The Shadow

Optional Playlist:

Christina Perri: I Believe

Dear Boy: Oh So Quiet

The tips of her purple fingernails tap the windowpane. Soft drops of rain swirl on the glass. They glitter, dance for a second, and then scatter.

Her knees imprint in the beige carpet. Her elbows rest on the ledge. I lean in the corner, against the white wall. A flame flickers on the edge of the nightstand. I fade in and out with the hint of mango.

Her whispers bounce warm off of the pane. A fog paints its way across the glass. The pads of her fingers twist a frail heart from her breath.

Her ocean eyes glaze with the sunset. The tip of her nail slides into the crack below the seal. The glass sighs upwards. The room exhales softly.

She bites the peach gloss from her bottom lip. Her fingers tremble strands of hair from her face. She shifts her weight. The hollow silence of waiting sinks into the open space. I move with billowing opacity.

I brush sculpted cheekbones with my faded outline. Her eyebrows furrow. I slither through the window. I slide outside into the muted patter of a drizzle.

With quickness, I turn to face her. Her features soften. Her eyelashes flicker with longing. I grab her wrist. Spooling from a blot of ink, I twist myself around her. I pull her through the open window.

Her bare feet pad the damp ground. Rain beads into her frizzed hair. Sharply, my head cocks and turns. A hushed giggle ripples within me. I bend through the grass. I remain a moment ahead.

She walks east. The warm asphalt sticks on her heels. I dance on the white line. She watches for me. Her head tilts to the right. My impish grin flirts with her desperation. She glimpses me, alive, in the pitchy twilight.

She stops at the Cherry Hill Church. Her palm rests on the bolted door. Its’ white paint peels and drips in the winding fog. There is a creak, a mild groan, and the chipped door peeks open. I twirl into the hollow crack. I reach, I beg, she always follows.

I hear her heart beat harshly in her throat. I feel the eye of a hurricane swirl within her chest, unnerving, and deadly. Her hand slides across the back of a wooden pew. Unsteady steps shuffle to the dusty alter.

The floorboards thump. She crashes to her knees. Her eyes cinch shut with sticking sand. With grinding teeth, the storm surge is forced deep down. It cascades into salty lungs. Her rusty tongue slides along the backs of her teeth.

“I’ll be safe here.”

Her velvet hands reach towards me. I blush in the soft colorful rays that skitter through stained glass. The last of the twilight bends me through the suffocating dark.

The sun dips down into slumber, eclipsed by the folds of the Earth. Time ticks fervently. Once again, my fragments, those ill-fitting parts, mold within her. Her palms press into her temples.

She inhales slowly. I bruise brilliant peach lips. I dart back into her cracks. I crawl deep. I lift her into me.

It is safe here. She is never alone.

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