I was in love with Marciela Belle Laroche and my brother taunted me for it. He called me an imbecile for "loving something so temporary", he said. He had nothing else to say when I gave him the finger.
Marcie was more than just some plain old human. Humans were always dull playthings who broke too quickly, but Marcie, she stood out. I swore, she was untouched by greed and malice in a way unlike every human I've encountered over the centuries. She was bull-headed and unfazed by regular human distractions, so dedicated and pure in her few desires that she had for herself. And though she was beautiful, she was weathered as well, constantly reminding me that she was real.
She amazed me constantly, that girl. She made me feel so wretched and undeserving in the way that she loved me.
She was blind, clueless to the vile blackness that I was, and I was happy for it. I wanted to cast away the names that I had been given for the terrors I have wreaked on Earth. Beelzebub, Lucifer, Hades... no, those names were not ideal. The only name I wanted to have was Eric, it sounded best on her lips.
Hours ago, I made her a flower crown. I attempted to be as human about it as I could, and so it turned out vaguely lopsided, but she seemed to prefer it that way. She liked to lay on the simple grass beneath the simple shade, breathing in that common breeze. Earlier, we had talked about something that sounded suspiciously like marriage, and I knew that she had hung her grandmother's brass ring on a grass string beneath her blouse. She thought she was alone when she had hidden it.
She uttered my name on her rose petal lips as she pinched the tied end of her grass necklace. She soon met her jade eyes with my own hazel ones, noting my crooked smile before gazing downwards and noting our wordless exchange. For her grandmother's brass ring on her neck, I offered my simple silver ring in my hand. She smiled back at me, and that was when I knew that I would always love her.
I only think about the time Marcie and I got married when I'm drunk. And when I say drunk, I don't mean a couple beers on a Friday with a face-splitting smile and enough enthusiasm to make the night last. I mean that I made a beeline for the bar with little intent to speak to anyone or make eye contact because I was in enough of a bad mood that it was nearly a visible aura. The bartender was the only individual in the room who seemed to understand my strange silence when I took my seat in front of the counter and drowned my mood in vodka. There, at the bottom of my empty glass, I created my pity party. I always felt like a worthless piece of shit, but it was more often my special skill than my weakness like it was now. I never felt bothered until moments like these, where I had to shut down.
My brother's taunting hasn't changed over the years, not at all. He had no sympathy for me when she passed. He only looked smug while I was frozen in stupid shock. We all expected her to live longer than she did, and she should have. I still remember the soft feel of her hands from her last moments, worn with work and cold with weakness. I remembered holding her hand until I felt the muscles give up; until the life left her body.
Mother was so surprised by how long grief has had its grip on me. She would tell me that several decades had to have been enough time to get over it, but I wasn't mourning, I told her. I was pissed. Like the bitch she was, she only tossed me a skeptical gaze as if to say I was lying, to both her and myself. I remember her eyes looked so worried when I wanted to be alone, worried like Marcie's when she knew that I was so often alone.
My lips curled into a snarl when a man approached to take the seat next to me at the bar, and he caught the glint of too many sharp teeth in my mouth, too many to be human, and so he quickly left me alone. Predictable
, I thought. Humans are so pointless.
I looked down to my pity party again, down at my empty glass. I thought, If I were human and I crushed this glass in my hand
, and I curled my pale fingers around the base, then I would bleed
. That would never truly happen to me, but in the seventeenth century I wished so desperately that it could. The fact that I once wished for so much weakness in myself embarrassed me. I was fooled, taken advantage of by a stupid human like any other, I reminded myself. Now I'm my original self, I'm the punisher, a trickster across the memories of thousands of victims who could live to spread their myths of me. Now I'm called...
I closed my open hand into a fist quickly, shattering the empty glass I had been staring into. I wasn't bleeding, but my chest began to ache like my heart was being twisted. I felt the stares of startled customers begin to bore into me, but the only stare which made me stiffen was hers. I looked up from the shards to see her jade eyes from across the bar counter, watching my eyes as my pupils constricted to cat-like slits. The sight of her standing before me in her old-fashioned, cotton-spun work skirts was so surreal. My grasp on reality, any reality, was slipping. I grit my teeth as I began to emphasize with my victims over the decades, feeling the pain that they must have felt from my punishment and trickery.
Still, I looked at her oval face like it was real. Her cheeks were rounded with baby fat in her youth, just how I remembered her. I could see that mole on her delicate neck, and the faintest scar riding along the base of her jawline from that incident with the cattle. Her lips, rose petal pink, were turned with worry. I hated the light in her emerald eyes that pretended she was alive. I felt corned by her image that stood before me, pretending to be real. Taunting me
. I couldn't love something so temporary again.