“Jesus, could you move any slower?” He yelled back at her, the familiar anger thick in his voice. They’d wandered for hours in an unnamed cave, the maze of dark throats showing no signs of ending. She thought giant burrowing worms must have created them years ago: He knew they were just tunnels. “If it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t even be here,” he said. “Why are you so stupid? So completely and utterly stupid.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, eyes cast to the ground. They found themselves in a cavern; a small reflective pool a table around which three gaping mouths waited. He took the opportunity to wheel on her, forcing her against a wall.

“I wish I had never met you. Nothing has gone right since then. You’re incompetent and ugly. Completely useless.” He wasn’t yelling anymore. He didn’t have to. He turned and walked down the far right mouth, darkness swallowing him mercilessly. She listened as his footsteps faded, leaving nothing but silence. Despite herself, she cried. Just as she knew she would. Just as she always did. She curled into a tiny ball of despair and cried.

“Hey,” a voice called. “Hey, are you ok?”

She looked up, but saw no one. “Hello?”

“Over here.” The voice said.

“Please. Just leave me alone.” She turned quite away.

“That’s kinda hard to do, considering you’re inside me.”

“What?” She looked around with more interest. “Is this some kind of sick joke?”

“The only joke around here was your companion. He seems like a real jerk.”

She remained silent for a moment. “No; he means well, sometimes. He only acts like that when he’s angry. When he’s nice–”

“How often is nice?” The voice interrupted.

“Sometimes.” She said, furrowing her eyebrows. “Who are you anyway? Where are you hiding?”

“I told you,” the voice said. “I’m all around you. I’m the cave you’re in. Are you sure you like that guy?”

“Yes.” She stood up, not believing what she was hearing.

“I don’t see why. You should leave him. Except he sort of already left you…”

“He’ll come back.” She said. “He always does.”

“He always does, or you always do?” Again, she remained silent. “Tell ya what, take a walk with me. I’ll help you out of this cave and by the time you see the sky you’ll be over that dude like birds over land.”

“Really?” She asked.

“For sure,” the voice said, full of confidence. “I can feel it in my bones. Take the tunnel on your left and let us be on our way.”

*Note: Somehow or another this was originally inspired by Xia’s latest single, “Flower”. It’s changed a lot over time, but I’m happy with the way it’s turned out. If you haven’t heard the song I highly recommend it, but be warned: the music video for the single can be shocking to the uninitiated.


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