Of Candles and Coconut oil
rating: +18+x

I fell in love when I was 16.

She was the most breathtaking girl I’d ever met.

She had a wide mouth, with plump brown lips that stretched around her ivory teeth when she smiled, showing off that one silver canine she always bragged about.

She always told me she hated her eyes though. She would complain about their boring black hue. I never understood that. To me, they were like the clearest nights in Manhattan, when the light pollution died just enough so you could barely see the stars.

Her hands were rough and calloused, they sent a warm feeling creeping up my arm and into my chest whenever she grabbed mine. The feeling of her thumbs brushing my cheeks always made me sigh contentedly as I’d slide my hands on top of hers.

Little things would excite her. When the leaves changed colors with the seasons, a hot pink motorcycle parked out of our apartment complex, rain on a hot summer day fogging up our windows and wetting our hair.

She would do my hair sometimes. She’d cluck like a mother hen about how dry it was, and how I needed to lay off of washing it so often, and she’d shove a little plastic baggie of coconut oil into my hands afterwards.

Truthfully, I’d let it get wild and dry, just because I missed the feeling of her warm hands massaging my scalp. I missed the smell of tea tree oil on her fingers when she would turn my face to give me a chaste kiss on the cheek. Her musical laugh as I’d stick my tongue out at her…

I don't know why I'm writing about you. It's been years now.

Maybe I miss when things were simpler. I don't know.

I remember when my mother found out about us. I was 18 then. I never found out how, I just found her sitting outside of our apartment building with all of my possessions in garbage bags. I remember the nauseating crack of my nose as she chucked a bag full of hardcover textbooks at my face. The deafening sound of my knees hitting the concrete, hands scrabbling for purchase as sharp gravel embedded itself into my palms. I remember her screaming at me, but my head was swimming with too much pain to make out anything that she said.

I rose to grab the other bags, but she grabbed the hair on back of my head as I approached to scream in my face. Her spittle and my blood mixed in a disgusting pool right below my nose, right above my top lip that had started to swell and throb.

I don't know how long she held me, but later I remember robotically picking up my bags and shoving them into the back of my shitty, used Honda. I had barely opened the door to the driver's seat before something collided with my windshield, putting deep cracks into it. I looked to the source of the projectile and saw my mother, splotchy red face heaving as she quickly turned around to avoid my eye and slam the door in my face for the last time.

I walked around the car to pick up whatever my mother deemed appropriate to hurl at me. I almost laughed at the absurdity of it all.

It was that candle in the cute red glass jar you'd made me for my birthday a month back. Broken glass surrounded the dented white cylinder of scented wax, now coated in a thin layer of dirt and God knows what else. I picked up a jagged shard. It read "forev,” written in delicate calligraphy. My nose and lip dripped blood on the fragment as I examined it, finding the crevices where the word was carved and adding another, darker red to it.

It used to say "forever yours."

I still have that candle you know.

I just can't bring myself to burn it.

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