June 04, 2020, 09:44:47 AM

Author Topic: "Deconstruction."  (Read 386 times)

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Bryan Williams

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« on: December 15, 2018, 07:30:51 AM »
December 14th, 2018
Upper Manhattan, New York

Persephone’s lifestyle goes through extreme highs and lows in terms of the extent of her chaotic behavior. One day, she’s looking for pomegranates in good condition at the local grocery and the next day, she’s pointing a gun at the head of some dick one of her closest friends seems to be intrigued by. There is no pattern, just the obvious conclusion that these bursts are weighing out her common indifference.

Maybe she has sociopathic tendencies. Maybe she can get away with murder. Maybe she just likes the vanilla ice cream that she currently eating, and that’s the only reason she’s on the couch right now; her fiance somewhere alone in the Manhattan condo, falling apart at the seams. She is observant and she can see through any facade, in the same way that she can see through Bryan. In the same way that she has always seen through him.

Before he had been her lover, he was an enemy and she picked him apart meticulously and with a practiced hand. She saw him falling apart a mile away, years before it happened. The way he wrestled, the way he carried himself, the weight of his words and the sureness; he was holding everything together so tightly back then, she called him out on it all whenever the time came for a war of words. Yet, despite knowing what she had repeatedly stated was inevitable, she still fell in love with him. Like someone clutching a time bomb, in the same way he played the part of someone chasing a storm when it came to her.

They were both forces, but his destruction came so suddenly. His resolve had slipped and he was clutching pliers, trying to cut the wires long after everything went off. She can never judge him, and she can’t control him. Time has made her wise, he can only fix himself. And maybe that was just what he was doing as he secluded himself. Or, maybe not, because a voice carries her name from across the room and Persephone looks way from the television, away from Robert Downey Jr’s performance in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and sees the man of her dream; tired and disheveled, as if he had a fight with himself. She smiles at him.

“Hello, my baby. What are you doing?” She doesn’t pay mind to his blank stare, his expression unmoving from exhaustion.

"Say, when do you want to go to bed?” He asks, sticking to his spot. Persephone shrugs.

“I don’t know, I’m not really tired right now. Are you tired?”

Bryan nods slowly. "Yeah, I’m very tired.”

“So, you can go ahead and sleep if you want, I’m going to finish my ice cream and then meet you there.” She figured that would be the end of the discussion, but it all felt very strange and she takes a deep breath; the nagging feeling of something about to happen. And Bryan takes steps toward her, standing right next to the couch and he feels like a stranger. Persephone doesn’t like it when strangers stand too close to her.

She immediately becomes aggressive and defensive. Glaring up at him. “Hey, how about you take a few steps back and give me my space, huh?”

"And what did I do, Persephone? No need to get angry with me.” He keeps to the same monotonous tone, something he knew would upset her and his purposely pressing of her buttons makes her even more angry.

“I’m not mad, I just need you to back up, Williams.” His last name being what she uses whenever she’s upset with him, but it doesn’t seem to deter him from leaning on the couch arm, a little too close for her liking and she scowls at him as she looks back to the movie.

"And what if I don’t back up?”

“What do you want?” She snaps at him and he doesn’t react to her flustering.

"I just can’t sleep without you.”

“Or you can’t sneak out of here with me awake, is that more correct?”

Bryan doesn’t answer her, but narrows his eyes and purses his lips again. She doesn’t back down with her gaze, everything escalating much too quickly. Her ice cream forgotten within the bowl in her hands, melting.

“You know, Bryan, don’t let me stop you. If you want to fucking go out and do whatever it is you do, then just go. I don’t care either way. Matter of fact, instead of worrying about my sleeping schedule and instead of worrying about any of my pets disappearing, maybe you can just get your own place next door. Boy, wouldn’t that save us a lot of fucking trouble!”

His gaze is cold, while he thinks to himself. Watching Persephone get flustered wasn’t one of his favorite activities, but something had been off with him lately. Standing there, watching as her tone of voice crept up in volume brought some amusement to him. For the first time in this conversation, Bryan broke.

Snickering to himself, he took a step back before trying to excuse himself. "You get so angry, you know that?”

Whatever Bryan was laughing at couldn’t be pointed out to Persephone, not that she’d care. She was too busy being angry at the fact that he even had the balls to laugh during this situation. Her face changed into something vicious, as she stood up from the couch.

Bryan, almost instantly, stopped laughing. He held up a hand, preventing her from coming towards him any further. "You know what? You’re absolutely right, very astute of you to be aware of what I’ve been doing.”

He kept his distance, finally, as he looked through Persephone. "It would be silly of me not to do the same, though. You know, gunpowder has a very distinct smell. The sulfur and charcoal really make it stand out.”

There wasn’t much of a reaction from Persephone, except the stunned silence. Bryan kept to himself though, smirking as he continued to talk. "I don’t know for what, but it seems like you’ve been having some fun adventures of your own.”

In an instant he steps forward, closing the gap between himself and Persephone. He’s close, uncomfortably close again. Looking down at her, she can’t help but notice that his smirk is gone. He’s back to what he was before, cold and empty. The man standing before her could appear lifeless, if given the chance.

"Maybe sometime we can sit down, and talk about them.” Bryan says, in a whisper. Persephone doesn’t break the eye contact; studying his face for any form of weakness in this conversation. There’s none; that sureness still exists, even if a bit more lethal. She isn’t one to stand down, though, and she visibly relaxes; shaking her head at him, pretending to have a grip on this conversation even as he heart beats out of her chest. He’s nearly intimidating. Nearly, and adrenaline builds up more than fear.

“Now, I don’t know who you think I am, Williams, but whatever you have brewing in that big ass head of yours, just fucking cut it. I was hanging out with the girls the other night, Kimi included, and I’ve told you plenty of times that she’s wanted to take me out to the gun range. Or do you not remember me telling you this?” Persephone is condescending as she speaks, the lies coming naturally out of her mouth. Believable, the conclusion that thinking otherwise from what she says deems you an idiot.

Persephone just shrugs. “But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you probably don’t remember a lot of things I tell you, all things considering. It’s okay, though, because regardless, we had a blast at the gun range. Pun included. Basically, to really hammer in the point, not everything is as dark as you want them to be. I’m actually living quite a normal life, so how about you stop projecting your shit onto me. Whatever your shit really is.”

Persephone rolls her eyes and steps away from him, making her way to walk around him and sit back on the couch. “Like I said, I don’t really care, Williams. You and your distinct nose can go be great.”

Bryan looks at Persephone for a moment, unclear of her intentions. Her verbal jabs are quickly setting up for a fight, one that he’s not willing to participate in tonight. Instead he stays in place, looking at her as she goes back to her now melting ice cream.

"Okay, Persephone. I’ll stop projecting.” Clear, and concise. Persephone looks up, trying to see if Bryan is playing any games at the moment. He makes no sudden movements, not a single smile to be seen on his face.

"I’ll stop when you stop treating me like a fool. It’s fine if you get into some troubles, we’ve all been there. But don’t try and take me for an idiot. There are no ranges that operate twenty-four hours a day.” His cold gaze cuts through her, as she sets down her ice cream.

Bryan quickly makes a move, not towards the couch but towards the hallway closet. Grabbing the letterman jacket he’s been so fond of lately, he puts it on as Persephone sits up from the couch again.

"Just be careful. It’s easy to leave a trace, and even easier to find it.” He says, buttoning the jacket together as he goes for the door. Persephone’s face twists in new anger and she calls after him, “...and how would you know?!” right as he goes out the door, it slamming behind him. Persephone sits for a few moments, looking at the door. Hindsight, she could’ve handled that smoother. She could’ve diffused the situation, but there was so much building up lately. His behavior strange, his temperament shorter and her getting more and more annoyed by the display. She’s so unsure, she’s cautious - her cat had been missing for almost a week before sprouting up suddenly. A gray tabby, the most replaceable cat in the world. He thinks she’s the one underestimating his ability to see through lies, she’s been playing that game for a bit. She wouldn’t even care so much, but what happens should she go missing, is she as easily replaced?

She would like to find out. Persephone stands from the couch and heads to that same closet to grab a jacket of her own, everything is reaching a point and even though she was the one who told him to leave, how fucking dare he?

She throws on her jacket and heads out herself, not bothering to lock the door behind her. A hall is a hall, an elevator is an elevator and the cold of New York is stinging straight from the warmth of the lobby. She tries to think on where he would go, but she doesn’t have to ponder it for long. There’s a smell in the air, and she follows it. It’s pungent, strong and overwhelming and turing behind their building, she sees the smoke before she sees the fire. Her eyes squint as she adjusts her sight and the beating of her heart picks up again as she draws closer; seeing Bryan right in front of the dumpster fire taking place within the small enclosed dump area of the building. She recalls a time when his eyes were just as blue as they are now, flames licking at the reflection of his irises. She remembers him smiling and falling in love, in front of a campfire while they tripped on peyote.

The situation this time, however, was different. This had the potential burn down the entire building. The love she saw in his eyes were for the destruction taking place at his hands, not for her. He wanted to build something with her before, and now it seemed as if he would rather tear everything down. At least that’s how she felt and yet still, she surges forward to grab him by the hand and pull him from the scene. “Bryan, we have to go. NOW. Come on, we weren’t here. Seriously, move!” And he finally listens, allowing himself to be led away from the building before pulling away; giving her a long look as he continues to walk beside her. The two of them, strolling in the night, blocks away from where they lived. Silence.

After a while, after handfuls of steps, Persephone stops and looks at Bryan. He stops as well, looking at her and waiting for what she has to say. “What the fuck is your problem? Huh?”

Bryan shrugs. "Can’t tell me to go next door, if there’s no next door to go to.”

And everything called for a reaction. Everyone bone in her body told her to lunge forward and fight him, to pull at his face until the mask ripped off and she was able to see who was under it. Instead, she frowns.

“I don’t like you anymore, Bryan Williams.”