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You know she’s beautiful. You do, but that’s not why you watch her, tonight or any other night. There’s something in the way she lifts her chin and laughs, daring the world to question her. Her long limbs, not gangly but graceful and elegant. She speaks and it’s like music, but it’s sad, so sad and you want to pity her, you want to and you can’t.

You can only ever, will only ever, fall more in love with her.

Because she’s insane and you know it. You see her at her worst, peel her off the kitchen floor where she lays, lipstick still on and a hundred-pound bottle of champagne on the counter. You don’t know where it came from and you’ll never ask.

You watch her while she dances and she watches you while you sleep—because in reality, you couldn’t be more different. Her hair is blue today and white tomorrow and red the day after that and yours is the same brown it has always been. You don’t know this, but it falls so perfectly between her fingers, and she likes to measure it down your spine at night. She is the tornado that whips through a room, crackling with energy and leaving mass devastation in her wake. You are the calm after the storm, settling with barely enough life to clean up the mess.

You will always lift her from the floor and she will always protect you from the night, because you are just as damaged as she is and co-dependency has never been so sweet.

Flash Fiction by Florence Stones

Published in Summer 2017


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