The floor was thin muck, tacky with sweet liquor and sweat. It was dark and the party was polka dots.
Your favourite song played, and I remember, because you pulled me close, and shot me That Look. Your eyes gave me vertigo and I was dizzy on your skin. Every molecule of the air between us was another pin prick, that made it hurt to be apart. Your touch was a refuge in the black.
People moved around us; they swayed and stepped, lunged under arms and ducked through hallways. The house rose as we did, shone as we shone; from our pores, these tiny beams of light. Bannisters and slides. Balloons and indoor moonbeams; we were all kids and clowns. No one meant anything, except for you.
I felt your elbow against my ribs, your nails pressed into my hip. Brown eyes and that stella smile. Your hair smelt faintly of papaya and stuck in amber ripples under the lights.
There was a crackle below your foot, when you stepped on a can, and we broke apart laughing, your head bent back under the stench of party, soaking it in like sunlight; a red and blue artifice, as though you could grow upwards, here amongst the carpet soil.
I threw the can into the crowd, and someone caught it, pelting it back. Things found a way of returning, and you found a way to protect me. The metal missed my face and hit the back of your hand. I gasped, and you laughed. You sucked the blood between your teeth and shook it off. You have a scar to show for it: a thin triangle, then red, now white.
Our friend behind the camera told us to Stop messing, and he waved absently, half beer-goggles and damp that pooled on his shirt. He nodded, lifting his fingers to count us down.
I love you. I wanted to yell.
I love you, I wanted to scream through the bodies and the heads and the heat.
I love you, I should’ve said. But the words were too stuck, too stupid. You gave me a look, as though I didn’t need to say them anyway. The words were too tiny.
Your breath was sour below the flare of my nostrils, and I smiled. The bass wobbled the carpet, and tickled my toes, and I smiled. I tapped your thigh, to remind you. You smiled.
The moment is captured upon my bedroom wall. I see bodies upon bodies; they pose for a fractured second. We’re two people amidst a swathe of youth.
I step back, alone.
I live the tangle of your hair and the flex of your thigh. There are crescent moons from your nails on my hip, in the way there’s a triangle on your hand, for the price of my face. I still feel your wet lips on my cheek. You’re on my bedroom wall, in a neat, glossy box. You’re on my bedroom wall, and I live you every day.
Author of The Life Chronicles, a creative writing column for RAZZ Magazine, Emily’s work has appeared on The Litro Lab Podcast, in Enigma Journal, Ginosko Journal, The Tilt and Disgraceful Magazine. She assisted in the publication of The Riptide Journal Vol.12. From the South of England, Emily is currently studying an MA in Creative Writing in Bloomsbury, London, whilst redrafting her debut novel. You can find her on Twitter @Emily__Beee