constance found herself neck deep in volumes of work by dead russians. where she acquired them all, she couldn't quite decipher in through the haze of drugs and alcohol. dostoevsky had been one of constance's long time lovers and she was careful to set all his works aside before fumbling through the rest of the books. the sound of growling snagged her attention like a siren's lure and she turned to see ash and moshe playing tug of war with Crime and Punishment.
"ACK! dogs! stop, don't... do... that..." they managed to squeeze a groan out of constance, who made the mistake of trying to grab moshe's end and getting mistaken as a chewtoy. the dog chopped down on her hand, rather than the book and had constance yelping.
"WHAT THE FUCK, MOSHE!" a banshee shriek as she slapped the dog's jaw to get him to release her hand. moshe and ash cowered beneath the coffee table, while constance disappeared into the bathroom. fumbled with anti-bacterial cream after she washed the hand. luckily, she wasn't in need of stitches, but band-aids weren't enough either. in defeat, constance sat on the toilet and wrapped up her hand, watching blood seep through the white bandage.
constance was hunched over an empty plate for once. chemotherapy and radiation no long rattling her bones and churning her stomach was a great relief. the fork craped up each and every little piece of egg and bacon.
"i forgot how delicious this shit is..." she mumbled to lucian while continuing to shovel food into her mouth, stealing from the edges of his plate. he did nothing but grin over his glass at her. only once her (in)finite hunger was sated did she pluck up her plate and shuffle it into the dishwasher. the days seemed longer now, when she wasn't fighting for her life. morning felt like afternoon and afternoon like night, but the sun decieved the skies and constance's inner clock. tick tock, tick tock.
so here we are reinventing the wheel
i'm shaking hands with a hurricane
it's a colour i can't describe,
it's a language i can't understand
ambition tearing out the heart of you
craving lines into you
dripping down the sides of you
<center>his soul stretched tight across the skies
that fade behind a city block
or trampled by insistent feet
at four and five and six o'clock
constance had picked up a habit with the sudden influx of energy she didn't know what to do with. every morning and every afternoon she would weave through the steel gridlock of the city on her make-shift bicycle. pieced together from parts and scraps of other bicycles, it was a myriad of blues, greens, reds, and purples. she loved it regardless. she'd pedal at top speed through the back alleys and side streets of the city timing each and every ride to try and beat her previous time. seconds passed by in front of her eyes and while others saw plain stretches of asphalt and concrete, constance saw only wheel rotations. "one, two, three." her breathing was levelled, always in time with pumping legs and a throbbing heart. no longer chained by a disease crawling like the plague through her veins, she was free to ride and ride and ride her bike for miles and miles until she crashlanded from her city block orbit in the arms of lucian.
and sometimes she'd extend her arms like the wings of a crane and pretend she was flying.
constance was beginning to think that they communicated better when neither said anything at all. when ink scrawled across paper professed the things that would never fall from their lips. it was in the early morning hours, before she tumbled through the front doors of the high school and after she rode her bike through town, that constance slumped into the couch wrapped in a towel and still dripping wet. with a pen in one hand and notebook in the other, writing down things she couldn't bring herself to say.
i read your letter, the one you left beneath my pillow. i've been smiling a lot more because of it. thank you for that. there are so many things that i want to thank you for and i know i'll never have all the time i need. but i want you to know i love you. not like anyone before you, not like anyone after you. you're the one for me, lucian. you're the one i want to be with until i'm six feet under. it's scary to think about that, y'know? i think you're probably more scared than me, it's a man thing. so if you know anything lucian, know that i love you. storybook style.
she ripped the paper from the notebook and folded it up while climbing to her feet. she taped it to his skateboard before shuffling into their room to get dressed and ready for work. ball and chain, nine to five.
the winter had finally rolled in after weeks of mild weather; it drilled down into her bones and sutured itself to her skin. constance tried to fight off the touch of jack frost's icy fingers by wearing layers of clothing that didn't belong to her when she played out in the snow. it was beneath the balcony that she called to him like romeo did juliet, shrieking "lucian! lucian! lucian!" until the man she had grown to love would peep his head out and down at her. she had a snowball waiting for him, waiting to wake him up and lure him outside with the promises of sweet vengeance.
she had decorated the yard with wide-winged snow angels and a lopsided snowman who wore an old straw hat and a necklace of flowers. the snow was pure... so pure.