When they are in the car (roughing it Bonnie and Clyde style), she would prop her feet up against the dashboard and sip on vodka straight from the bottle. At night, they'd get fucked up on pills and head into dark rooms, music booming until her ears bled.
Often, she wakes up before him. In those moments, right before dawn settled into day, she would look out into the nothingness and wonder what the fuck she was doing there with him. (There was a small voice with an unsatisfactory answer). Because you love him, right? No, it’s not right. How could it be?
Effy doesn’t know how to love.
She feels him, halfway across the room, punching into oblivion like he always does. It reminds her of a different scene from a different month when he planned out their forever. This is it. You and me, babe.
Effy stares after him for a moment before pushing through the crowd and out the exit. She sighs against the night air, thick and heavy breaths. It means nothing, really.
Her heart beats the same inside her.
Thump, thump, thump.
He doesn’t change even under the florescent jail lights. Same face, same grin, same slouch, and she wonders if anything can touch him.
How is the love?
How is all love, any love? Crap. It’s all crap.
It’s complicated, she says instead.
Love is meant to be complicated, yeah?
She breaks his heart, even though it’s never that simple. I wish I could love you enough. I wish I could love you properly. In the end, all she can muster up is a sad consolation prize. A smile and a nod and he’s off to confession. You’re brave.
It fades after he leaves.
She goes mad and breaks herself, over and over again. Everything falls apart, the universe ends, and she crawls under the bed, trying to imagine the way Tony felt when his best friend ripped his heart in two.
Get out! Get out!
It isn’t quite anger and it isn’t quite sadness, but she can’t bear it, the way Cook stares at the irreparable pieces of her scattered on the stairs.
Don’t look at me when I’m not right.
They’re always been the same. We’ve both stood in the rain. The thing is, it never fades, that rain, and no one can understand, not really. It scares her, the disease he’s offering. She could never afford those words: I’d do it all again.
You’re bad for me, she concludes. Piss off.
When Effy tries to fall asleep that night, her breath catches and refuses to let go.
It’s just the rain. It’s always just the rain.