1.0 Fragment 31 (The sight of you grips my heart so that it cannot beat and I am left gasping to live)

To the Dangling Shoes and All the Birds that Pass Them
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you had wondered. if dying ends pain, why the process hurts.

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joohyun has always been unattainable. deep down, that voice told you that you were the wrong one from the start. insidious, it covers your eyes to blind you. but perhaps that is the greatest form of mercy. in the face of your self-destructive love, you had been forcing your eyes to a brilliance beyond the capabilities of your mortal life, your sun burning and bright and consuming, like your every thought of her.

you wonder if things could be different, once joohyun turns you to ashes. you could be born a man. maybe she'd look your way, just once.

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he could be a god. resilient to her radiance. for who but the gods, the root of man's simulacrum, could conquer the one smiling with all the beauty of cytherea in a small, pale face and forlorn eyes waiting to be washed ashore into the embrace of masculine warmth.

you cannot envy him. one does not envy the gods, does not commit such sacrilege. gods smite and gods punish. you cannot endure more of it.

she turns your way and it's all pain. you allow yourself the illusory moment, ephemeral and evanescent, of her meeting your eyes. wonder, then. if she knows you.

joohyun, you try to call. in the back of your throat the syllables curl tightly, choking you sadistically, without regard. she talks, more more more, it pierces your ears and ruptures your lungs and shatters all logical thought, because logically, logically you should not be this way, glancing at her sinfully with that tightening in your stomach, holding back whispers on your tongue so that she may do the same.

she's your best friend, for god's sake. she's straight.

her voice is sweet but scathing, and you wonder if she knows. knows that if you could meet her again, you would simply turn the other way and not.

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butterflies are supposed to overtake lightly, crowd in until your last memories are of a sun in the distance that thunders with translucent wings and turns to a temporary darkness. but you feel their legs, their predatory proboscis, the way they sap your sweet dreams and leave you with vertigo that sweeps you away into a flowing abyss of pure hatred for the weakling you’ve become.

he sits closer to her everyday. you must watch him obediently.

and when joohyun calls for you, you must answer her, even if her gaze alone suffocates you.

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or, you reason, she could be a monster. medusa too was beautiful. her eyes entice men who must face the consequences of their sin. scylla, devouring everything within reach. you wish you could have saved her, to save yourself. but you're no glaucus. even he could not have her.

if you could, you would fall into her trap, willingly. at least then, you'd be in her warmth. you know that even specious, the need in her eyes would shine to you.

but unfortunately, joohyun isn't a monster. so you let her grab your arm, that damned smile on her face, let her pull your cheeks so you are smiling back.

seulgi, she will call to you. stay with me.

and you are no hero, so you will. you will let her entrap you in her falsity, patent and obfuscating.

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he is a god, you realize. for only gods drink ambrosia.

because you know that joohyun's lips would be poison against yours, mendacious and malicious as she fades from your dream cruelly as she always does. pathetic, you are. weak against such small lips.

but he drinks from them and triumphs, smiling in rejuvenation as you turn away at her questioning gaze.

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she sings to you, only. by no means is her voice one you would buy, but it's hers and it's priceless. joohyun sings to you the same song, always. sorrowful and lost, the nightingale song of her tale.

joohyun, you say, closing your eyes. no more.

but her so

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