By Claire Dever
He was handsome and perfect and I loved him. The way his paint-black hair swooped to the side to the way his teeth, bright and shiny like pearls, reflected the sun so much you had to squint.
He was mine and he was amazing. His hands were like a mug of hot cocoa: warm, fragrant, and easily enveloping you in their comforting embrace. His personality was like candy: sweet, blissful, and addictive. You could spend hours with him, the time slipping through your fingers like sand, the same way you could eat a dozen chocolate kisses and only realize how many you’ve consumed when the pile of wrappers surrounds you.
I remember our first date. It was in May. He brought me to the only movie theater near us, an hour away. We had been best friends for a long time and he had finally gotten the nerve up to ask me out on a date. I told him everything and he listened quietly.
The car was gorgeous, too. Purple with black decals, a pinstripe along the doors, a stripe in the middle of the trunk. Small, sleek, glistening. It resembled the one that he told me about, late at night. It’ll be perfect, he would say, and fast. Fast enough to take us both away from this place. We’ll be together, just you and me forever. Nothing like that will ever happen to you again, he’d say, pressing his hand to mine.
“You promise?” I would ask.
“I promise,” he would say.
Another thing about him: he always keeps his promises. His word is diamond: hard, unmovable. Wear it around your neck, keep it close. Just don’t sleep on it, though, or you’ll suffocate.
I remember the day I suffocated.
The streets were supposed to be closed off that day. We were dancing like our life depended on it. Our hot, sweaty bodies mingled together, forming one mass, one form. We were one, him and I. He was laughing and so was I. I was high, high on his cotton-candy laugh and his hot fudge eyes. Though he’d never laid a hand on me, he shoved me, hard. I fell back, my head hitting the pavement. I blacked out, stars dancing around my eyes.
He died moments after the impact, too soon for the ambulance to catch. The perfect car hit my perfect boy, gone forever. I was stuck on the ground, hot glue sucking me down. His bones snapped like a wafer and the car skidded to a halt, swirling around like soft serve. There was blood splattered everywhere. I willed myself to think that it was cherry juice, just cherry juice.
I watched him die. I watched the caramel light of his eyes fade away.
In a way, he kept his promise. The car was fast, fast enough to take him out of this town forever. Only he forgot about me on his trip to heaven. Now, I’m left here, out of place, all alone.