Being around his things makes me feel sick like this huge, brick nest of a room is where I was always supposed to be. That every second I might have spent somewhere else in another life made that life a mistake in and of itself. It actually doesn’t matter that I can’t remember anything or there is nothing to remember because I can feel, with every inch of myself, that if I wasn’t here, it’s worth nothing.
A dollhouse, a city, a mansion, a school, a junk store, and a theater. All of these, here in this place with the brown-eyed boy the sea who washed out to reveal them to me in the blank nothing where I… I think… I was born. A window and a door are the only thing telling me we can’t be underground, but this a basement, to be sure. Was I sunk and lost the same way?
Taking efforts to ensure a level of realism for their readers is very important to them, as the Gray Boys might as well be real for the daily impact they have on Rosie and Evelyn. This includes but is not limited to blurring any clues which might give away which one of them wrote which piece by which Gray Boy and simultaneously playing the part of the same Gray Boy while in live chat with a reader.
Now there was a finality in this moment. Winter had come, and when winter comes, I am only one thing, and I am only in one place, and all this would come undone because I will move away from Ian, and the snow globe will disappear forever. I could feel Adam's panic all around me, and Clyde's insidious grin.
Drama killed himself on the radio, at the end of a show, on the 7th of October. We listened to his farewell songs to all of us. He took pills and vomited onto himself as he typed. I wasn't with him when he died, and I did not follow him to the river. In the snow globe, he arrived in silence like a ghost. He wore a patterned shirt tucked loosely into his khakis, and dirty tennis shoes. The wind was strong enough to move his hair off of his forehead, and show the paleness of his skin in the shine of the starlight.
No one remembers our wedding.
While I painstakingly planned for it in secret for months, I thought doing so would mean I could control one solitary aspect of our relationship. I thought if I married you just so, in the way that I knew we belonged to one another, I would be able to keep some semblance of order about us straight in my head. Your uniform and my dress would freeze us forever as I knew we were. But... the Universal Reversal that comes to steal the plans of all the good little boys and girls of Gray House visited us, and it was gone forever, along with whatever I thought we were.
You reach your hand into all the same messes as I do, but reach with your other hand into my chest to squeeze the muscle of my heart. Somewhere along this violent road, between Martin and Marilyn, between Donny and Freddy, we became such... quiet animals. I feel your fist around my heart. Do you feel mine? Your hand in my chest is the weight that assures me I am not lost and I still have meaning. That things like the scent of my childhood toys will be used as a key by you to unlock parts of yourself. That you fit into my clothes. That I will always know why your hands begin to shake.
I know he uses my name, but what name he uses vanishes when it exits his mouth into the cold and becomes wild. The bottomless pit of his right eye shines yellow in the light. The other remains black, and almost closed when he turns a certain way. The leaves of the aspen trees at the River of Eden have yellowed, and at the end of their grove, he waits the way he does every year, but this time I wasn't there to see the autumn come. I was stuck in this snow globe with Ian, and so I had missed my death coming for me.
"Red," he calls me, and I answer him.
Rosie and Clyde take up the task of opening the journal, an extra douse of water, and a magical kiss. Neither work, and the journal's cover scars with the words, "You now have three failed password attempts. Your account is suspended until the owner of his journal resets the password."
Eavesdroppers howl with cackles, and Ian's fist grips the fabric of my shirt in anger.
"It is not my aspiration to die, Ian. I don't know why it's yours."
His smile is gracious and genuine, showing the gap in his front teeth. His green eyes warm, and I believe for one second that he is a boy who is capable of kindness before remembering that he is not, absolutely.
But I do it anyway, because maybe that's how a poet really dies, in an Oscar Wilde sense. I watch my name curl and vanish into brown leaves of spent paper, and I pray silently that Adam knows, when he wakes up, that I at least thought it over before burning his letters. I hope he knows this was the same as burning a church for me, or setting a cross down on the lawn of a black preacher's family. Something insidious and possibly evil, to burn Adam's words - those into which I have escaped for over half of my life.
916 days is two years, six months, and three days is 130 weeks and six days is 21,984 hours is 1,319,040 minutes is 79,142,400 seconds. I hadn’t been counting down to the second, but Nicholas had and slapped me with it when I was having a bad night. Even Nicholas knew how long I had been ghosting you, waiting to hear your fingers on the keys or a song which makes you think of me, you say my name, for you to love me the way I love you. But you found me gone by seeing others posting about me on social media. I had once fantasized that if I died, you would die the same moment as we were linked inextricably. I left you and you had only found out months later on fucking Pinterest.
The River in Eden is red with it, and submerging oneself in it will result in the healing of all wounds. A painful regenerative process takes place, where tissues are slowly grown, reconnected to nerves, sealed with skin, and returned to their original state again. Joshua hefts Adam's body over his shoulder and brings him to Eden, where he lays his body in the River, the crater in his skull bubbling in the blood of our Legacy.