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| M O T E L |
Setting her phone back down next to the still-unopened cd, she sank into the bed and closed her eyes, desperate for sleep. But something about the feeling of the sheets on her skin, the smell hanging in the air, kept pulling her thoughts back toward that night almost five years ago, the night they’d run out of options and fled Lima for good.
The Wuthering Heights audiobook had gotten them through the first leg of the drive without having to speak to one another.
But that night she’d woken up sobbing into some sour-smelling mattress in a motel just like this one on the Missouri-Oklahoma border where he’d stowed them for the night, screaming at him to take her back. And when he’d reached to try and quieten her, she’d jerked back violently against him, elbowing him hard in the cheek. He’d managed to hold onto her anyway, and it made her stomach lurch at the reminder of how small he was in her body, and how difficult and awkward it felt for him to try to curl himself around her.
It had occurred to her then, that if he’d given it even a minute’s worth of thought, he’d have figured it out, the reason why she’d wanted to go back so badly, the only thing she had left to go back for. But instead, he’d just mumbled sleepily and held onto her as tightly as he could while she’d thrashed and wailed and tired herself out, and she’d fallen asleep again with him pressed up firmly against her back.
In the morning, the bruise she’d given him had already begun to ripen into a purplish black, and even though at the sight of it she’d felt a flash of guilt over having hit a girl, there had been something so oddly gratifying about seeing her pain painted so blatantly on her own face. It was a feeling she immediately realized she’d have to tamp down, the overwhelming desire to hurt him, just so she could watch her own body suffer. (x)