She woke up and her wrists itched. She kept rubbing them on her thighs as if the tingling would go away, as if this phantom feeling would subside. Memories lacerated her mind, stabbing into present with the knife-like precision of a time traveler; her body knew these cuts well and reopened wounds effortlessly.
She remembered him and memories enfolded her. He haunted her. His hot and angry gaze still bore into her despite the years and miles, she’d swear his eyes couldn’t hold color—as black and unrelenting as birds of carrion, he’d pick a bone clean. Suddenly she was standing in that living room again, arms limp and useless at her sides. Five years and he couldn’t be honest with her, couldn’t give her the courtesy of truth. He had made her feel crazy for months while he became intimate with another. He out-right denied everything. But here was her purse on his couch; lies couldn’t touch the corporeal. The bag sat in a casual attitude, tossed on the faded blue recliner like an after-thought.
He saw her look at the bag; his eyes never missed a thing. “She is taking a nap,” he said, holding her gaze. She felt the red leave her cheeks, another color for his eyes to consume.
“Five years,” is all she could utter as six months of lies tore through her like shrapnel.
He didn’t say a word, just ate her whole with his eyes. How could one articulate five years of feelings? “I asked you months ago…” she started, but couldn’t finish.
He held her gaze and didn’t say a word.
And just as quickly as the memory came, it was gone. She looked at her itching wrists and wished she could drown the body, drown those five years and her naivety. Seven years had passed and still the memory surfaced with such ready buoyancy. This time she would anchor it and let it all sink. This time there would be no residual effects. This time her wounds would heal properly. This time…
**painting by Jeremy Miranda