The Decay

Her beauty had come on slow, and then all at once when she was 16.

Its a wonderful thing for a girl to be so beautiful so young; it teaches a girl loss. Every day after 16 she saw her sleeplessness roll over her eyes, dragging them into her skull. She saw her skin wilt so that it took a rose-colored paint to return it. She saw the boys want her more because boys are too afraid to touch the perfect things. But they weren’t afraid of her anymore. A beautiful girl at 16 spends the rest of her life watching it slip.

But the years had given his a gentler hand. His emerged as hers went. His was the only thing that gave him truth.

A beautiful boy at 16 exists in a different world. Everything they say becomes reality. And if it fails, so does his grasp of the ways of the world. He hears himself interrupted. He sees heads turn from him. He walks along hallways without pulling a gaze. And so a beautiful boy at 16 spends the rest of his life watching himself vanish.

And for the two, when they come together, their loss has branded upon their eyes what is was that was stolen. They see everywhere the beauty they lost. And for one another, they see only the beauty that was. And so they restore one another.

But for the two, when they lay together in the dark, they lose track of their lover’s remembrance. And so two ugly souls entwine, each getting the better of the other.

So when the lights return, they are reminded of the beauty they stole. And though they might tell the other, in a moment they are beautiful again in their lover’s eyes, and so forget entirely what was taken.

The words to say you’ve lost your beauty don’t exist for 20 year olds. So they say nothing. And they await the other to take them from their old prison.

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