“Stop. Wait. Where are you going?” Her husky voice was the pungi and his tension the snake. He felt it coil higher up and up his spine in a mesmerized response to her luting call. “Everybody’ll be waiting.”
He leaned his shank up against the rumpled mattress and stared at the cotton sheet he held fisted in his hand. He thought, When did we become our parents? but he only shrugged his shoulder at her reflection in the mirror, “I want a shower.”
“Alright,” he heard his mother in her tone as she said, “but hurry.”
His lips thinned into a hard line. She wanted to hook-up with her friends. The ones she’d dumped him for. The ones he wasn’t cool enough to hang with. And-he wasn’t supposed to keep them waiting. Fuck that.
The coiled snake of tension had climbed his spine and now it struck with glistening fangs and pierced his brain stem. He felt the poison seep into his mind and become a rage so thick it coated his tongue like a bitter paste.
She was using him. He had no doubt. She’d always been using him. He was a fool. She would never truly love him. He was certain he couldn’t go on like this.
His nerves and sinew bunched and frayed with the need to do something!
“I’m going first if all you can do is stand there and glare at me.” Angel tossed him an overheated pout and when it took him a minute too long to figure out she was talking to him, to get his mind to calm enough to discern the words, the pout became a snarl. “Fine, whatever, Blaize. Why are you looking at me like I’m a monster? I haven’t done anything!”
He examined her as she spoke-looked for signs that she was lying-watched a bead of sweat form at her temple-elongate into a drop and then-roll down her cheek. There! Her hands were trembling as she pushed back her hair! Was she giving him an odd look? Now she was gathering her clothes together-laying them across her arm just as if she really were going in to shower. That was very clever of her, a ruse to throw him off. While all the while-was she planning to run out on him?
If only he could think! He scowled. This wasn’t right. He didn’t know where these thought were coming from. He couldn’t think over the thrumming of his frantic heartbeat. Angel noticed the scowl, miss interpreted it, threw up her hands and marched to the door-tried to bang it behind her but it was a hollow core and didn’t have enough weight to slam. He wanted to go to his knees in gratitude for that small reprieve.
Finally she was gone. He was relieved to be rid of her. Relieved not to have to try and hide the pain that had taken him over. He needed to be alone so he could grab his head and squeeze it back to sanity. He stumbled towards the mirror puffing air so hard strings of spittle flew from his open mouth.
This was crazy. How could anger be a physical pain? It hurt so bad he had to check that blood wasn’t actually seeping from his eyeballs.
And there it was in the mirror. His nose was bleeding. He could see for himself. He was pale and shaky, the blood was red and gaudy. For a moment one clear thought rang out through the pain and he wondered if she’d somehow tricked him into taking her drugs. But then the buzzing in his ears got so jagged it cut through his reason and left him mad.
He eyes rolled in their sockets and his nails drove into the wood of his dresser until he felt them break off at the quick. He felt like he had in his dream. He felt as if he would die.
If only he could breathe.