Easier - A Journal by Alice Cullen
You knew before I could say it that this wasn’t something that could last. But your lips still hovered over mine with a sinful smirk lilting the edges, where my mouth once pressed with a gasp of pleasure as you unraveled me in the most impure way.
And you still danced beneath my fingers, pulling me along a path only you could define, but that I could still see crystal clear. You knew your decisions were under scrutiny, and each step of the way sent me further splaying fingers on fine sheets. But we couldn’t stop. You couldn’t be tamed; the succubus from so many tales come to life in the dark of our room.
Our room. The scene of too many heavy nights under your fingers and mouth. The way you dragged your name in breathless desire from the back of my throat, eyes closed and spine arched in desperation, chasing what you wouldn’t give me. Or our room, where we spit harsh words and right accusations only to fall against the bed again, sharp teeth at tender skin— we never finished an argument.
I didn’t bother to care. The company filled me with something close enough to love, close enough to completion where she could not be found.
And you knew. And I didn’t bother to care.
The way we fell into each other was enough. There was nothing we could do to avoid what we both saw in the morning light: that I loved her still. That your blonde waves, though beautiful, were not hers. That your hands did not know my body so intimately, but god did they still know what to do.
Would it be easier to stay or easier to go?
It wouldn’t matter. Without her you found a crevice to push into, the way you would push into me and my stomach would drop and my hips would roll against the pressure. You found a way to find me anyways, even when the look in my eyes was for someone else and the touch of my hand was faint, lingering on the border of a lie.
I missed her. I missed her more than words could say but you, you were still there. As what you wanted to be, because I didn’t know. But I didn’t fight it. And maybe, to be fair to you, I shouldn’t have stayed. But we both did, and we both tried to be more than we should have. We both fell in love while we tried and maybe that’s okay.
You whisper my name and I want to respond but the words aren’t there, they’re in my mind but they scramble and they’re going to come out wrong— her name. So I know the look in your eye when I don’t respond, that you see the flash of some distant recognition in my eyes, however misplaced. If you love me now, we will not speak of it.
After everything we fall together. You would think knowing so much about our little secret would push you further away, but you hold me when I cry and can’t explain. You don’t ask the questions we already know the answers to. It hurts too much, to even look at you when we are together.
I know the kindness in your eyes too well, and you don’t hide from me. How can I ask for anything more when you have already given so much? So much of your time and love to someone incapable of giving it back— at least, not to your extent.
And, fuck, how do I begin? There is nothing that can erase this unfaithfulness that survives in your eyes. I know when you look at me you see half a person, the other half concealed beneath someone else’s sheets and dipped in their honeyed words long gone. And I know, I know, I know you are not deaf to this repeated sacrament. I pray whatever god watches us keeps you holy.
And I didn’t know if I wanted to change you, but you changed me. I was afraid of another woman’s touch, afraid that it would sink into me and she would no longer be the one who knew me most intimately. But I cannot fear the inevitable, and you are nothing if not unstoppable.
But who would want to? Who would deny your warmth, so unlike the shock your sister held for us? The way you held me under your sheets as if we were far from the trouble right downstairs, the way you held me so softly knowing this bed still had her scent on its unwashed sheets, fear of losing another memory too strong for me to handle. But you still held me. Your hands ran up and down my arms as I broke between yours, and you cradled my head, heavy with the future and the past and not enough of the present— no, I could not even give you that in all your efforts, the way I was never meant to— resting so lightly against your chest.
You never asked for more.
And, oh, do you remember when you said you loved me? It stirred something deep in my heart. I can’t remember if it’s because I felt the same or not. How couldn’t I, after all? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen, after this long? After all we’ve done with each other— fuck, to each other?
At least, that’s what I thought. And maybe that was what kept me going— for you— but at least we fell this way, in love with some common goal: to let me feel again. I did, too. I felt when you touched my cheek and brushed away tears I couldn’t fathom you to see. I felt when you placed your hand on my chest to feel what was broken inside, for surely you knew that just that touch would fuse my rib cage back together and protect this broken heart. I felt when you slipped between my legs and made me call another name, and hovered smirking above me to know, yes, you had replaced her. I felt when you usurped her throne, and you faced her in the living room when she descended the stairs to find me curled up by your side, talking with my mother like nothing was wrong.
Except everything was.
I wonder how the chill felt to you. If ice ran down your spine and your hair stood on end. Was it fear you felt? Or this often needless drive to protect what was— for now— yours? Well, our kind were never too fond of sharing, even if the time together was in the past. After all, our kind don’t usually find another mate. This was new ground to us all.
So the family decided to walk on eggshells. Well, except Emmett. You know how he is. He couldn’t help but make jokes at our expense, trying to ease some of the burden that fell mostly on our shoulders— me, you, and her. We didn’t want anyone else to feel this strain, this tension that ripped through the air when one of us entered a room. It wasn’t their fight, after all. And it would be our fault if any discord came of it. To imagine a loss of a coven so close to each other— perhaps the first of its kind— was too much.
So maybe that’s why we pretended. There was nothing else to do, anyways. We couldn’t avoid her, not in her own home. Though it was starting to feel like a war zone. We would face off in the morning, trying to forget the ones we spent curled around each other with coffee or tea;
pretend that, at night, the loneliness of a missing body beside us didn’t ache. I can’t say I didn’t think of her in the dark until twilight made you undeniable. So it was each new day that we found something new to pretend we didn’t notice.
That doesn’t mean what we had was anything less than a flame. But we can’t control that it came from the ashes from someone else. You were never cold like the snow that defined our first few months together, as I hid from her in your arms so far away that it could have seemed like a dream. Or a nightmare. Has it really been so long?
At least I never stood alone.
Who could ask another being, who has lived as long as we have, to face each other’s demons? Our souls that have fought in the wars they have can not be pure.
Yet you didn’t ask me to leave. When I did, for no short amount of days, you never asked me to stay. I think you knew I was still running from something haunting me from the inside-out.
I didn’t know yet I didn’t need to run from you. But that’s okay; I spent the rest of our time together running to you. It didn’t take long until the comfort I sought in you turned physical. I didn’t need to be alone anymore when you knew my body before I could explain— I saw, already, what you wanted to do. And the images followed me, played behind my eyes and teased me until you smirked before me, knowing full well what your decisions did to me. My lips were often parted in heavy breath I didn’t need before you caught them in a kiss that fluttered down my body— neck, collarbones, hipbones; down to the core of me, you always unraveled me.
I would later find it destructive that we didn’t speak when we touched. Perhaps if we had, that would keep me from seeing her beneath your golden curls. You didn’t wear them as she did, but the dark was enough. Just enough. I tried not to remember the times with her as I arched, one hand drowned in your curls and a guttural moan caught in my throat— I didn’t want to say her name. You were more than enough to pull yours from my lips. I knew better who you were. You never let me forget, after all.
Not even outside the bedroom.
The sway of your hips called me back to your bed; this is how you fixed me. You worshiped my body until it healed like a prayer and I was your broken god. You pressed your lips to my skin and like your venom it pieced the invisible pieces of me back together. Your hands held me in place until I could not deny what you saw— I never tried to run again. And your tongue spilled the words I needed to hear, that sunk beneath my skin and rooted home in my chest, between my rib cages where they melded my heart together again.
How else could I repay you? I settled between your legs, holding your thighs like sacrament; I pressed my lips to each inch of your skin to revere you, the way you deserved if I weren’t unfaithful.
It’s too much for me, but not enough for you. And I think, are we drunk on the same thing? Dancing in the moonlight it seems something so trivial, so little to worry about, like the moon can save us now, like our kind was built for immortality and, darling, it looks so good on you.
I know it is your sister’s gift, but I could swear you are lightning. Your hair moves fast as you twirl around me, and sometimes I forget— forget you are not her when you are just a blur of gold and white, like some angel who found me. And sometimes you shock me, with your holy forgiveness. I know each time you look at me this way. And somehow, you come from the ground up, like lightning always has. Still you hold me, when I am nothing but the tears I cannot shed, for maybe this form is my punishment and I will never feel this absence the way you do. Still you streak into my sky and set fire to everything around me. Everything inside me. And you burn me together again.
I can’t say that I have not taken the time to escape this. Every second we are apart I am hers, and I am sorry. The memories fall in line and I am compelled to know them more intimately than when they occurred. Push me into the bed and make me forget— for now, for now. We are both raging fires, so why don’t we set this town to embers? There is nothing to stop us but our own desires, so take me away from her, burn the bridges we cannot cross hand-in-hand. But I am sorry; I cannot stand by your side in the ashes.
Didn’t we make a promise? To love each other? There was so much we forgot in the trail behind us— but I will never consign her to obliteration. This is the problem: I love her still, I love her still, I love her still. And I am sorry. What could I have given you but my words? My body remembers her, sometimes, when you are gentle— so gentle, too gentle— and you are walking away. Sometimes, she will turn the corner and I will remember that I was always looking for her in your shadow. I am sorry. I am sorry. I could give you the body I inhabit once, twice, three times a night until you bring me home to you, in your arms as the sun rises, letting me remember who you are, who I am, who we are. And that we are together.
I beg you to reconsider what I fear you must think of me. Although I am not holy— no, I am desecrated— I am something to you. And you are everything to me. Finding me in the darkness is nothing easy, and harder still is it to pull me from the future I can see. No, that I can’t see. Not anymore. I can only ever thank you for pulling on my hand as I stepped through deep shadows of a looming mountain by her name. She is and will always be the highest vantage point that I will see my world. Yes, she is everything I have ever seen. I am sorry.
There is nothing that can stop her. She is the love of my life and full of everything I could not be. Although we stepped away from each other, she will always be what my fingers remember most and that my skin will ache to feel again. I can remember her scent as if we were laying in bed together again, and the feel of her arms around me when I could not meet the sun one more day. I can remember what she would say to me, her lips at my ear when my eyes were closed and my chest was shaking like leaves on the trees dying outside in the cold winter. I remember when she held me and I broke, I broke, I broke. I am sorry.
We did not wait when we fell. It was quick; it was like this: you saw me and I did not falter, I did not question the touch to my arm, the trail of your fingertips, the press of those lips to the crevice where my life lay between, ready for your taking if you so desired. So you did. And I lay in your sheets long after, watching what we did after play behind the present like a movie. What had we done? What had we done?
Did you know things I did not? Did you see the way she passed behind my gaze as I looked at you— first to know me, to have me, to hold me, forever? You had to have known.
Where you rest your head is a battlefield and I wonder how much you have seen when you lay with me, when you lay your hands on me and I inhale with all the pain of a rib cage splintered around a broken heart. I wonder if you see the haunted graves of her memories, or the withered flowers I placed in her hair, or the burnt grasses where we lay. I wonder if you see it all.
You never said you needed space, even when it seemed like space was all that lay between us in our bed. Maybe it would have helped— no, it wouldn’t have helped. I would crawl back to you each night if I could; I only knew your healing.
It was so easy to forget when it was just me and you and the dance floor and the way your hips moved beneath my fingers. We couldn’t pretend this isn’t real when you pull me against you and your lips are so close, so close but I know, I know, I know you’d let me pull away if the chasm in my chest were to break open and I would remember, remember leaving would be the easy part. Staying away would kill me, trying to forget the way you held me against you and wrapped me in your silent healing. Yes, I would remember, and spend each night alone in a black hole of your memory.
Do not hold me at arm’s length; I may run away. I am afraid of who you are, so captivating that men have died on their knees after your kiss. I would let you take me anywhere, and I thank whatever God is watching us that you press your lips against me with a tenderness that leaves me shaking in some reverence. You do not know that you devour me anyways, and I am at your mercy by the foot of our bed. I would not forget you no matter how much time we spend apart: show me, show me what I cannot be without. I am sorry I am so dependent; I will keep the light on for you.
I let you in even though I am screaming and you are a whisper.
If we go out dancing I will think of her and how we moved under the lights in France. So we go to London. I would forget everything about myself if I could keep you there and pretend I was giving enough of myself to you. I do not want to take all of you but I do, and after we lay together and I am empty again but you still hold me, you still hold me. And I can’t thank you enough.
Is there anything for us to find now? I was broken when you found me and submitted to the horror of being so intimately known. I can only apologize to the empty well you filled with care and adoration. What did you find to love? Thank you for seeing a worth in me that I could not find.
If I think about it, it destroys me. And something in me rips open and I am sorry, I am sorry, that you find me this way. You assure me I am not a weight on your shoulders but eternity is a long time to love me, and I cannot imagine healing when I am split open and a howling wind in a clearing of grassy meadows, empty again. I am sorry.
I remember when you sat me down, you said it was something we could hide no longer. This was not about my love, you said. There was much I had to offer, but not under the pretense of another’s weight.
They say if you hit water from too far up that it becomes like concrete; I sank beneath you anyways.
I want to remember you like this, to love you like this, the curves of your body in your glimmering blue dress and a smirk on your mouth and your lips at my ear telling me you love me, sending me shivering to my knees. I know you do not look down on me.
What do I tell you now? Oh, I love you, I love you, I love you. Do you know? Does the press of my lips to the corner of your mouth make you weak? I hope your gasp of air is genuine, that the way you shake is pure, that the prayers you send to our ceiling are for and to only me. I only want to please you, to help you know that, in some way, you are mine too. I hope this is enough.
Every tick of the clock you are losing me— do you know? I do not want you to. How can I keep you here? You breathe out and I breathe in; this is what will kill us.
We can’t get enough of what we indulge in each night, even when we know it won’t be a lasting comfort on our skin. But we pretend, we pretend. It is real in one moment, when your hands run down my arms and soothe the last of the high in my empty veins. And then you hold me, and there I am safe from our reality. This is what saves me— at last, at last.
And you are just like a fucking dream, your body resting languidly— but so perfect— beneath me on my hands and knees. Should I worship you?
Tell me you won’t go.
Are we infinite? Reach me, if you can. I am sorry she is my black hole— can they be something pure? She has swallowed so much of me, taken worlds we had put together. I listen to your voice in the darkness and remember this is you, this is you, beside me.
I know you, I know you, I know you. Please know me.
Keep the key to the lock for my heart; you are always welcome. You have opened all the doors and all the skeletons in my closet are awake and roaming these empty halls. Do you see the ghosts? They move through the walls of our apartments and possess me— oh, how I hope you don’t feel it when you hold me.
How do I stay away? You have become home.
Who will you see after me? Who will become the one you hold, and will I become just another story in your lasting life? Do not let me think about this— kiss me soft instead.
Speak to me in the words we have chosen. It is so careful, the game we play. But I never tire of it, and the way your arms are so strong when I am far too weak to stand. I know, I know, I know; this is love. I can try to give it back to you.
I remember the twist of your lips when I told you, how your mouth tightened to a thin line and your eyes seemed to pierce through me— you already knew.
I am slave to the way you move; I will follow you through the streets of our London. You are so beautiful under the lights that bring us to life, that showcase the luxuries we have bought. Show me the way your liquor tastes again, and stumble with me over the cobblestones as we pass human bars with chatter that will never know a thing about us.
I don’t want to be alone tonight— come into my arms and show me your peace. Lay with me and show me what you think I deserve, the softness on your face breaking into my hollow chest to give me hope. I wish I could keep it.
You give me a choice and I make it— I am sorry. Do you love me so much that you hate me now? Will this distance stay between us when once I could not hold you close enough as I fell apart? Tell me, tell me— will I lose you too?
You see me crystal clear.
It was a simpler time, in a safer place in our London— and I, well, I was almost healed.
Please, remember: I will always love you.
The hardest part is, I can’t even say who.