I wanted to save him.
I am in a soft room with white walls and a colossal lock on the door that you need a code for. I don’t know how long I’ve been here, only that the silence is enough to make me dizzy. Silence makes you see things you don’t want to see, hear things you don’t want to hear. Like the sound of his voice whispering my name into the darkness because that was the only time I was allowed to see him. We were like vampires: we’d burn in the sun if our secret was caught under the hot rays, but we came alive under the moon.
I am not insane and I will not be their label. I am only a woman in love and Kane had to be saved. Protecting him was my divine order, but no one believes that now.
When I confessed my love to Kane, I thought that might save him, but he said I shouldn’t say things like that. We were friends, why did I have to go and mess things up? He repeated that word—mess—in conversation all the time and it spun in my mind over and over like the blades of a ceiling fan on high. It made me wonder if this thing we have could be cleaned up.
Other women would ruin him if I didn’t save him. It was sweet the way he didn’t know what was for his own good.
I knew what I had to do, so I slipped into his house late one night, used the key he kept under the rug at the back door. I crept up the stairs, easing my feet over the wood floors. I shivered from the coolness of the air condition vent above, then glanced down at the knife in my hand.
When I opened the door, Kane slept on his usual side of the bed: right. I ran my hand along the length of the left side, all lonely without me. I lost track of how many nights I dreamed of sleeping there. He never let me stay. I kissed the knife, said a prayer and let the weight of my pain sink into his flesh, marveling at how that pain released blood from different parts of skin. That was freedom. He was safe now and love would never crush him the way it crushed me.
I saved him.
Everyone thinks I’m different now. But I am the same person I have always been. I only wanted to save him, didn’t want him to suffer from the sizzle of love that would always fade if it didn’t come from me. Everyone knows that the sting of a broken heart is much worse than any fleshly pain.