Valentine #14

Her name was Angel, and she had a boyfriend who kept calling her.

What are you doing? Are you okay?

I was quiet, as she slipped into a pair of my pajamas, holding the phone in her other hand.

She arrived in the middle of the night to perform a seance, spreading out the library books on my floor. She sat Indian-style. Thick black hair spilled over her face, gray eyes scanning the pages.

Pages full of violence. Trails left behind by lovers. The whispers. Histories of the places we’d come at last to be together.

He asked her again.

Everything is going to be okay. I’m here, she said.

Angel turned to another page: this is where he broke into her room and suffocated her with a pillow. Now she haunts the girls’ dormitory, sucking up every sweet breath from the sleeping throats.

Then a dog-eared page — a voice from the past speaking thisthis: a woman dressed in white (the wedding dress she’d hoped to marry in, her mother’s) who tended to her garden. But how could she marry? Whenever visitors came, she slipped into the tunnels underneath the estate, and talked to the horses. After she died, they built a glass library over her garden. The old books never stay still. 

Angel wished him a goodnight and put away her phone. She got on my bed and put her face very close to mine. She shuddered.

Did you feel that?

No, what?

Nothing.

There was no seance. Just whole bodies. Soulless.

Later, I sucked up the smell of her breasts from the bra she left lying on my floor next to the wide open books.

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