I will confess that physical attraction drew me to her. But lust is a natural benefactor of love and love is a meaningless word used by fools. What we have is more than that.
I don’t know her name so I call her Juliet.
I have seen her only once. It was enough to notice that long blonde hair which can be summarised only in the vagueness of perfection. I watched it fall over one eye to be impulsively swept away with a playful flick. Then, like a dog with a stick, that hair just came on back again to cover her eye. She has condensed the mundaneness of awaking and thinking and consuming and feeling and hating and living and forgetting into a simple reflex. And she is too alive to even notice.
Her strides were so delicate. Her screams silenced the birds. She was not afraid to let me see her cry.
She had enchanting breasts.
She lives on the uppermost floor of a drab 1970s apartment complex on
Street that is so unbecoming for her. I wait in
the street below and paint pictures onto the black depths of her window. She
never comes out. But humans are weak: she will need to eat something soon.
I need to eat too. I think about nothing else. I am such a simpleton. I have impure thoughts of my teeth in the soft flesh of her wrist as I take her as my own. A love bite. I will bite her where I was bitten. It will be so poetic when we are in love.
It seems I am starving myself for her. If only she could see what she is doing to me. I am disappearing, rotting, fermenting in the sun that watches me forever but is forever out of reach. I am making myself ugly for you, Juliet. Only ever for you.
I walk around the building. I push at the fat ceder doors and rattle the bars across the windows like a prisoner trying to break in. My mind slips under door. It knows the inkblot grains in the polished timber floors of the lobby. It climbs the six hundred and thirty six stairs to her door. It has laughed on her sofa and lain on her bed (What a bed! Plain. Shameless. A place of business). It has taught her about impressionist art and romantic poetry. It has heard stories of her childhood under the folds of a blanket of
And every time I will look at her I will be amazed by her beauty. Beauty is so rare since the outbreak. I know she is smart too: the way she sneaked home in the dead of night so no-one could see her beauty. No-one but me. What a brain she must have encased in that fishbowl.
Sometimes I worry that she won’t love me back. I worry that what I plan to do is sexual abuse. If only she knew the agony she caused me every day just by living. Is that not sexual abuse itself?
She is so beautiful.
Tonight I am watching her window and imagining her waving to me. Her waves are slow and rhythmic and completely erotic. She doesn’t blow me kisses like a cheap whore. Just a gentle smile as she plays with her hair until suddenly there is a flash of torchlight across the glass. She is coming to me, my love. The beam of light descends to the fifth floor, then the fourth. I hurry across the empty street. I have rehearsed this so many times. I have seen her open the door and fall into my outstretched arms.
I stand behind the door and listen to her untangle the chains on the other side. All that keeps us apart is six inches of dead wood. I listen to the short shallow drags of her breath and allow them to fill my chest until with a sudden sing-song scream the door opens an inch, then another inch and I can see her short chipped fingernails curl around the ceder. And then her breasts appear and her hair and her smooth round skull encasing that perfect brain. It is even more perfect for its little bumps and flaws, because it is the soil that sprouts her perfect hair, because it is right in front of me.
She turns. She sees me. What does she see? I can see the blood pulsing over her temples. I need to say something.
“Brains,” I say.
I have never been good at first impressions and this is especially poor. She screams. Oh that beautiful voice, like a siren song it paralyses me and suddenly she is running across the street. Her footsteps tread where once my own had been, waiting. And I can’t do anything but watch as she morphs once more into darkness.
My love has just gone out for a little while. She will return. This is her house after all and she has nowhere else to go.
The lobby is not as I imagined. It is carpeted and soulless and filled with cheap and spiteful chairs. I count seven hundred and fifty six stairs to her filthy Ikea apartment. Food wrappers are strewn like seaweed around a yellowing mattress on the living room floor. There is no art or even wallpaper. But then I remember her beauty. And that hair, forever falling, waiting to be caught. It crosses my mind that maybe I am only in love with her beauty, that once I have her I will lose interest. I don’t care. I will do anything to stop feeling this way.
So I sit on her mattress and wait for her to come home.
When the sun finally rises I feel completely alone.