Spilled Paint

I stood across the street from the cafe and watched her window. It was dark.

Her window was closed. No surprise.

I wondered if it was locked.


"No, Michael --" she was talking against my mouth, trying to stop me. I didn't want to hear it. I moved my mouth down her throat. When she moaned out loud I could feel it resonate through her neck, pulsing against my lips.

Physics can be fascinating.

I crushed her ribs against me. She was so soft 覧 no matter how tightly I pulled her to me, how close I got to her, she just kept melting into me. I could do this for hours. Years.

"Michael 覧" she was fighting me. " 覧 we shouldn't do this."

"I don't care." What shampoo did she use? I smelled vanilla and 覧 something else, I didn't know what. The smell was driving me crazy. Maybe I could get it for Maria. Liz would kill me if I suggested that.

"Michael, if Max finds out --" I didn't let her finish. Her mouth was perfect. Soft. Warm. Did she never shut up?

She planted her hands against my chest and shoved, hard. "-- I can't do this."

"What is it?" I said, exasperated. Then I saw her face.

Her eyes were red. She was crying.

She never cried with me.

"I can't do this anymore," she said. She wouldn't look at me. "What about Maria 覧 what about Max 覧 what if he kisses me and sees me with you? Michael, I can't 覧 "

"Liz," I said, pulling her back. "Relax, alright? Just relax."

"You're not listening!" she yelled, pushing against my chest.

"Fine!" I yelled, shoving in return. I stormed over to the other side of the room, knocking over my art supplies. Paint spilled and slashed its way all over the floor, marking the gap between the two of us with an ever-widening pool of red. I thought I heard her crying.


We never fought. We didn't yell. She was making me yell. What was the matter with her? She was so frustrating.

And beautiful.

I looked at her from behind the table. She was on my couch, her head in her hands, dark, soft hair falling over her shoulders and onto her face. I shook my head. She was a deadly combination. No wonder Max was so out of it.

I had to get a handle on this.

"Liz..." I shook my head. Control. "What do you want?"

Her hands fell to her lap. Her mouth fluttered open and then shut when she raised her eyes to look at me. She stared out the window in front of her and started rocking a little bit, back and forth, back and forth. Her lower lip trembled.

She was scared. The guilt hit me as soon as the realization. She was scared of me.

She didn't know what to do when I freaked out. I'd probably scared her to death with my little tantrum. Great. I get to blow off some steam and in the process I terrify her.

Blow off steam? Who was I trying to kid? I spent years with Hank and he still scared me. Now I was acting like him - blowing up when I didn't like the way things were going, when I didn't get what I wanted. Even if I did want it more than anything. No wonder she was shaking.

What if she was about to tell me it was over?

I could handle that.


I took a deep breath. I had to relax so I could calm her down, talk it out. She just needed me to be nice to her.

Why did I always hurt the people I cared about?

"Come on, Liz." Relax. Breathe deep. It'll be okay. Just keep telling yourself that. Better. Breathe deep. "We don't have to-- "

"I don't think I can keep acting like I'm not in love with you," she whispered.

Everything stopped.

"What?" I whispered.

She didn't say that. She didn't say that.

Did she?

Her eyes were locked on me. Drops of paint fell to the floor. A couple argued down the street. I hadn't heard any of it over the roar in my head when I was kissing her.

"Michael --"

She broke the silence first. Something in me snapped. The table went flying. I had to get to her.

I was kissing her before she could stop me.


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