I almost broke your nose that day on the pier when you grabbed my shoulder. We weren’t really acquainted then and the shock of your hand on me, urging me forward, caused my hackles to rise — at least until I glimpsed what spurred you on. I’d turned to confront you, cocked a fist ready to strike, and the first one of those things I ever saw loomed up over you. I didn’t doubt your motives again after that.
All around us, people ran, screamed, fell. There was so much blood covering the sea-sprayed deck and I slipped more than once trying to find purchase on the slick boards. The blood’s metallic scent fought back the brine of the seawater that dripped from their dark, scaled bodies. It clung to my clothes, clung to the back of my throat. I thought I was going to vomit, but you kept me moving.
I lost my iPod during the rush — something I haven’t completely forgiven you for, more now than ever. Yes, I know it was petty, all things considered, a triviality, but that was my last connection to a life now lost, that we’ve both lost. It seems so moronic now, all the arguments we had about that music player, had I known what you…
In the grand scheme of things, we hadn’t known each other long. Under other circumstances, I doubt we’d have even met, let alone allowed our feelings to grow and blossom. In such a short time, you gave everything for me: you gave me faith in the kindness of strangers, you gave me food and water and shelter, you gave your life.
I begged you, pleaded with you not to go outside. We didn’t know that they weren’t still in the neighbourhood, but you insisted you’d be fine. You told me we needed food, fresh water, but I’d checked the stock that morning and we had more than enough, especially now that Mr and Mrs Alvarez were gone. I was so angry at you for lying to me. How was I supposed to know you were going out to find an iPod? How was I supposed to know it was a surprise?
You’re too sweet for your own good. You’re too dumb for your own good. I didn’t need a stupid iPod, I needed a stupid YOU.
It took me nearly an hour to pull the spines from your skin. Fifty-nine minutes too late to have done anything that might’ve saved you. By then, the poison was already racing through your veins, leaving pathways of black spiderwebs on your pale flesh as it surged towards your heart. I cried watching you writhe and scream as your organs withered and died. You begged me to take away your pain.
I almost broke your nose that day on the pier. Sometimes, I wish I had — it would have been much easier than what you made me do.