happy
to have someone 
near that felt the same.

With my eyes closed,
I saw a red light dancing off my eyelids.

I opened my eyes slowly to see her—
the black-eyed girl, the free one,
with her arm amidst flames,
a wild grin on her face
as her arm began to
turn black.

As black as her eyes,
as black as her heart,
as black as the emptiness that really consumed her—

It hit me as the haze dropped to my feet
and melted away; like after being hit
by a rough wave and being carried
like currents, caressing, caring.

“Hey! What the hell are you doing?”
I screeched and stood up so quickly that 
I nearly toppled over and into the flames myself.
 
“I feel nothing!” she exclaimed,
near psychotic. “I-I swear…I’m fine…”

My eyes were wide,
burning and head throbbing.

Before me was the nightmare, the truth, 
and as I stared at her tear-filled face, I saw the memory of a boy 
I love in a hospital bed with the same eyes—a mother in bed at home,

the same eyes,
the same fears,
the same demon.

I was shaking,
I was sweating,
I was scared to death.

I snapped out of my thoughts
and slapped the lighter out of her hands
and it landed in the snow, put out, with a thud.
 
It fell to the snow with a thud and the flame went out.
 
Effie let out a sob,
and she clutched her knees 
to her chest and I sat wondering
how I possibly saw her as free, as happy…

I sat in a deep low with Effie, then.
I tried comforting her, but gave up,
and tried stuttering words like—

“What…why did you do that?”

Effie looked into the distance and murmured,
“… So silly of me. Silly, silly, silly ...”
 
I stared, stumpified,
and still slightly scared,

still and forever completely lost.

With a rapid, “I have to go now,”
Effie was running out of the forest
and I was seated firmly on the ground.

I was no longer cold,
no longer shivering as I have been for days,
but instead I was sweating and silenced by the image of Effie’s eyes.

They were still ablaze, 
wild in my mind,
as I set my head
against a log.

I reached for the dropped joint in the snow,
and the slightly covered lighter,
and I tried to light it again
but failed.

I felt myself tear at the sight—
Trying to light weed in Verona’s hidden forests—
I was so, so very lost and light-headed still; I fell asleep.


December 1st, 2011:


Waking up in a forest while you’re in college
isn’t really the way to go.

I was sure I had Hypothermia 
but I managed to run out of the forest
(lighter in hand, a joint buried in snow)
and to the sorority house in time to change.

Ashley had just finished getting ready when I arrived.
We had English together and she said she’d wait for me.

Her eyes widened when she saw me
(I wondered what she thought)
but she didn’t say a word. 

I looked in the mirror after a quick,
very, very warm shower and saw it: 
red, huge eyes, tangled hair, 
bags under my eyes.

My skin was even a little blue, horrendously pale.
I dressed in jeans, happy to hide my blushed, bruised knees.

Along with a giant Yale sweater 
(courtesy to a grudge-holding father),
I stumbled out of the house with Ashley.

“You alright?” was all she said along the way.

I had nodded. 
“Yeah, perfect.”

She seemed pretty happy
and I listened about her love life
and stayed mum—I imagined coal eyes.


Arriving to English
(barely on time),
Ash’s name was
called — by Elle.

She hadn’t noticed me beside her,
but when she did, Elle put her hand down slowly.
She looked away, as did I. Ash’s mouth was tight.

“So where do you want to sit?” she murmured.

I blinked slowly.
“You can sit next to Elena, Ash.”

Ashley looked at me with wide eyes.
Without another word, she did just that.

I stood among the many seats, 
looking around for any other seat.

They were all mostly full.
Or at least it looked that way.

Suddenly, a strict voice said,
“Miss. DiVello, please find a seat so I can begin.”

I looked to my Professor and stuttered a reply.
I felt many eyes on my back as I tripped around seats,
looking, searching, lost, wondering why I didn’t stay in that forest.

Suddenly I sighed,
exhausted.

I knew exactly where my feet were taking me,
and I didn’t even stop to think about it once
(My brain was mush, I was also hungry)
as I sat next to Ashley, right near Elle.

I made eye contact with Elena 
and she nodded and I do too.

I swallowed hard.

It was settled, then.

There were no longer any weapons drawn,
but instead, white flags for the both of us
although we were too ashamed of ourselves
to wave them or even say a word to each other.

Ash noticed though, and was smiling proudly.



I couldn’t last the seminar.
I walked out half-through.

For a pretzel.



I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to do make-up work.
I tried—I tried so hard—but the letters blurred.

I was sure to quit Law as soon as possible.


At around six,
as the sun was setting,
I made my way to the front desk
and did as much research as I could
push the secretary to do to find an “Effie”.

There were three of them;
I went to each one until I reached the last one—the right one.


She opened the door slowly and carefully,
first seeing who it was before even bothering.

“Effie,” I said softly. “Hey.”

She didn’t reply. I looked at her arm;
She was wearing a long-sleeved shirt of course.

“Cameron.” It was slightly awkward.
I held up her lighter.

“You left this?”

“Thanks.”

I looked her up and down
and she did the same to me.

“How’s your arm?” 

She smirked. “It’s there, I guess.”

I nodded. “Well…take care of yourself, then.”
I started to walk out of her condo before she called me back.

“Cam, come over sometime, yeah?
I promise the fire will only touch a joint.”

And there she was,
that black-eyed, mirrored girl,
smirking at me wickedly again.

My heart began to race.

/No/.

Walk away.

Instead, I smiled.


December 2-8, 2011:
{Cameron up to no good. Effie involved.}


December 9th, 2011:


I wouldn’t say the days got better,
but they became more sustainable in their own way.

Maybe it was because Effie and I still met up, almost every night.

I didn’t know where she was from.
I didn’t know her other friends.
I didn’t know her last name.

I didn’t need to.

There were no questions involved,
no secrets, no talking, but instead
smoke—reminisces—passing of time.

It was nice,
while it lasted.


I woke up crashed on her condo floor for the first time.
It was nearly scary the way things have gotten.

I looked at the clock.
6:47 PM.

There goes my Friday night.

There a note stuck to a lighter and a joint
perfectly set out on the nearest piece of furniture.

The note said:

“I’m gone.
Enjoy your weekend, child.”
-Effie

It was a strange friendship—
if you’d call it that.


I stared at the joint in my hands, blankly.
It wasn’t all bad—no, no.

I’ve made a friend out of it.
Thanks to the “munchies” as Effie calls it,
I’m eating again, and I’m eating plenty, much to Rob’s approval.

I barely went out, but that was okay.
When I did, I’d run into people I used to know,
or friends I haven’t spoken to in awhile. But I didn’t like seeing them.


Ever since I ran into Lizzie, after an odd encounter with passing Elle 
at the café again, (this time, we had both been alone 
and we merely looked different directions)
Lizzie had walked up to me confidently.

The first words that she spoke to me since the school year began was:
“You don’t have to grit your teeth so much, you know DiVello?”

After that, I nearly hid—
a transparent, tumbling girl.


And so I sat alone,
in a near-stranger’s condo,
finishing off a joint (not all of it),
(I swear, I promise, I really am fine).

I had that racing imagine
of coal-burning black eyes.

The joint slipped from my hands.
I stomped it out, angrily.

I took out my phone and tried calling someone.
I tried my father—he didn’t answer.

We haven’t spoken in weeks.

I scrolled, scrolled—
I paused at Rivera.

I sighed.
I cried.

I walked out of the condo.


As if a miracle,
trying to get into Room 505,
Elena Rivera was alone, carrying records and a lovely bag.

She glanced my way and looked away,
but then saw it was me—her mouth dropped a little.

In that haze, 
that slight haze I have been strangely growing accustom to,

I approached her with those big, 
brown/red watery eyes and that dazed smile.

“Elllliieee! I’ve missed you. Oh, I’ve missed you all too much.”
I threw myself into her arms, hugging her tight.

She was caught-off guard,
and gasped, but hugged me back, 
still stunned but smiled, “I-I miss you too, Cammie…”

She looked me in the eyes, though—
she sighed, looking down, murmuring, “Oh, no…”

“What?” I smiled, light, happy…

“Cameron, why?”
She was disappointed.

I kissed her cheek,
“Elle, please don’t be mad at me,” I begged. “I was lonely.”

She stared at me before rolling her eyes.
“You’re a child.”

She opened the door to her place.

I collapsed on her bed
(I assume it was hers, there were too many pillows on it)
and she watched me carefully, studied me before slowly saying,

“I was just about to drive into the city for the weekend.”

I sat up, and smiled at her.
“Road trip?”

She smiled back.
“Yeah. Sure. Road trip.”

I jumped on her again,
and even through that daze,
Elle knew I missed her, because I did.

“I love you, Elle.”

She smirked. “I love you too, DiVello.”








Alex;


I shut the cold air of December behind me as I locked the front door.

The house was dark, but Elle sat amidst it all with a candle burning 
and the Arctic Monkeys playing softly somewhere. 

She was staring intensely into it before looking up.

“Guess who’s upstairs?”

I froze.
My jacket fell to the floor.

I snapped after a second and picked it up, hung it on the door coolly.

Elle was staring. I cleared my throat. 
“Who?” Her. Her. Her.

“Her,” Elle said. “Guess how I found her?”

It was pointless to say her name aloud.
It pounded in my temple — Cameron, Cammie, Cam.

“How?” It came out sorely.

“High.”

My breath hitched and I sat down on the couch next to her.
We were silent for a bit and that candle’s flame danced.
 “Why?”

“Well—“ Elle paused, and chuckled. 
I glanced at her, eyebrows pulled together.
 “Well, let’s face it: You two are always a mess when separated.”

I swallowed hard and Elle added, “It’s pathetic really,” as I sat pondering, and pondering, and that candle was surely alive.

“That’s not so true,” I murmured. “I thought she had all those guys—“

“—And you have all those bottles underneath your bed,” 
Elle interrupted. “But your /heart/ says otherwise, no?”

She emphasized heart, and I realized she was messing around with me.
I stabbed her with my elbow and we shared a laugh.
 “I have to admit,” I said, 
“I’ve been waiting for you to bring home some news of her.”

Elle nodded. “Naturally.”

“Is she still awake?” My hands were shaking.
 Elle shrugged. “I don’t know. But we’re talking again.”
 My heart grew a bit lighter at that.
Elle noticed, and rolled her eyes.
“I’m off to bed, then.”

I smiled, and nodded.

I sat staring at the candle for a few more minutes.
“But Cameron DiVello is just a dream,” I muttered. 

The candle’s flame shivered,
goose bumps rose, and I was suddenly sitting in the dark.



I edged towards the lump of sheets slowly.
Each step I took was nearly an echo to the beating of my own heart.

I felt it in my ear.

As I got closer, the moonlight pouring in the room
suddenly reflected off the slightest bit of exposed skin —
her skin—and I was then holding my breath as if I had hiccups.

She rustled a bit in her sleep and her body turned towards the window,
towards me.

She was glowing — 
She really was! — 

It nearly scared me to death.

There was a tiny angel before me
and all I could think of is how I nearly ripped off her wings:

Over and over and over and over again.

But she was here, and she was breathing,
and she was even snoring softly.

It was a near miracle to me 
and I felt my knees grow weak
as I sank down to the floor and
I slowly reached for just her face — 

Just her cheek, her jawline,
maybe brush her collarbone a little.

It was just a little moment, 
but it was one that left me with 
scattered thoughts as I walked out of the room and to my own — 
I slept in the bed she’s been in, the sheets she’s been tangled in — 

I imagined her scent and slept fine.


I prayed a little for some sanity.

(I never pray.)

I grow weaker by the second.

(Pathetic, pathetic.)


(Cameron, Cammie, Cam.)



Cam;


I woke up in a way all too familiar —

dull winter sunlight on the face,
sheets that smelled like Rivera laundry detergent 
(a custom smell, no lie), soft music heard from downstairs,

laughter heard from somewhere in the apartment, warmth everywhere.

I felt so light I could fly away.


But I was in the guest room.


That was enough to show the shaky ground beneath my feet.
Steadily, I stepped out of the bed and to the cold wood floors.

I shivered.

(What if I went down and they kicked me out?)
(What if I went down and they didn’t even know me?)
(What if I went down and they shot me in the chest, laughing?)

I went downstairs.

The song playing was completely unknown to me.
It was clear that I’ve been gone far too long.

I wondered if they still listened to The Smiths,
and The Beatles, and that one band (The Killers? The Kinders?)

(The Killer Hers,
The Kinders, The Keflwjghrgwkrsggrgagkejbgwk—)

I was speaking with absolutely no knowledge;
My mind was blank it seemed, and my knees shaky.

I was standing at the kitchen and bar
with two bodies and their backs to me.

My heart was beating quickly and my palms were sweaty.
It was silly of me, but I had no confidence at all;

(I was wearing an old Lady Gaga concert t-shirt of Elle’s 
and polka-dot short-shorts) and no mouth to speak with, it felt like.

It didn’t help at all 
— not one tiny bit — 
when a certain boy’s gaze caught mine 
and released something strange and light-hearted out of my stomach. 

I felt oddly disgusting and looked away lightning speed. 
Without even thinking, I was re-touching my hair, 
trying to bury away, until I heard a voice say,
 “Cam…you woke up.”

Alas, it felt as if everything melted away.
I looked up and only met the gaze of an old friend:

My best friend, Elena Rivera.

And it was then that I put away my poorly pointed weapon.

It was then that I loosened my clenched fist.
I finished gritting my teeth and sharpening my heels.

It melted beneath my feet
as calm as the Pacific.

I found my mouth then: “Yeah. Hey.”

I walked slowly to that person
(avoiding the stare of another, hardly)
and sat next to her on the stool, looking down.

It was silent
and the elephant in the room
seated next to us loudly ate his breakfast, amused.

Speaking of breakfast,
two porcelain plates were set in front of Elle and I slowly.
“Bon appétit,” a soft, all familiar voice said softly. My heart raced.

I had to grab the fork and stab the eggs
and stuff my face before I said something stupid.

I heard Alex chuckle.
Elle cleared her throat awkwardly.

I nearly choked on my food, but swallowed.

This was silly. 
This is my…family, my true friends.

Two people I’ve loved forever.
The two people I let in, the one and only.

And as long as the guns were put away—
(as if they weren’t water guns, loaded childishly) 
—“So England pushed you two away again, ‘huh?”

A conversation-starter.
I felt the elephant crawl away,
parading out of the apartment proudly.

I couldn’t find the guts to look at…him,
but Elle was smiling into her orange juice.

She was proud too, I bet.
“Yeah, well…” she drifted off. “Home is home.”

I felt myself smile — a twitch to the lips.

“The girl can leave the city, but the city never leaves the girl,” 
I whispered. Elle looked over and we locked eyes and I knew then.

We were good.

It was silent as we continued eating.
Alex checked his phone: once, twice, three times.

Adding to the hair adjustments, he was clearly nervous; 
it made me nervous to see it, to see /him/.

But I ignored it, played it off coolly.
At this, I’ve gotten better with.

“And George?” I asked this carefully, 
and I watched Elle’s face drop, and then harden.
 But she shrugged, cool as always
(better than I can ever be).

“It got boring, you know?”
 She looked up at me from her plate with wide eyes and I knew she was waiting for me to agree, to talk it out with her, to ramble on and all.

It warmed my heart to think 
she hasn’t had someone to do that with.
It warmed my heart to set my fork down 
and stare back at her and do just that, girl-to-girl.

“After 8 months? Aw, man. How’d it end?”

And so it went on.
 We rambled and laughed and I nearly cried but ended with a giggle.

When we were done, plates empty,
I noticed Alex staring between us two,
smiling.

Smiling, and smiling,
and I felt myself smile at him
as I saw him smiling and he smiled back.

I jumped back and patted my mouth with a napkin
(nearly scared) and he jumped too, spilling the bit of his juice between us.

He picked the glass up quickly, and Elle snorted at him,
and I blushed as he apologized. “It’s okay,” I murmured.
 Elle got up to put the dishes in the sink 
and with a flutter in me I whispered,
“Your cooking improved.”

Alex’s eyes met mine, surprised at the sound of my voice.
Before he could reply, I rushed off to the bathroom.

My heart was b-b-beating away
but I hushed it. 

I couldn’t ruin this truce between Elle and I, right? Alex wrote a letter to me ending everything, right?

Right, right, right? 
In the guest bathroom,
they still had up the same Sailor Moon hand towels.

I giggled.


“Elle, you’re pathetic, you know that?” I started saying with a smile as I walked back out.

But Elle was gone.

At the sink washing dishes silently was Alex.

He looked over at me and said, “She left, sorry,”
he paused. “I think she did it on purpose,” he added.

I walked over to the stools slowly and leaned over the counter.
Ignoring (boom boom boom) my heart (beat beat beat) I said,

“Or did you just kick her out?”

Alex turned off the water and faced me.
“Guess you’ll never know, Cammie.”

He had on a light smile.

I was caught off-guard as he leaned across as well.
I jumped, and looked away, looked to the ground.
 “You can’t say that,” I muttered.
 I walked away towards the windows
and looked down to the streets below, 
coated with a light layer of snow, already.

“But that’s my nickname for you,” Alex said softly, 
his voice growing closer, and closer and closer.

(Boom, boom, boom) (Beat, beat, beat)
Silence.

“Cam?”

I cleared my throat and pressed my head to the cool glass.

“I love the city in the winter,” I whispered. 
“It looks as if the city was kissed with snow—“

I jumped at the touch
of hot fingertips
to my cold,
cold skin.

I looked to my forearm and saw his hand.
Without turning I said, “You left me a letter.”

He removed his hand.
I turned, (boom, boom)
“You promised, again.”

He didn’t say anything.

It was then that I could see his face for the first time in awhile.

His face was more made up, more detailed than I could have ever dreamt of (and goodness holy gracious, you know I have) and his jaw was defined, his face tight and his eyes ever-so deep and yet lighter than I had remembered.

His hair was longer, much longer, and unruly and untamed,
and he let his facial hair grow out — without a care to the world —
as he’s always been: my flame, my lover, Alexander, Alex. He never cared.

And it hit me,
melting and giving away
like the Atlantic beneath my feet —

Neither did I.

The fire in my heart
grew and rose and 
I let it, I let it roar.


Alex;

 Her skin was clear porcelain;
Her lips were red, nearly swollen and clearly bit.

She was thin, but I’ve dreamt worse—
her collarbones, neck, wrist ending to her milky thighs—
It hit me hard, her scent floating up faster than I could handle.

And when I had the guts to finally look up, they sat—

No longer two, gaping black holes
but round, chestnut eyes the size of the moon staring back at me 
with pink, rosy cheeks and hair put back, slightly grazing her neck.

I swallowed hard, nearly swallowing my heart.
I felt my face grow hot as she only looked, and looked,
looking for something but knowingly feeling it in her chest, 

singing, buried beneath her breasts.

I couldn’t speak
(not at all, a drum in my head) 
and only spilled out the obvious.

“I was stupid.”

Behind her, white flurries began falling from the sky.

In my head, I saw a year ago flash before my eyes
(snowflakes in her lashes, her hair sprawled out
on white, her cheeks red, her laughter flying)
and Central Park was nearly calling us.

A rush flew to my fingertips and I was rambling.


Cam;

 “I grew up, Cameron. And I’ve said that plenty of times, 
but I was naïve as always and only saw you going to Verona, 
perfectly fine. 

“I didn’t see a place for me by you at all. I saw no space for me, no need, and you were on top of it all, perfect and ready to go. You knew what you wanted, and as usual, I didn’t. I was lost. I was sure that I’d find that far off, somewhere far, far away... 
But I didn’t.” 

He stopped. His face was flushed red, 
and that color sent colors flying before my eyes 
and I tasted something sweet on my tongue and my eyes were watering. 

I crossed my arms.

“Alex…” I drifted off. “I hadn’t been so lost in my life, then. 
You and Elle…you two were the only things I knew, the only things I wanted. I just wanted you, Alex. How come you could never see that?”

He rubbed his neck,
ran his hand through his hair
and blinked rapidly before lashing,

“You were there, your…your ghost, as always. 
And as always, I’m back, stupid and frightful because 
it's you that I'm always looking for and you should never 
even /think/ that there was another girl because there /never/ 
was, no one could ever, /ever/ compare.”

I bit my lip. “I could never stare into another man’s eyes 
and feel as I do now just looking at you,” I confessed.

My heart was raising, higher, and higher,
and Alex shook his head and said,
 “How could you ever forgive me,
how could you even look at me?”

He whispered this, and his hand was raised
and my breath quivered as it landed on my cheek.

“Because,” I sighed.

“You’re blushing,” he whispered again,
in my ear, as he buried in my neck, in my hair,
as if he were ashamed, as I was on fire, burning.

“I love you, your fickle feet and all,”
I whispered to his face, my lips pursed, 

waiting, wobbling.

His eyes were seemingly glazed as he leaned in,
never leaving my gaze, gathering up words to reply.

“Are you sure? Are you…can I…” 
he sighed, both hands on my face.

I closed my eyes.

“Shut up and kiss me.”


Slowly, he did,
and my arms clutched and wrapped
and needed, and reached, ridiculously,
and he grasped my thighs and lifted me up

to his face;
closer, near,
and I couldn’t get enough
(neither could he, up the stairs, collapsing on sheets)

and that ghost of his escaped out of my chest,
and mine out of his heart 
and it was clear.

Everything was.



- xoxo, Cam.


oh, Cameron.

now to study for my algebra 2 & ap world exams, weeee~
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