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Oh, Mary, there you are.

Why did you have to leave so soon? Why must you always make me yearn for your return?

You must know how much it conflicts me.

I see your digits slip into those sleek leather gloves, as you take them from my clammy hands.

I can feel those dainty little fingers running up my shoulders, a shiver of delight as those crimson lips beckon me forward. Arms wrapped around me as we embrace once again.

Oh, Mary.

There you are, in front of me, just like always. Those wide hips framing a fit body, and the dirty blonde tresses that softly fall around such a pretty face. Oh, you dance so well, Mary; don't you love the parties? How you smile so many beautiful smiles as you move on that dance floor. You in that red dress, Mary, sharing a photo before we leave in the hallway, dropping your car keys and laughing with me.

And now back through the door, post-party, staggering, drunken messes. Alcohol fueled, touching in the hallway, kissing; holding.

I'm moving with you now, that's it, Mary. Following you, letting you lead, as you always do, I don't mind, as long as it's with you. Hearing the clicking of your heels up the stairs, now, towards the bedroom.

Echoes of love upon our bed, in the throes of ecstasy, rolling in passion with each other. I feel your loving embrace, the passion. Oh, how I loved to fuck you, Mary. I can smell that sickly sweet perfume, the permeating scent intoxicating to my senses.

It stinks of you, Mary.

You know I smell it, don't you? That mind-numbing scent as you dance around the rooms, that crimson smirk ever present as I follow. Oh Mary, I'll waste my time for you; I'll feel what you feel, think what you think.

Oh Mary, I love you.

And now that coy smile plays once again across your face as you approach me once again. Your mouth moves, silent words coming from it. I must concentrate for you, Mary.

That sweet, serene voice you always grace me with; the most calming of sounds.

That voice sings to me, plays music with me, tells me that it loves me, that it'll never leave as long as I stay.

Eyes closed, feeling your hot breath upon my neck as you talk about everything to me, Mary. I smile, laying back.

No need to lament the departed when she's right here.

And now those waxy red lips make their way toward a cigarette, a cloud of smoke filling the room. You should really quit, Mary. That hazy smoke clouding everything, beginning to dull my senses...



Oh, where are you, Mary?

I don't see you anymore, your beautiful figure lost in the mist.

"Mary, please, don't leave me alone!"

My feet shuffle forward, the smoke impairing movement.

Off the couch, through the door and into the hall, I can make out the hook where a set of keys would hang, completely bare.

"You aren't real."

The words are a whisper in my mind, subtle but unnerving.

Up the stairs, trudging through the smoke, every step echoing as I enter the bedroom.

"Mary, please, where have you gone?"

A flash of red catches my eye. I spin around, just missing it.

Advancing forward, I can see our bed, no longer sprawled in a heap from love-making; instead perfectly made, not a bit out of place.

"You aren't real."

A little louder this time, harder to ignore.

I just have to find Mary, then it'll all be okay.

I hear that soft voice singing a pretty melody, piercing the thick hold of the fog.

Oh, Mary, thank you for letting me hear your song.

I follow the sound, further and further, downstairs towards the lounge.

There she is.

My Mary, there in full, the red draped over her body, accentuating everything. I run to her embrace, feeling that supple skin make contact with mine, as she starts to caress me once more.

Everything's okay, I have my Mary.

I have her, and she has me.

But why are those leather-bound hands tightening their grip around me, Mary? You're hurting me, darling, please stop! Christ, are those bruises?!

"You aren't real."

Deafening this time.

It hurts, she hurts, and I hurt.

I struggle with her, desperate to escape her iron grip. In my panic-stricken state, I gaze upon my Mary, hoping to garner some sympathy.

No longer is she the pretty lady of my dreams. Sunken eyes and pale, yellowed skin with gaunt features are all that stares back at me. Striking blue eyes once full of life are milky and hollow, and those waxy lips are thinner than ever. Red nails become sharp talons that start to dig into my arm and torso, flesh on my forearms starting to bleed from lacerations.

She bellows a scream of fury, her face twisted into malicious ferocity. The sweet utterings replaced now with a barrage of hate, too fast for me to comprehend. I close my eyes, willing it to stop, barely able to cope with the torrent.

"You are not real!" I cry out, wrenching my arms from those talons as the pain hits me, and I push her away with all my might.

The smoke clears, and Mary disappears in front of me. The only part that remains of her are the scars, old wounds marking my body.

I sink down onto the couch once more, clutching those old gloves tightly, sobbing into my hands, muttering the mantra that keeps the mind she left to rot alive.

"I am real and you are not."

"I am real and you are not."

Written by ZugZuwang
Content is available under CC BY-SA