The stupid thing is that Matt doesn’t even love her. Hasn’t loved her, actually, for quite a long time. He knows her; certainly at this point he knows Nina like the back of his hand, but he doesn’t love her. Never did, probably.
There’s no use in lying anymore. Not when you’re paralyzed and moments away from a grisly death. Surely you can be honest then. Surely you, Matt, can take a moment away from your choking terror and admit you never loved anybody except Jack, who was total shite on a good day and your first kiss and also the first person who ever punched you, one hit KO, the first person who ever put their arm around you while you cried, your best friend, your first anything, everything.
Don’t look, don’t think, Matt’s brain screams at him.
He can’t shut his eyes but he can look without looking, he can just go away, step out of his body like he’s stepping out of a diner and on to a wet street corner, like the one he’d been standing on when he said goodbye to Jack for the second to last time.
”You’re gunna forget all about me, mate,” Jack had said.
But Matt hadn’t. Never could, even on the rare occasions Nina let him touch her—not like Matt really minded, but he had needs, he wanted to be touched, he wanted to feel normal—the sound of his belt jangling took him back to the filthy couch in Jack’s basement, Jack saying, voice tremulous, “It’s alright to give each other a hand every now and then” and Matt nodding, trying not to seem too eager.
Right, Matt thinks when the girl comes into the room. Of course.
Jack lying in a pool of his own blood, the spikes on the bear trap puncturing his throat. Matt remembers touching that throat once, afterward, when Jack tipped his head back on the couch cushion. He was panting, eyes shut. Matt put his thumb lightly on the pulse point under his jaw.
“Don’t go queer on me, mate,” Jack said without opening his eyes.
Too late, too late. So much time down the drain, now dying for someone he doesn’t even love. Matt can hear Nina screaming. He doesn’t think she ever loved him either.
The little girl’s teeth are very sharp. People have been taking chunks out of Matt since the day he was born. What’s one more bite?