She had always been a clever girl.
She remembered being small, only about six or seven, and kneeling in her precious hiding spot behind their blue couch. She remembered her little fingers glowing pale when they were wrapped around her father’s willow wand. She remembered not knowing what to do, only feeling that panic in her chest and realizing that she had to act fast because she just didn’t have enough time.
She recalled the moment when she had raised the wand triumphantly, only to have the scrambled words lost on the tip of her tongue when her father had snatched her up out of her secret spot.
And then she was exposed, dangling in the middle of the parlor, her face twisted into an expression of discomfort and desire. There had been a strange man in the room, chuckling to himself and studying her with a crooked smile.
“That’s a pretty clever girl you’ve got there, Thaddeus.”
She remembered drowning out the kind words and wriggling unsuccessfully in her father’s strong arms, reaching for the wand because it was gone and she wanted it back.
If she wasn’t so upset, she might find it ironic – how little the yearning in that fuzzy memory compared to what she felt now. Then, she had forgotten her eagerness for the wand within seconds, her attention otherwise distracted. Now, there was no distraction strong enough.
Truthfully, she despised this aching feeling, this burst of pain that had sporadically appeared in her chest since fifth year – since it had all happened. She couldn’t understand how it hadn’t gone away, how it had instead gotten worse until it burdened her all the time. She wished it were a heart attack.
She inhaled the chilly air, and welcomed the gushes of wind that were slapping against her cheeks maliciously. Indifferently, she noticed that she was trembling and crying again. The words in front of her had blurred past recognition, but she knew she could recite them perfectly in her head anyway.
Born 1 October 1977
Died 24 June 1995
“It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
He had been the first candle to be extinguished, and it infuriated her.
She hadn’t planned for it to be like this at all; she hadn’t meant to fall in love with him. Of course, she hadn’t accounted for his big smiles making her dizzy or his adoring eyes melting her into a puddle whenever he glanced at her.
She hadn’t even realized that loving him would be like that. She hadn’t known it was a commitment for forever, and that with every touch, every kiss, and every breathtaking moment they shared, she was sentencing herself to unendurable torture.
But, as much as she tried not to, she loved him; she couldn't deny it and she hated herself for it. More than anything, though, she hated him for putting her through this.
She hated him for his stupid bravery and the way he had dived headfirst into danger like he owed it to her, like she only deserved him when he was acting so foolishly courageous.
She hated him for kissing her that night under the stars and making her feel beautiful and telling her that he was going to marry her someday because all that ever came out of that was another broken promise.
She hated him for drawing her back to this same spot every month and for making her kneel in the grass to stare the truth right in the face, even if it sometimes blinded her.
Mostly though, she hated him because he had left her alone in the world without him and she couldn’t stand it.
She stood up to go back home. When she left the graveyard every month, she left their memories, their smiles, and their kisses with his body, and promised herself that she would never come back again.
She always did.
A/N: This is in part inspired by Wuthering Heights; I’m endlessly fascinated with the idea that Heathcliff’s love for Catherine drove him to hate her. I’ve been toying around with it and thinking that it probably got so bad for him that he couldn’t distinguish between his hate and his love for her. Also, the quote in this chapter is an old Chinese proverb.
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