I sit across from you in a chair that feels much too big at a table that feels much too grown-up. The silver between us is gleaming, impossibly bright, delicate patterns engraved upon the surface. I briefly glance down to see my reflection. You always said you liked my little girl eyes and my little girl lips while you held my little girl hands. I look up and you fix me with your Cheshire-cat smile.
You are so beautiful it is striking. I am struck again and again by all of your hard lines and sharp edges.
There is a fluttering in my chest, and it is like a bird that is desperate to escape, erratic and fearful. Your penetrating gaze is fixed on my sternum- your steely, storm cloud eyes- as though you can hear it, too. And maybe you can.
“I want it.” Your voice is silk against my skin. Soft and supple and I want to sink into the sound.
“Give it to me.”
I hardly take the time to contemplate it. What good will it ever do me, anyway? Only pretty girls have a use for such things, and I am not a pretty girl and I will never have a need for it and besides, the feelings that it fills me with are distracting and they make me feel sick.
It is surprisingly easy to reach my little girl hands into my chest. My painted pink nails part fabric and flesh and bone as though they are insubstantial, and I have never felt powerful before, but I do in this moment.
I hold the throbbing thing in my grasp. I put it on the polished platter placed between us and even as I drop it there it is draining of color and life. You nod in approval as you watch. Your predatory gaze is glittering with glee and amusement and something else that I do not know a word for because I am young and there are so many things I do not know.
I look at the now still object on the table with a sense of detachment, no longer weighed down by its heavy emotions. Mildly curious, I reach out with my red painted palm to see if it is as hard and cold as it looks, but you slap my hand away before I can find out. My eyes widen but I am not surprised. I am not scared.
I feel nothing.
“That’s mine now.” You snap, and your words, which were so saccharine sweet before, slick and thick with syrup coating each one, are razor sharp. Lightning is flashing in your storm cloud eyes, and I am lost in the tempest.
“Mine… mine… mine.”