Melt pt. 13

Melt pt. 13
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I have goosebumps down my thighs as I ease my foot down on the break, the lights around me veering off into unknown directions as though ignoring my sudden presence. I throw my head back, holding my hands to my forehead as I fidget in a mixture of disgust and embarrassment, suddenly nauseous. I rest my cheek against the cold glass, trying to blink my eyes many times enough to make myself stop visualizing—
I roll the window down for air, dust settling on my eyelashes as I take a look around.
I am at the opening of a small alley, a sandy fog settling down onto the bumper of my car as I catch a glimpse at the seemingly old buildings surrounding me. I reach out onto to backseat for a pair of sweats and pull them on while trying to maneuver the door open, a wave of cool, humid air pouring inside. 
Clutching my bag to my chest I lock the car, the orange flicker of the automatic doors making me jump a few inches backward. The cool air washes over me in a near horizontal push of the wind, slithering up my legs and abdomen violently. It hurts but it’s a good hurt — I need purifying. 
I dig up my phone and snap it open, my breath leaving a gray veneer upon the screen as I punch the numbers in slowly, my palm shaking in its cold sweat. Four digits bounce out at me from the top left corner. It’s nearing two in the morning, three minutes to go. Maybe she’s still up.
The screen feels icy against my ear.
I breathe in and out, a translucent cloud growing in front of my lips. “Em?”
The high-pitched screech of cloth brushing against the mouthpiece fills my ears, forcing my arm to stretch out and turn in an attempt to distance myself from the sound. She grumbles sleepily while probably checking the screen for the time, the shaky rush of her breath growing first faint and then loud as the words pour out against my eardrums: “Haley, for fuck’s sake!”
“Yes, I’m sorry. I know.” 
She sighs, switching the phone to her other hand. “What’s wrong?”
I shut my eyes, inhaling. “Can I—“
I bite down on my lip. It tastes salty. “Can I come over?”
Silence. “Honey, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
“Nothing, I just—“ I mumble, shaking my head. “Can I please just—“
“Okay, calm down. Where are you?”
I burst out laughing, glancing back at my car. “My GPS says it’s just a few miles out of town. I took exit twelve or something. I’m at some dead-end public park. It could be an old school, I don’t know. It’s dark and—“
“Which town?”
“Yours,” I pause, kicking at the ground. “Are you alone?”
I listen to her breathing slowly, a faint hiss as her finger brushes over the mouthpiece. “Yes. I’m alone. It’s still four more days, remember?”
Oh yes. Kim. I open my mouth, suddenly drowning in my own saliva as though about to throw up. The cold wind blows in through my parted lips, crackling down my throat. I remember. I shake my head, suddenly aware of the length of the present silence. “How is h—“
“Don’t,” she says, switching the phone to her other hand again. She inhales sharply. “He’s fine.”
“You still have—“
“I know.”
I close my eyes again, my neck growing sticky from my persisting tears as I stroll around in something resembling a semicircle, careful to place my feet in my previous footsteps. The line crackles from the wind.
“You can come over. Just come through the back, I don’t want the porch lights to go on.”
I stop, swallowing. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” she says in a softer tone, maybe a smile. “I’ll see you soon, okay?”
“Okay,” I mutter, snapping my phone shut.



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