Names

“I used to believe in angels.”

My words sound as hollow as I feel. I tear my empty gaze away from the window to look across the room, though you hardly make any indication at all that you’ve heard me. But I see it. The way your lips twitch just barely on one side. You’re listening, you’re always listening. But you don’t look up when you finally decide to respond.

“Did you,” you eventually murmur softly. It’s a statement, not a question. Your eyes never leave the text of your book.

“I did. But I don’t anymore.”

There’s a long pause, but I’m patient. I know you’ll ask, because even though you feign disinterest, you want to know. You always need to know everything.

“…and why not?”

The answer is obvious to both of us, isn’t it? But I want to say it, and you want to hear it out loud.

“Because I met you.” My mouth is dry. I swallow thickly, and it’s like my throat is coated in course, rough sandpaper. “I only believe in monsters, now. There’s no angels. Only demons.”

You chuckle softly at that. I’m staring holes through the leather-bound book in your hands, but you still never even glance at me. “Different names for the same thing, child.”

You turn the page as you sigh.

“Different names for the same thing.”

 

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