Inoculations

Sequel to my movella Iris. It is two years since Iris met Gareth and she is only just beginning to re-assemble the pieces...

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6. In which I reveal the catastrophic idea that I might, at some point in time's spectrum, have loved or love Gareth Argall

I had to exit the browser when he said that. In fact, exiting alone was not enough. I had to shut down the laptop and hide it under the bed among the other monsters of my infanthood. I did not have the insurance to touch those words without breaking myself because part of me was desperate to hear them and the other part berated me for it. In truth I knew that there was nothing more lethal than him missing me aside from me missing him and, even in that toneless exchange, both had occurred.

Gareth was nothing but mediocrity; he was mainstream and submissive and infuriatingly meticulous in his attention to me. He was awkward, simplified, selfish and devastatingly impressionable. He could never stand his ground or shout me down but I missed Gareth because he was worn and ordinary and familiar. He didn’t hold grudges either. He had replied, desperate as ever, to my message and he had not bothered to ask me how I was, something I greatly appreciated. He was old jeans when you come in from the rain. The fact that he knew my full biography no longer troubled me; there was something secure about the recognition he seldom gave but always carried that made it seem as if I could never do anything to complicate things. I had already committed all the damage and tangled all the threads that could be tangled and there was little left that I had the scope to destroy. We had both been introduced to me and all my hideousness and so there was no elephant stood between us in cyberspace to be talked around. 
I missed Gareth because he missed me and, much as I wanted not to, I liked being missed. It assigned me some value beyond the digits on my medical and criminal forms. It was a terrible value, I hated dependency because it was what Mai had had and therefore I knew its crippling consequences. Unfortunately I was quite attracted to the idea that someone could be dependent on me.

It comes down to my shitness as a person, I think.

I missed Gareth but missing Gareth was a definite sin because what if Gareth was now sat in his room, plunged back into an addictive girl who burnt him with cigarette stubs and lies? And what if we were both diseases that the other had no immunity to? And what if I was plunged back to a boy who was funnier than I’d ever let him think he was? And what if I’d liked feeling stronger than him? And what if that made me dependant? And what if I was not an iceberg after all? And what if I was...

maybe...

just...

for...

one...

moment...

capable...

of...

love?
 

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