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A lot of people tell me that I'm a cruel monster for this. That my soul will forever be damned for what I've done, but I beg you, just listen to me for a moment.

My name is Wesley, and I have a girlfriend named Claire. We first met when she transferred to my school. We got along surprisingly well, despite her being semi-popular and me being, well, a nerd. But me and her were inseparable, and we practically shared every interest. She was the one who gave me my first kiss, and the only girl who would stick up for me. She was amazing in every way possible. Claire was also the first person to let me get a taste of what it was like being popular in school. Getting me into parties, having a group of friends, all that jazz. I was sort of uncomfortable but, I'll admit, it was good finally being seen as a person rather than a nobody.

It was around 2017-2018 where things went south, however. It was Halloween, and we were both going house to house, despite both of us being 20 and being considered "too old" to trick or treat. We were heading home, our bags filled to the brim with candy, talking about great it was to feel like kids again, when Claire stepped on an old sewer grate and fell down. It was instantaneous; neither of us had time to react, and when I came to my senses, all I heard was a loud cracking noise. I immediately climbed down the sewer's ladder and saw her, laying there.

Her neck was split open, showing broken bone and muscle tissue. Her nose was caved in and oozing blood everywhere. And worst of all, her eyes were lifeless, drained of any and all emotion she had for me. It was safe to say that she was dead on the spot. I could only remember telling myself it wasn't real, that it was all a dream and that she was standing right next to me, wondering why I was sitting on the sidewalk crying.

I arrived at my house at 10:23 PM. As soon as I got inside, I collapsed on the floor. I just couldn't believe it. Claire was dead, gone, six feet under, no longer alive, every term that could label something as dead, and I couldn't do anything. I couldn't sleep all night, all I did was watch TV and drink alcohol while crying. I finally managed to lay down in my drunken stupor and closed my eyes, hoping that I'd drank enough booze that my liver would fail overnight, so me and Claire could be together again.

I woke up in my basement. I don't know how, but I woke up on the rotting plywood. I slowly got up on the floor, holding back the urge to vomit, both because I was hung over and because the smell of the basement was getting to me. I finally managed to stand up straight, and in my vision, laid Claire.

She was laying down, strapped to a metal table, her body jerking and thrashing like a fly clinging onto its last bit of life. I wasn't afraid. I wasn't confused. I was just... staring at her. I didn't know what happened. And frankly, I didn't want to know. All I knew was that she was here with me again. I quickly ran and embraced her, ignoring the smell of rotting flesh. I ran my fingers through her dark brown hair, just like I used to when she was alive. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, she was gone. The metal table, Claire, everything was gone.

I heard something get knocked over in the kitchen, so I ran out of the basement and towards the source of the noise, and there she was. Her arms where thrashing and banging on the kitchen counter, the cupboards above her were swung wide open, and a box of mac and cheese was spilled in front of her. I called out to her, only to be met with silence. I got closer, and her head snapped back, falling to the floor, facing me. Her mouth opened wide, as her tongue slowly emerged from the dark-green sludge that filled her mouth. Her tongue kept rising slowly, and I couldn't do anything but just stand there, watching her tongue writhe and dance, all while silverfish and that sludge seeped from her mouth and fell down from her rotting, pale skin.

I bolted out of the kitchen and ran up the staircase, only to see a large group of Claires packed together, blocking the hallway. All of them were merged and melted together, forming a giant, writhing wall of stretching faces and clumps of random body parts. It was slowly inching closer, dragging itself with their hands, their fingernails hanging on by a thread.

I ran back downstairs, going back into my living room. And there she was. Her injuries were still present, and her pale skin and hair was still covered in that sewer sludge, but it was her. Slowly, I walked next to the couch. She smiled at me and motioned me to sit next to her. I did so gladly. I could feel her warmth against my body as she rested her head on my shoulder, her hair growing and tying me down to the couch. I could feel her breathing again; although extremely harsh, she was still breathing again. Her hair kept growing, covering everything around me... no, around us, as we embraced each other once again. Soon enough, everything in the room was covered in a mixture of Claire's hair and patches of pale flesh, melding together around us like a lava lamp.

And then, everything was gone. But her warmth wasn't. I still felt her, on my shoulder. As I looked deep into her beautiful eyes, her mouth oozing with sewer sludge, I wrapped my arms around her.

I finally got her back. Even if God or any other force demands me to put her to rest, I'm not letting go of her.