Hey, guys.

Sorry for the short notice and whatnot, but I've switched back to my original FictionPress account.

My username is now wonderfinch. If you've got any questions or anything, feel free to drop me a PM on either this account or that one, and I'll be happy to answer you :3

Thanks for all the support 3

Anyways, this is a story I started working on a few years back, and it just now occurred to me to get around to finishing it. I didn't like the idea of making it long, so.

I didn't.

I don't know if I like this story in general anymore, but I need to finish it.

Memento

I just realized that I am no longer afraid of death.

Even though you are gone, this is just one more hold on me, one more hook under my fingernails. I remember the night before everything, we lay in the grass, my hair spread over your hands, your body, the grass, protecting everything but my nakedness (What if I had woven it into a net? What would have happened then? Could I have taken my tresses and tied them to you and that night, anchored everything beautiful and trapped us in neverending happiness?). We didn't talk to each other, though I still don't know if we had moved beyond conversation, or whether we still had an infinity to travel before we could say anything that deserved saying. So many words hung between us, creating a trail from one to the other. Even if we had been telepathic, the words would still be scattered, shimmering in the air like stars. There were so many things that we did not need to say, that we could not say, that we did not want to say. There are so many ways that everything could have gone different- if I had sung for you like you asked me to, would that have changed everything? Or what if I had asked you about your favorite music, or what if I could have told you about a poem, about a book, about a world?

As soon as we had finished, I lay back in the grass, your weight collapsed me for only a second before you pushed away, as though my skin burned like salt in your wounds. You pushed away, stood, and tugged on your pants before cradling me in your arms, tugging my cloak of hair away from me and over your bare chest, sitting up and leaning back on your arms to watch me. I tried to get up, to find my clothes among the trees, but you had thrown them somewhere and I could not see. I thought I saw my shirt, sihouetted against the moonlight as it hung on a tree's branch. For all I knew it was merely another shape in a sea of darkness. I tried to turn to you, but a skeletal hand came down on my shoulder, pressed me down. The only word you spoke was, "Stay." In another world, I might have risen into the darkness and tugged you up with me, and we would have found our way back just as the sun kissed the sky. In another world, I would have done something different, anything other than what I did, which was nothing. I have spent my life determined to never regret the things I have not done, and with a single moment, you have changed all of that. What if I had cried after you were spent? Would you have pushed me away in disgust, gone home, and found something else to love? Something less dangerous, less volatile, less beautiful, (and most of all) less like me?

With my bird bones protruding, the moonlight caught my skin, and it shone like golden velvet caught in my hair's web of darkness. I grew self-conscious. My figure had always embarrassed me, and I had always worn baggy clothes to hide my emaciated appearance. Until I met you, that is. You taught me I was beautiful, but here, in the moonlight, naked in your eyes, I felt so far removed from anything beautiful and instead turned my head in shame.

As the dew beaded on my hair and on my skin, I began to shiver. So many girls envied my body, but it was ill equipped for cold weather, and even worse equipped for finding love. You still held my hands (only my head was turned from you), and pulled me to you, cradling me against your chest. Your skin was so warm against mine, and in light of everything that happened, I think that I will never feel so warm again.

"What do you think of heaven?" you asked, and I could not tell you. Perhaps if we had not done what we did, or if I were less oblivious, nothing might have happened. What if I believed in perfection?

Instead I told you that I would rather regret the things that I have done rather than those that I have not. What a stunning contradiction I was there, regretting the thousands upon thousands of things that I might have been doing, when I should have been thinking of ways to save you. I feel terrible, selfish, entirely to blame.

When I woke, my hair was heavy with dew, and you were already cold.

A jacket tossed over our bodies and your silent hands clasped around my waist- those were the only signs you left to make sure that I knew that none of this was my fault. That morning, as I watched the sunrise, I hoped your heart would start beating again, or maybe even that I would die, and then I would know none of the pain I felt. Your hands were twined around my waist in a lover's caress, and you made no move to wipe away my tears like you once had. For a moment, I wished that I could follow you into the dark, because so long as we were together, nothing would be a terrible fate, but then I remembered reading Alighieri's Inferno in my freshman year of high school. Even though I believe in hell just as much as I believe in heaven (which is to say, not at all), I am still cautious. Being an atheist such as I is more difficult, I think, than being a member of a religion. Fanatics can use their god as an exuse for anything that they want, but I have no such certainty.

My parents speak to me as though I have time, weeks and months and years to accomplish whatever I might desire. I am afraid that neither of them, as sympathetic to my issues as they both claim to be, understands that the true issue in my world is that I have no time.

I felt terrible for turning to him after you were left. Perhaps I should have never done it, but I was so alone, so afraid, and so fragile- you had always brought out my strengths, but, without you, i seemed to be nothing but weakness. I was also cold, cold as I had never been before. With you, I had succumbed to the occasional chill, but once I was in your arms, my blood would unfreeze in my veins again. When it first happened, and even now, I was cold, am cold, cold, cold, cold, cold like you never lived to understand. Perhaps if you had never left, neither of us would have ever had to experience this terrible chill. It was so terrible that I could not stand it, and, nearly numb, I turned to him in the hopes that he would be able to melt the ice that had built itself up around me (of course he didn't, but, even though I had known that from the beginning, I still hoped.), or to at least save me from a terrible fate (of course he didn't- you could have, but you, being gone, were in no position to do so.).

But I digress.

I'd known him for a few years, and you'd actually met once. In those first days without you, he must have been so sick of hearing me reminisce about you. In another world, I would have taken that for the warning it was- no man even bothers to feign interest in anyone's dead anything unless he believes that he'll get something out of it. But he listened to me for days, days so long that they became weeks and months, and he listened, and he listened more, until he finally spoke. He asked me, "Are you happy?"

And I, unassuming and idiotic as I am, answered honestly, "Some days."

"Some days?" he inquired, "How often is 'some days'?"

"Rarely," I told him, again with the utmost honesty. I was so grief-stricken that it never occurred to me to lie (Which has always seemed strange to me, as I was once nearly a compulsive liar.).

Taking my face into his hands, he looked into my eyes and said, "You deserve to be happy more than 'some days.'"

And perhaps I could have seen that kiss coming from a thousand light-years away, but, in my memory, I am always shocked as he parts my tongue with his lips, and I am never prepared for him to push me gently into an empty classroom. And I am always numb when he spreads my legs apart with his hands that are so much rougher than yours- and I always wound him when he touches my hair. But I always take him back into my arms as though he has not just treated me as a cheap harlot, and it is there that my memory fails me- all I ever remember after that is the sensation of waking up in a warm bed, with someone else's arms wrapped around me, and the glorious blackness that accompanies another one of my fainting spells, because, no matter how warm those arms felt, my skin still felt like ice.

but still, he fell for me, despite the fact that it was he I dragged on my visits to your grave (weekly at first, but then almost daily, once i realized that there was no getting over your death.), and, as I descended even further into whatever-it-was that I fell, he grabbed onto me- perhaps he, like I, simply wanted to be loved, or maybe he wanted me for baser reasons- and so we fell together. I understood how Eve must have felt, as, apple in hand, she greeted god.

One thing I took to doing was origami. You remember that I learned it in grade school, that, at one point in time, the natural thing to do with a piece of paper was not to write on it, but to make a hat, or a bird, or a table out of it. When I woke up that morning, my hair dewy on your chest, my fingers itched for paper, to make a boat of so that I could sail after your soul down the river styx (actually, this desire to make a boat had been burning in my throat since the previous night- the stars had been so bright, and so close, that I had hoped to sail across them with you to a world where everything was beautiful. The desire had not changed, only the reasoning behind it.). IN between trips to the cemetary, I discovered a pattern for hollow paper stars, and I, for reasons I will never understand, began attempting to fold them. They were a deceptively simple project- I spent thirty hours attempting to fold a single one, and I stopped not when I realized that I had neither slept nor ate since two nights before, but when it occurred to me that I had nearly missed my latest convenient excuse to sneak of to the cemetary.

So I brought the paper with me to your grave, and seated on that ornate tombstone your parents had erected in your memory, I finally managed to fold one, and then another, and eventually an entire heap of them was above you as the sun rose in the sky. There were enough there to fill a boat, or perhaps to make a river out of, one which I could have used to sail to you. But neither of those would have been possible, not after the security guard began to storm over towards me, demanding to know what I was littering all over a grave for.

I ran from you, then, and back to him, and he held me- it was a little more rough than I would have liked, but I thought it might ease the chill in my heart.

His arms couldn't chase away the cold, though, and I took to sleeping in the cemetary. The security guard tried to chase me off, at first, but he realised that I wasn't doing anything, just laying there. And so he left me to go my own way, and I left him to go his, and we simply co-existed. On occasion, he would forget I was there, and, sweeping his flashlight past me, would give a start to see me seated at the foot of a tombstone like a ghost freshly crawled from its grave. He would recognise me after a moment, give me a kindly nod, and move on. We never spoke, but I think he understood.

And if he didn't understand, what did it matter?

Your grave became my second home, the stains from its grass adorning all my clothing, the dirt and stone gradually becoming worn to perfectly cup my body, my back propped up against your tombstone and my legs splayed out over your grave, spread wide enough for me to see the earth between them, and for me to imagine you beneath the soil. And imagine I did- in my mind, beneath the earth, you still lay perfect even as your coffin was splintered by my weight, and the weight of the earth. Your skin was pale, but your mouth was slightly open as though you might, at any moment, resume breathing, rise from the ground, and come upstairs to visit me, still dressed in your funeral finest.

The time came when I could no longer even sleep unless I was curled up against your headstone, and another time came when I could not even leave the graveyard.

And then, the time came that I could not even rise from your grave.

The other one, he was forced to announce his intention to leave me over your dead body, since I clung to the headstone and refused to come with him.

"You'll die here," he said, and after he left, I contemplated it for a while and realised he was right.

So I shifted myself around just enough, and began to sink my arms into the earth...