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My hands wrapped around her wrists, her skin couldn't breath. My knees underneath hers. Her face looked like it was about to cry, her hazel eyes teary. She had bags under her eyes from staying up, her eye shadow smeared. Her light brown hair had landed across her lips, she was trying to spit 'em out. Her ﬁngers started to turn pale from the grip I had her in, her forearms were turning crimson. Her body felt intense, but it wasn't angry it felt more like a plea. Not once did she scream, she just begged in whispers and wimpy apologies. She kept trying to get up. I had her pinned down to the ground. The off white marble tiles felt cold, it looked like snow. It felt like we were out in the open, on a porch or something because it was spacious, the ceiling was untouchable. My art pieces scattered around the room, most of them broken. Paintings, photographs, ﬁlm projected on the wall, sketches, prints and a sculpture in the middle of it all. She was struggling and kept trying to shake me off. But I had her pinned down to the ground and all I could think about is how much I wanted her to suffer. I kept pushing her to the ground. I was the hammer and she was the nail. I was pissed off, I wanted to get my point across in a way she wouldn't forget. I wanted her to remember this moment that she'd regret. She had a hard time trying to get up, I made sure she knew that. --Under her breath she kept begging that I let go of her. I said nothing. Then the reasons came. She said that she wasn't there last night she couldn't take the pressure that I was giving her, too much pressure that she couldn't bear it. She added that she felt uncomfortable that she wouldn't know anyone and would prefer to be in a smaller setting. Intimate she described it. But what she failed to mention was the fact that I put in all my effort to being vulnerable, that I gave her the chance to get to know me and the life I lived before her. I kept thinking why was she even with me, if she knew that last night was an important event in our relationship. She should have told me before hand instead of breaking a promise. At the back of my mind I felt the whole world turning, so much emotion my mind was all over the place. I thought about how we spent an evening looking at the stars, and how the solitude of the night made her want to hold me. That was only last week. How it was a cloudless night and the only thing outshining the stars were her eyes. It was a beautiful night. It calmed me down and eventually I had let her go. --I sat on the pedestal of the sculpture that I did of her ironically titled "She will be the death of me" it stood 9 feet tall. It was made from wood and metal. It resembled the day we were at Luna Park when she was trying to running away from me, I remembered that moment because it was a still picture in my head. Her wavy hair waltz with the wind, everything in the background had been blurred out. The sculpture looked like our relationship, you knew what it was but from every angle it was confusing. That's how I feel and have felt about her, confused.She shufﬂed away from me, about 2 steps away, her legs anchored to her left and it crossed over. She sat on the ﬂoor rubbing her wrists, she was trying to ease the pain I caused. She didn't make eye contact. The shadow of the sculpture was covering her and I kept staring down at her. It was uncomfortable. It was like staring at the sun, the more I looked the more it hurt, the more it burned. I quickly scanned the room and thought about the last eight months. My temper quickly rose again. "Have I wasted all my time?" I said. The room was quite and I didn't like it. As I cried "ANSWER ME!" she jumped a little then her lips started to tremble. "I...I... I don't..." she replied. "It's a yes or no question... It's simple. Have. I. wasted. my time? With you? With all this trash? I mean don't get me wrong, wasting time is all we ever did, but what I want to know if that wasted time WE SHARED... is all wasted" She didn't have an answer, she looked confused from the question. I wouldn't blame her, it 1 of 3 Tristan Caleb ReinhardtUntitled Day One Self Destruction confused me as well but at the same time it angered me even more, because she just kept apologizing. I
hated that. I got up to take a breather, she ﬂinched, she must have thought I was going to hurt her again but I only got up to face the window, away from her. The window was huge, you could see people passing by, it looked hot outside. Vehicles running fast, red, blue, white. The reﬂection of the sun from the cars would glare from left to right in the room, like it was a laser scanning something. The more cars that would pass the more the moment got hazy, it put in me a trance and it's as if someone put a camera effect over my eyes, and it would throw off what I was thinking. The ﬂares from the sun would bounce off the tiles and hit my eyes as if dirt got in them. This is how it looked and felt every time I was with her. It wasn't blurry, I could still make out objects, it was more like being under water with goggles on. It had an off tint sepia glow. I wasn't too sure what I was thinking. And there I stood, waiting for a meteor to crash into my studio. Bam! Glass, ﬁre and brimstone would ﬂy everywhere. Kill off a little tension in the room. I wanted something to happen, my life was boring before I met her, all my time wasted thinking. I wanted a little drama, but the drama of a heartbreak has gotten the best of me, it's not what I had expected. I wanted something else to happen, give me a hail storm with the size of tennis balls, a nuclear strike enough to kill 10 generations. Something. Anything. I wanted my anger to divert away from her. I wanted something else to blame. --She had got up from where she was, I heard her walking towards me then placed her left hand on my right shoulder. Her touch was light but her hand was as heavy as an anchor. Her touch only reminded me why I was angry at her so I spun around, grabbed her shoulders, I shook her I kept asking if she loved me, if I was good enough for her. I had started to cry in anger. I felt betrayed somehow, I even said that. I pushed her back, hard, but it wasn't until the third time that she had been knocked down to the ground. She fell hard, she landed on her face, she started to cry. I wanted her to break, I wanted to smash her into pieces. Unfortunately for me she was made of ﬂesh and bone, not glass. I wanted to do something differently brutal. I wanted an axe, a mace or a sword to beat her down with, but I had nothing in my hands, there wasn't anything around. I stared down at her as she helplessly sat on the snow 14' by 14' perfectly tiled across the entire room, the shadow of my sculpture of her danced around her body as she moved away from me, she was in pain, I felt her pain. "I love you Luke" she whispered. She loves me I told myself. Lies! I told myself. "I'm so sorry Luke" she cried. I tried convincing myself that she was sorry. More lies! I couldn't give in to what she had said and with all the emotion I had, I grabbed the sculpture with two hands pulled it towards her. It fell slowly, she had her hands up trying to stop my 9 feet creation from crushing her, it didn't help. I didn't hear her scream, I heard thunder struck and cannons being ﬁred as the wood and metal shattered into pieces, there was no blood just debris. I broke what belonged to me. Her name was Aphrodite. I broke Aphrodite. Revised Content She didn't scream – she whimpered pathetically. She couldn't scream if she wanted to. I had her pinned down good and by now she had given up squirming because I was too powerful for her. She was just a weak little girl with big, wide, pleading hazel eyes and I was the one she abandoned, I was the one she owed. Her back arched on the cold linoleum floor, her wrists turned red and bruised as I held them down, squeezing them. I wanted her to suffer. I wanted to bat her around as a kitten would a ball of yarn and shred her to pieces. The last thing she would remember is my careless, piercing eyes ripping through a reality she would no longer be a part of, all for my enjoyment. I had put all of my time and effort into being vulnerable for so long while she pranced around carefree. I had given myself over to her, I had made her my muse, I had made her my life, and now it was her
turn to feel weak. It was her turn to feel the sensation of no control. She begged. Oh yes, of course she did. Anyone would in her position. I had felt loneliness, desperation, lethargy, and endless aimlessness, and even love. This was something different. This was something I had never felt before – an animal anger and a sick satisfaction and it was all directed toward her. She could feel it. So beg, bitch. “Remember,” she choked. “The night my eyes shined.” I knew what she was talking about. Last week we were out on a cloudless night and I had said her eyes shone brighter than all the stars in the sky. What a bunch of mushy, emotional crap, but I said it. I must have meant it. I let her go and stumbled backward to the pedestal of my latest creation – a nine foot edifice to the very girl I was considering choking the life out of. I looked at her as she still lay there, paralyzed with fear then I looked around me at the mess I had made – canvases everywhere, some ripped up and stepped on during the fight. I didn't care. Finally she sat up and began rubbing her wrists, hurt and weak. She shuffled toward the corner and looked at the ground, avoiding eye contact. I didn't avert my eyes for a second, I stared straight down at her with black intent, my heart still racing. My anger was now a stew of other negative emotions turning in my head as fast as the earth itself – confusion, frustration, apathy. I broke my gaze from her and scanned the room once more. “Have I wasted all of my time?” She slinked slowly up the wall, and with trembling lips confessed that she didn't know. “The last 18 months, it's all been a waste, but it was a time we wasted together.” She didn't say anything. She didn't have to. It was starting to become clear now. When had we ever really been close? I'm the one that put her on a pedestal. I'm the one that made her some sort of undeserving goddess, as if I should take her name – Aphrodite – as a literal translation of character. Come to think of it, she was always far away. She was always distant. I was constantly speaking for her. I stood up to cross the room and face the window. It was a huge window. It was floor to ceiling and flooded the studio with natural light. Most days, when working, I never even had to turn on artificial lights. It was distracting at times, though. All of those people and cars and colors and reflections darting around the streets in a mad haze, causing shadows and glints to bounce off the walls. Sometimes I would just stair out, letting it all burn into my retinas, imprinting itself on my boiling brain. My mind wondered. First I envisioned a gigantic meteor crashing into my studio and destroying everything. I wondered if I would feel anything, or just be no more. Then I thought about how boring life had been before meeting the girl cowering against the wall behind me. I was calm now, as she lightly stepped toward me and placed her slender fingers on my right shoulder. After all that, she still wanted to be near me. It calmed me even more. I knew what I had to do now. I
finally understood the culmination of our relationship and what it meant. I turned slowly around to stare once more into those eyes – those understanding eyes. I gazed at her dark silky hair, that perfect body – everything I had always wanted. Then, I shoved that perfect body to the ground. It was like a painting – her cowering on the floor beneath the shadow of her own 9 foot tall reflection. I smirked inwardly at how ironic it was. I thought about it as I pushed the sculpture forward. I thought about it as the sculpture fell directly on top of Aphrodite. I thought about it as Aphrodite shattered into a thousand little pieces on that cold, cold linoleum floor.
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