Pyrophoric

Pyrophoric: The ability to ignite spontaneously in air. That’s the word I’d use to describe you. One minute, we’d be running and chasing, jumping over logs and turning swiftly around the twisted necks of trees, the next, you would accelerate beyond all human capability and throw me to the soft earth – pin my hands and kiss me hard, like you were trying to crush my lips between yours or trying to suck every spit of taste from them, like squeezing a sponge. You could become so passionate so quickly. I admired that about you.

And I still remember that blissful night. The stars had fled; the sky was a black wall to match the colour of the bags under my eyes. We walked – though I cannot remember where we planned on going or why we were going there. All I knew was it was us.

I was alight. The lux of the moon enchanted my pale skin, I was glowing. Yet, although I was burning, you were the only light. I studied you as we moved; your golden-brown skin so delicate that the Egyptians would have bowed to it, your eyes so azure to match a mid-summer sky with more depth and identity than the ocean, and your lips as ripe as strawberries, but as exquisite and as soft as the petals of a young rose.

Suddenly, you halted. You stole my arm and dragged my body, twisting it to face you. The circumstance in your action rendered me speechless. I could see you say it before you did. Your upper lip twitched, and the birds caged in my chest fluttered. The fire in my stomach raged. My bones, it seemed, were loosening in their sockets. My heart beat so ferociously that my hands went to either side of my ribs to keep them from unhinging.

“I love you.”

“I love you too”, I whispered.

You tumbled onto my rickety body and threw your arms around my neck. I could feel the warmth of your body ensnare the coldness of mine. And then, in my ear, I heard the words; “Never let me go”. I cried, you cried, and we glided through the night.

That’s what I think about now.

I wore the suit you told me I resembled dark sunshine in. I can’t tell if there is music playing, because I can’t hear it. I don’t know if there are people around me because I can’t see them. Churches always made me anxious, but this is different. I wrote a hundred songs, a thousand stories and a million poems about you. I recall them all, and I sing them, as I walk down the aisle.

Finally, I see you.

Your skin has been stolen of its colour. Before, you reminded me of the hot tumbling fire of a dragon’s breath – now I am reminded of a hollow white lantern, eerie and lonely. I stuff the bundle of pages neatly by your corpse, so you may read them if you’re ever bored. You did always say boredom was your idea of hell. I hope to prevent that, in the only way I can. I try not to look at your lifeless face. You will forever be a human of electric vitality to me. Forever.

As I rush out, I recall one last memory. It was a warm spring. You and I were bathing in sunlight beneath a cloudless sky in a meadow so golden that I was sure Midas himself was somewhere lurking in the tall lines of hay. We had been observing the sky for hours in peace and isolation. All of a sudden, you turned to me and you asked me; “Why do you always wear long sleeves?”

“I… I don’t know. I – I just do.”

“It’s too warm for them today.”

You went to unzip my fleece but I swatted your hand away.

“I’m comfortable like this.”

You were relentless. I struggled, and you fought back. I began to weep, and then you began to weep. You had seen before you had seen.

Eventually you ripped my fleece from my body and grappled with my folded arms. You overthrew me, as you always did. You examined the length of my bare arms. The long pink vertical scars were evidently older than the fresh thin dark ones.

The meadow was no longer golden, the sky no longer clear. Spring had ended. You found a glass bottle, and shattered it to shards on a patch on Daisy flowers, ripping their stems and decapitating them all, whom had all of a heartbeat ago been basking in our shared sunshine.

You picked up the sharpest fragment and staggered to where I knelt, sobbing like an abandoned infant. Without a word, you unzipped the perfect skin that ran from your right elbow all the way down to your palm. Blood splurged out like a volcanic eruption and the liquid formed rings of red around what remained of your arm.

Of course I knew something was wrong. For me the blood would bubble and drip, bubble and drip. Not jump.

I remember how you stared at me, confused and dazed like a drunken boy reaching oblivion. Your body fell on top of mine, and if it hadn’t been for the dark atmosphere or the oozing wet and sticky liquid that surfaced my torso, I’d have believed you were pinning me down to kiss me, that it was still Summer.

I remember how the soil, clutched, soaked and stole your blood. The plants must have thought your life was water and absorbed you to benefit themselves. But there is something… Comforting, knowing that you became part of nature.

I remember how I held you for three twisted hours until we were found.

I remember everything. All our memories, now only mine, I wrote down into a hundred songs, a thousand stories and a million poems and gave them to you. I hope you don’t forget, as I won’t.

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