I yawned and stretched, sitting up on my queen sized foo ton, a new day, another day of work. Friday, the last day I had to work this week. My alarm clock read 6:30. The sheets on my bed were a paler blue, the same shade of blue on the walls. Posters of bands and paintings Leola made for me were hanging on my walls. My dresser stood against the opposite side of the room, short but bulky. On top were pictures, pictures of my family, Leola, places around Miami, and any other moment she thought worthy enough to catch with a camera for me. White cotton curtains that hung in front of my open window flowed with the fall breeze. The air smelled like salt, fresh and clean.

The rest of the doorways of the house were decorated with hanging beads or long, flowing curtains. Pictures hung on all the walls, pictures painted, bought, or shot with a Kodak camera. Art was Leola's passion. In her room she painted a mural of the beach at sunset on one of the walls, complete with the moon and stars on the ceiling.

I walked down the short hallway, barefoot. I stood in her doorway, shirtless and watched her sleep. All the sheets on her bed were white, one mostly covering her body except a protruding leg. Her chest rose and fell with such grace I was in awe, even when she was unconscious she amazed me. I watched her as I leaned against the doorframe. Her window was open; the red curtains flowed in the breeze. The overhead fan and breeze made her hair dance around her face; the scene was almost something you would see in a fantasy painting.

I wanted to marry her I realized. I wanted her to be mine, no one else's, just mine.

She opened her eyes and smiled, rolling over on her back.

"I had a feeling someone was watching me," She looked up at me, "What's wrong?" She asked her eyebrows creased.

"Would you marry me?" I asked tentatively. She smiled.

"Don't you think we're a bit young?"

"No. I love you Leola. I would die for you." She stood and turned away towards her dresser, pulling out a purple sundress.

"You're going to be late for work." She said glancing over her shoulder at me. My face turned red with anger.

"Do you love me?!" I yelled my temper hot and fiery. I took a step closer, "Answer me!" I yelled grabbing her wrist. She looked down at the floor.

"Yes, I love you. You know that." She wouldn't look at me; I saw a tear fall down her right cheek.

"Why do you do this to me?!" I yelled wrenching her arm from her body, she moaned.

"'Jax, please, you're hurting me." I pushed her to the floor, her head hitting the dresser.

"After all the things I've built for you, bought you. You won't even kiss me or let me hold you!" I ranted; I was not being myself you see. It was the devils clamp on my rational thinking. Threats flew out of my mouth that I didn't even think about. Was I possessed? I stormed out of her room to mine. I cursed and punched a hole in the wall sheetrock broken, white dust flying around in the air. I threw my radio across the room. I got dressed hastily without breakfast and left for work.

On the walk, I thought about everything I had just said and did. I didn't mean it. Did she know that? I would make it up to her, some how, some way, when I got home.

I passed a dead dog in the middle of the road. It stunk. Its neck was twisted so the head was pointing at me. Its eyes were rolled back in the remaining skull, the tongue hanging out of the mouth. The belly looked like it had been ripped open and everything that was supposed to be inside was outside by some crazed, sick killer. Blood surrounded the body like the ocean does to a boat. I shuddered and took my eyes off of it. It was a long day at work.

When I got home Leola wasn't there. I walked threw the house. She had picked up my radio and put it back on my nightstand next to my bed. She cut the sheet rock so it was a perfect circle; around the circle she had painted a bright and lively sun. The colors vivacious against the back drop of the walls. My bed was made and the floors and windows were clean. The whole house was clean, and smelled of sandalwood incense. The dishes were washed and put away. Her room was also clean, except for a knob off of her dresser, which was sitting on top. I looked closer at it. The screw had broken off. I couldn't have hit her that hard. I didn't mean to. I searched the house; she was nowhere to be seen. I bet she was at that Café down the street. I walked down the road and there she was, sketching a picture of a potted plant, in a corner of the café, beside her. I sat down across from her and ordered some coffee. She looked up. Waiting.

"I," I began, pausing. "I'm sorry brefos. You know I love you." I said. I laid my hand on hers. She put down her pencil, and grabbed my hand daintily. She used her other hand and put it under my chin, and pulled my face to hers, she leaned across the table and kissed me. The world seemed to be spinning and we were the only ones attached to the ground. I put my hand on her cheek, stroking it I moved it down to her soft neck, but she broke the kiss. She leaned back in her chair and started drawing again. I licked my lips and leaned back. I had kissed many girls before many times but it was the first time I have ever felt that way. We drank our coffee.

"I'm going to hang out with Sandra tonight, you can come." Leola said glancing at me.

"What are you going to do?" I asked.

"Don't know, just hang out. Maybe rent a movie." She put her pencil down and looked at me.

"Do you want to come meet her?" She asked. Leola had been talking about this Sandra for quite some time now. I guess they hung out while her brothers and I were at work.

"I think you might like Matt and Sandra, Dylan, I don't know." She said taking a sip of her coffee.

"What's wrong with Dylan?" I asked.

"Something, I just can put my finger on it. He's a nice enough guy, but there's something. He just doesn't feel right." She said with a far away look.

"Ok. When you going?" I asked.

"Round nine maybe." She answered after a sip of her cold coffee.

"Wanna go for a walk?" she asked.

"Ok." I answered. I paid while she packed up her sketchbook and pencils in her shoulder bag she had made. I held the door open for her. We walked down the street, her hand slid into mine. Outside of our neighborhood, the city was handsome. The outside that is, the inner layers weren't so lovely. The palm trees leaned over the roads like willows over a river. The sun beat down blistering, hot, but welcome heat. The sky was the bluest blue, with few clouds dotting the sky.

The more we grew use to the city, the more we realized the city had its dark spots too. Spots where the sun never reached and life never thrived. In these spots the captivated and weak hid. Flourishing from what their 'friends' brought them. They only came out at night; the days were much too bright.

We got to the beach by the time the sun decided to go to sleep. She sighed and sat on the sand, drawing her knees up under her chin, her arms wrapped around them. The sand was still warm from the sun beating down on it all day. She watched the sun with such interest, I almost thought she that was seeing something I was to blind to see. We sat in silence for some time. I took my eyes from the brilliant colors of the setting sun and looked at her; the wind was blowing the hair around her face, whipping her nose and eyelids.

"Will you marry me?" I asked again. This time I asked almost in a whisper, weary of my anger. She drew a heart with her fore finger in the sand.

"Can I think about it?" She asked, leaving her finger in the at the bottom tip of the heart. She looked up into my dark brown eyes. The pinks and reds from the setting sun reflected off of her cheeks, she looked angelic.

"Of course." I said resting my hand on hers. She opened my big, strong hand tenderly so the palm was facing up. She traced my fingers with her index finger.

"Ok." She whispered, holding my hand in hers. "But we have to wait a year." I dropped her hand back into the sand. I could feel my face again flush with anger.

"Why?" I asked, I went to grab her shoulder and she jumped. I bit my lip and put my hand under my thigh.

"I just want to be sure you're the one." She answered, looking deep into my eyes again. I tried this time, I really did. But the anger grabbed my brain and squeezed the juices.

"You're not sure now?" I asked the volume of my voice raising. I drew a line in the middle of the heart. She looked at it and shuddered. She closed her eyes.

"No, I'm not sure." Like being hit by lightening, my hand jerked out and slapped her. Hard.

"Why? I have tried to give you everything I could." I yelled. By now the sun had completely settled. Stars sprinkled the sky gradually. My eyes darted over her face, that was already beginning to bruise, looking for some hint that this was just a joke, a cruel joke. Why? Why does she keep denying me? What's wrong with me? But you have to see; there is nothing wrong with me. I am a good man. It must be her it has to be. She's the problem, not me. I take care of her and buy her things. Clothes, food, paint and paper. Could she not see this? Was she blind to all the nourishment I had provided her with these last few months? I grabbed her forearm, my nails digging into her soft flesh.

"'Jax, stop. Please." She said squirming.

"Why should I? You're mine; I can do what I want with you!" I yelled. This isn't me you see. This is some one else's voice, someone else's sadistic reactions. Her eyes grew wide.

"Please stop. If you'll stop, I'll marry you." She said threw gasping voices. I let go. I could see her gorgeous skin already bruising, blood fell in thick droplets down her arm from were my fingernails had racked the skin. Immediately I felt ashamed. That wasn't me. Could she see it? I didn't speak, neither did she. We just sat in silence listening to the waves and watching the stars wink at us. The wind blew harder I began to feel cold. I looked at Leola and she was sitting on the sand Indian style. Goose bumps on her arms.

"Cold?" I asked. She nodded. I took off my button up shirt and handed it to her. It was thin and worn but clean and better than nothing. She looked at it, then at me. She noticed that I was calm now, and took the shirt. She wrapped it around her arms.

"Hungry?" She asked looking at me. She wiped a tear away with the corner of the sleeve. I nodded. She stood.

"Let's go home." She said and began walking down the road towards our house. We got there; she took off the button up shirt and put it in the dirty laundry basket in my room. I went to the bathroom and took a hot shower, and put on clean cloths. I walked down the hall to the kitchen. The kitchen's ancient counters tiled a navy blue with white. We needed to buy a new fridge soon. She had painted a large picture of her and me on the beach holding hands; it hung, framed on one of the walls in the dining room. It was a lovely picture. It held so much emotion, which emotion I could not tell.

She was facing the oven, stirring something in a pot. I didn't think she knew I was behind her, she stood humming adding a little bit of salt and pepper, tasting it when she saw fit. I came up behind her and slipped my arms around her waste, kissing her neck. Her body tensed but didn't struggle. She leaned her head back, resting it on my shoulder. I moved my kisses down her shoulder and down to her arm. The precious arm I subconsciously mutilated. I lightly kissed her arm, all the bruises and finger nail cuts, one of them started to bleed again from the spit of my lips, and I licked it.

She broke away, "Dinner's ready." She said calmly getting a bowl and spoon. She filling the bowl with the hot soup and pulled freshly made bread out of the oven. The smell made me salivate. She set it all on the table in the dining room and poured me a glass of sweet tea.

"I love you, Leola." I said watching her make circles around the kitchen. She stopped and turned.

"I love you too 'Jax." She said kissing my cheek. "Now eat." She instructed me. I sat and started eating; she sat across from me and filled her bowl with soup and plate with bread. She ate fast then headed to her room.

"I'm going to get ready, let's leave in about twenty minutes." She yelled over her shoulder. I finished eating and washed all the dirty dishes, putting the left over soup in the fridge and the bread in the breadbox. I heard her take a shower and get dressed. She came into the living room and sat, Indian style on the couch, towel drying her hair. I came and half laid, half sat next to her, my head on the arm of the couch and one of my legs on the couch, the other one the floor.

"I was thinking about going back and finishing high school." She said running a comb threw her hair.

"Why? You don't need to. I finished high school and I'm fixing to enroll in an apprenticeship class to be a mechanic."

"Yea, but I want to go to a visual arts school." She said throwing the towel to the side and pulling her hair into an intricate mass on top of her head, making her look even sexier.

"And to do that I have to finish high school, and I can get a job, so we'll both be working towards our careers and can support ourselves."

"We'll be fine if just one of us finishes school and gets a job going. I don't want you working. I want you at home, with me." She crinkled her eyebrows. Avoiding her gaze I looked at my watch.

"It's been 25 minutes. We're going to be late." I stood and walked around the house turning off all the lights and headed to the door. She stood silently and followed me. We made our way out onto the street and began walking. The air was cooler than it had been. I put my hands in my pockets, I was wearing a black t-shirt and worn, loose jeans with black converses, making my hair and eyes look even blacker. She was wearing a pink and orange-stripped tank top with a thin red jacket and some tight blue jeans with red flip-flops. Her arm slid through mine. The moonlight bounced off her cheeks. She was so lovely; I was lucky to have her. God gave her to me you see, he looked at me with tender eyes and smiled. He gave her to me, blessed her for me. He wanted me to have her.

How do you like it so far? Please review and tell me! If anyone would beta for me, I'd like it. Thanks!