• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 10
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She resents his ability to sleep, so still and unconcerned in the small hours of the morning as the darkness of the bedroom beats against her skin like the wings of countless voidblack crows. She wonders how he does it, and as she wonders she discovers the miniscule tab that juts from his temple. It pulls away easily, lifting the rest of his face along with it, until she holds it like a rag between her thumb and forefinger and peers into the space left behind.

It’s a swirling fingerprint maze of rivers that course ever inwards, touching and gripping and swallowing any that ever left a mark on him. His mother, sisters, an aunt. The eighth grade teacher, a college professor who taught him the meaning of “limerence.” The barista who wrote his name in looping letters, dotting the "I" with a heart. The officer who held his head in her lap on the cold pavement, his motorcycle a twisted mess of steel meters down the road. They clutch at the branches on the banks, are slammed against rocks, rushed to the center of his skull by unforgiving rapids and pulled under.

Water spills over into the bed and dampens the sheets. It slips around her ankles and and legs and rises, rises, but she jumps and stumbles through the door, trailing droplets onto the carpet as she flees.