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Sidewalk Cracks

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You won't stop breaking apart.

"Goddammit," he says when he sees you again. You can only offer a little smile in response. "Why won't you stop?"

"Sorry," you say. You can't control it. He can't, either.

"What is it?" he asks.

"Does there have to be something?" you say. "Can't I just - come, whenever I want?"

He rolls his eyes. "You know you only come when there's a good reason to. And you better have a good fucking reason because there's a girl out there - " he points out the bathroom stall " - and I'm pretty sure she wants to shag me."

You do your best to resist flinching. He doesn't notice, though, because he hasn't noticed since the beginning.

"You're not talking about Jess, are you?"

Jess was a nice girl. You hoped not.

He rolls his eyes and shoves past you. "Just get back - sometime later. I'm going to get that girl."

*

He's fucking some girl on one of the sofas when you come in.

You do wince, this time. You wonder if it has something to do with the fact that he is you when he looks up to see you. Or maybe you just weren't as quiet as you thought you were.

"What are you doing here?" he hisses over the girl's moans. You wonder how she doesn't hear him. "Get out of here!"

"Sorry," you mutter, with your cup of coffee and day-old jeans. It's always confused you how when you come, you and he have different clothes.

But, then, you and he have different memories. Mindsets. Perhaps, says a silly part of your brain, you and he are different people.

Oh, how you wish.

*

You wonder if it's vain.

Sometimes you emerge while he's asleep. And you have nothing else better to do. So you stare at him, wonder how his face can look so pinched and relaxed at the same time.

You look at your own reflection in the bathroom mirror. Your eyebrows are more worried, your cheekbones stressed. Eyes slightly bigger. 

You close the lights and go back to him, wonder how you and he can have the same face.

There's something about how he breathes. About how he breezes by fearlessly. But you, you are restless. You will never stop. You are all of the pieces he is missing, but he feels more complete.

You try to settle back in, but you wake up in the morning only next to him.

*

Because perhaps you and he are different people.

*

You've known that you were different, anyway; he looks for twat and you look at blokes, not just thinking about what lies underneath their shirt and pants, but at - it's a preference, you know. Something you can't quite explain.

When he goes home with girls, you're tempted. To find a bloke to show him what it's like, to feel like you're betraying yourself.

But you won't betraying yourself. You'll be betraying only him.

When you're back inside, you never try to fight your way out. It's he who tends to make you come out, anyway. You have no control over it.

Perhaps it's getting more and more difficult for him to hide you.

*

"I know your secret," he says to you one day.

You freeze. Hands together, lips tight. "What?" you say, as innocently as you can.

He's not fooled. He shakes a finger in your face. "Your secret," he says, starting to pace around you. "I know what it is."

You look down at his orange ASBO jumpsuit instead of his face. He can't. There's no way he can know.

(But, then, you live inside him, don't you?)

"You're hiding something from me," he says, "and I'm going to find out what it is."

You pause. Snort, a little. "That's what you found out about me?" you say. You hadn't been panicking there for a second. No. No way. "That I'm hiding something from you?"

"No, that I'm hiding something from myself," he says. "Now let it out. Tell me what it is."

You snort again. "If you're hiding something from yourself, shouldn't you know what it is already?" you say, and try to ignore the little drivel at the pit of your stomach.

*

You crawl into his dreams, sometimes, when he doesn't push you out. You're both in a blue car, hoodless (probably Seth's; he's been staring at it with envy recently). He's driving, of course.

"Where are we going?" you ask, because this is his dream, not yours.

"Beach," he replies. A pair of shades are over his eyes.

"For what?" you ask. "Tits to hoot at?"

He laughs, a bit too loudly, and you flinch. He doesn't notice. "That's what it is," he says, no joking in his voice. "God, I love beaches. Especially in France."

"We're in France?" you ask.

"Yeah." He shoots you a grin. "And you know what kind of beaches they have in France? Topless beaches."

"Right." You stare out to the side, where a window would be if this weren't a convertible. Right.

You arrive at the beach and he stares at the breasts and the nipples, big and golden and pink and brown underneath the sunlight, and you sit on the sand as he walks around to the women, turning on the old charm. You don't want to see him do something you'll regret seeing later. Although too many of his memories have been interlaced with yours, anyways.

You wonder if there's anyone for you to watch on this beach. You spot a pair of shirtless, good-looking boys, playing volleyball. You lean back on your elbows and smile, your eyes going down their backs and toned bodies and the curve of their arses -

"Hey!" says a voice, and you're startled to look back at him -

*

"Hey!" says another voice, real and loud, and you open your eyes. You're on the floor of the bedroom. He's glaring at you from atop his bed.

"What?" you say, scrambling back up.

His glare fades and then he's looking at you with a mixture of tiredness and confusion. No, only confusion.

"Could've told me you were bent," he mutters.

"I was," you say, and then shuffle your feet. "I didn't want to cause you an identity crisis," you mumble.

"You existing already causes me an identity crisis," he says. "Besides, you are me - how didn't I know?"

"Search me," you mutter, shrugging.

"So you part of me is gay," he says thoughtfully, tapping his chin. "Even though I know this part of me prefers tits over dick - "

"Aren't you," you say, "aren't you a little bit surprised?" You wonder when he'll find out about the other part. If he'll find out about the other part.

(The part where you watch him, drag him into some of your dreams. Taste his cigarette-laden tongue.)

"Well, I have heard of the saying 'we're all a little bit gay,'" he says. "And obviously it's true with me. Literally." He looks at you pointedly. "Does this mean I'm bisexual then?" he wonders.

"I don't," you say, half-laughing out of relief. "I don't think it works like that."

"Right," he says, and then settles back into his bed. "C'mere, you."

You balk. "W-What?" 

"Well, you're me, aren't you? I can sleep with myself, can't I?" He throws you one of his crooked grins. You swallow and nod a little.

"Yeah, I guess," you say, and settle into bed against him, feel his arms spoon around you like it's the most natural thing in the world.

You wake up wishing you were real.