Artemis Drifting

Just because she tippietoes, doesn't mean she's a creepin'.


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Keith rubbed his calloused fingertips on the inside of his wrist. “I understand.”

He watched her look away. She braced her hands on the rail, watching the dark river below hurry by.

“I’m a lot to handle. I’m needy. I never thought I’d be saying that.” Keith bowed his head, making no move to brush his bangs away from his eyes. He only watched her through the tangled strands.

“But … I am. You’re living your dream. I just wish …”

She interrupted him without turning around, “Wish what?”

Keith smiled morosely, “That I was a part of it.”

“I want to be alone, you know that.”

He winced at the reply and then lolled his head back, pupils shrinking at the bright street lights hanging over him. His eyes were wet and the yellow halos surrounding the lamps seemed solid enough to touch. “I know.”

She went silent, hunching her shoulders forward.

Running his tongue over his teeth, he spoke. “I just want one thing, Waya.”

“What’s that?”

Keith settled his hands on the seat beneath him and pushed up to his feet. He strode to her, then stopped beside the woman and folded his arms on top of the rail. Lifting his chin, he looked out over the river and to the opposite shore. Lights winked on in cosy homes there. Stars nestled amongst trees.

“If you’re going to be alone, I want to be the last person who’s ever kissed you.”

From the corners of his eyes, a red haze beat relentlessly. He could have mistaken them for curtains.

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