I stared at her for a dozen quickening heartbeats after I had opened the door. She was dressed as if fresh from a job interview, her dark clothes blending into the night, but the time of day, not least, made that impossible. The faint light spilling from the muted television in the room behind me was just enough to illuminate her face. I wanted to cry.
"Aren't you going to ask me in?" she asked. It was all I needed to jolt my brain back into gear.
I stammered something, then tried again. "Come in!" She brushed past me, filled my head with her scent. I felt dizzy. After several seconds I closed the door and turned. I jumped. She was standing facing me, her face level with my chest, smiling broadly.
"Boo," she said. Laughing, she went to the couch and sat down, sitting on her side of the seat, just as she always had done.
I flopped into the couch, backed up to the opposite end. "Your father said I'd never see you again." I could remember his every word spat into my face with the zeal of a hellfire preacher, so wrapped up in his hatred that he had forgotten how to be compassionate.
"He never liked you," she said.
Her eyes widened momentarily and she bowed her head. A viscous ribbon of dark yellow vomit trailed from her mouth. She grabbed a cushion from the pile she was leaning on and dropped it onto the mess, then wiped her sleeve across her face. She smiled awkwardly, embarrassed, but when her smile faded I noticed how long it took lethargic skin to fall back into place. I reached out my hands to touch her cheeks but she took my wrists in an icy grip and placed them in her lap. My glance was drawn to the cushion covering the vomit and I saw that worms and tiny, black beetles were already spilling out in exploration.
"Kiss me," she whispered hoarsely.
I looked to her eyes, ignoring the flecks of sick that stained her lips, the grey pallor of her skin and the warmth draining from me into her glacial hands. Her eyes were still as bright and lively as they had ever been and I wondered if I could ignore the rest and fall in love anew with those gorgeous eyes. As her grip tightened painfully on my wrists, I also wondered, oh how I wondered, if it would be my decision to make.