“Flirting with Death”

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He’s late and it’s not appreciated, not in the least bit. I check my phone again. He never comes when I want him. Time moves on his accord, I’ve been told. There’s nothing I can do to change that about him, it’s his nature.

We’ve been meeting this way, me on the street corner after the sun has set, for years. He won’t have it any other way, and I’m too ruined to want anything else.

I inhale deeply. His scent, slightly smoky with a hint of something earthy, excites me as he comes closer. My skin tingles in anticipation.

“You came again,” he drawls.

“Always,” I say and lose myself in eyes so dark my reflection doesn’t shine in them. “You’d miss me if I didn’t.”

“True. Shall we?” He offers his arm to me like one of those guys in a stuffy romance novel. “What delights you tonight?”

It’s not often he asks for my input. The question confounds me for a moment, but I know the game. It’s not my pleasure he seeks.

“Surprise me,” I tease.

His eyes rake over me. He takes note of the skin-tight black leather dress, black stockings so delicate that the breeze threatens to rip them, and dangerously high stilettos. “That can be arranged.”

Hours later, the dress lies on the scuffed, wooden floor. My black lace thong is torn to shreds. The matching bra is gone. He always takes pieces of me.

I sit up, dazed, and rub the marks on my wrists. Every time it’s like this. He arrives. I give in. He leaves and I have no recollection of what happened, just evidence that something vile took place.

Common sense tells me to stop the insanity, but I’ve come to crave it. We’ve been doing this tango for way too long.

Part of me loves the darkness. It offers a much needed escape from my mundane existence. My days are spent in a sterile world devoid of emotion. A place where people pay good money to hide behind walls of their own making.

I love the secrecy he offers. No one knows me like he does and no one ever will.

I pick up my dress and run my fingers across the claw marks. Another dress permanently ruined. They remind me of blemishes like the ones etched on my soul.

Someone once told me not to flirt with Death. Bad things happened to people who did. I should have listened. Too late to turn back time.

The dress and my undies go into the trash. I check the time again already counting down the hours until our next meeting.

Yes, it’s true. One shouldn’t flirt with Death. We’ve been scandalously intimate for years. He’s claimed my body and my soul. It’s only a matter of time before I’m his forever.

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