By LAWRENCE XU
She wanted to lose herself in those swirls of black. She could barely see her reflection, but she bet it looked horrible. The black spread throughout the water, freer than she could ever be. But even they are held down by the chains of physics. Always held down. She grips down, bites down on the inside of her cheeks until she draws blood, her knuckles white. Two more drops follow the first. A little cough escapes her and blood stands out against the white. She shakes as she runs her fingers through her hair, but she is fading fast. She widens her eyes but her pupils refuse to dilate, her eyes like a crystal pierced with sunlight.
She reaches into her back pocket as a streak of red runs down her chin. Her eyelids drift lazily down as she fumbles with the little bottle before bringing it close to her face. It is filled with little blue candies. They’ll help her feel better. She struggles with the cap as her hair falls back over her face. The effort seems to be too much and she begins to cry again. She tries to bite off the cap, gnawing at it and cutting up her mouth until it relents. She cannot pace herself; she doesn’t want to. She tips back her head, tilting the contents of the little orange bottle into her mouth, and stares straight into the lights above. Her eyes jitter back and forth, her pupils becoming a tunnel without a light on the other end. She clamps her hands on the top of her head and underneath her forehead, trying to force herself to shallow. She rocks gently back and forth as the world around her slides in and out focus. Before her, the water darkens and widens, becoming a dark lake. It’s in a quaint park, with a walking trail around the edge and lamps along the way to light the path with a relaxing mood. She gets up off her knees and brushes the hair out of her face. This is where were she last felt that swoop in her stomach, that incredible passion within her breast, her lips on her neck. This is where she was happy.
She takes a step forward, then another, and another. She must get to the lake, she won’t let go this time. She begins to run forward and she doesn’t see the tree root that trips her. She falls into the lake, drifting down into the depths, helpless. She will go just as her beloved and with that she is satisfied. She feels as if she is weightless, but falling, falling ever so fast. She can feel herself coming apart, becoming just like the blood and ink that came before her. Her head snaps forward and the pills spill out of her mouth. Being with her won’t make her happy because her love would never want her to come early. Every last one fell out except the one that she catches in between her lips. She takes a deep breath as she plays with the blue pill between her lips. And she spits it into the toilet with the rest. She falls back against the wall behind her, her legs splayed out before her. She reaches out with a foot, and she flushes the pills away, never to tempt her again. In between deep breaths, she runs her hand against her mouth and a smile dances upon her face. And she smells something that she thought she would never miss. That metallic aroma. The aroma of lost love.