Beneath Her Skin


Sitting on the floor of the supermarket like a moody child, she looks up at the two ghosts as they stand before her, and in that moment, remembers just how in love she used to be. As those lips of his meet those belonging to that younger version of hers, she holds her breath and counts each beat of her heart, and both versions grin as his right-hand wraps itself around her throat before giving it a squeeze. With the other on her lower back pulling her close, he whispers into her ear, and although at first, she can’t remember what he had said, when she does, she hears the words again and just like that the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Watching them as they giggle and kiss, she gets to her feet and moves towards them, mesmerised by just how happy she once was. She’d been skinny back then, too. Weight was just a word with no meaning, and her skin looked fresher. Certainly no lines around the eyes. And him. She didn’t know what he looked like now, but back then he’d been like no other. By a mile, the strangest man she’d ever met. She’d slept with him a thousand times. Had been glued to his hips day and night for years, and yet she’d never been able to understand his childish heart. That’s what made her want him, even though her mother was quite insistent on her finding someone proper. Her dad liked him, though. Said he had the look of a lost soul, and that lost souls were a gift and not a curse, and that when a lost soul like his met a lost soul like hers, it was a special thing indeed. Standing there open-mouthed, she knows he’s not real, but she swears she can smell him, and when she leans in, sure enough, the scent of cigarettes and madness creeps beneath her skin. For a second, he removes his mouth from hers, and as he looks round to check the coast is clear, takes a donut from a packet they were carrying and feeds it to her ghostly mouth. The looks between them make her shiver. At the time it had been exciting, and yet only now, all these years later, did the beauty of it make sense to her. In some boggy supermarket in some town or other, here were two lost souls, raging against the dying light. In this act she’d forgotten for so long, here was the meaning of a love she’d tried so hard to convince herself didn’t exist.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

12 replies »

  1. Sometimes, we get reminders, of that long lost love, and we became, too trapped in the memories, and start wondering what if, and that, is when we trap ourselves, with all those long lost dreams…

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