Bait(8)

By: Jade West


I wonder how many assholes will be beating down her door for a cheap shot at getting their rocks off.

Many, I’m sure.

My question is simple. Impulsive.

What happened to you?

I’m almost certain she won’t reply. I’m positive I’ll just be one of the masses of messages she sends to the trash bin when she realises this site is full of douchebags.

I’m a heartbeat away from signing out from adult hookup and talking some sense into myself when the message pings.

And I’m one breath away from crazy myself when I bring up her reply.





Four





There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton





Phoenix



The green online now circle is illuminated next to black swan’s profile photo. Her username is simple and stark, and yet it says so much.

Bait.

Her tagline is new. Her profile unfolding in real time.

Just a girl wanting to feel.

Bait.

She’s bait alright. The predator in me stirs, adrenaline pumping as old memories come flooding back.

Her message comes through in segments, one line at a time.

I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to ask me that question.

I loved hard. I lost harder.

And then I lost everything along with him.

My job. My home. So many people I cared about.

Then I lost the baby too.

I bled my soul out with the life inside me. Bled so hard I nearly disappeared too.

My world spat me out and kept on turning without me.

It was too painful to stay, so I ran.

And here I am, just trying to make a new life.

It’s hard.

It’s really, really hard.

The simple honesty in her words makes my stomach lurch. My own sadness is thick in my throat as I type a reply.

The world has a habit of spitting us out and leaving us behind. I’d like to say you can catch it up again if you run fast enough, but I’m not so sure. I live in hope.

I’m staring at the online icon when the tick appears to say she’s read my message.

I see her typing.

What happened to you?

I smile to myself. Smile at this simplistically honest communication with a random stranger.

And then I type.

I loved hard. I lost harder.

I pause. And then I type again.

Your fantasy is dangerous. Be very careful you don’t find more than you bargained for. You don’t want to put your trust in the wrong person.

I’m torn between the strange urge to unload my pain onto a stranger and the urge to chase her blindly through the wilderness.

Her message is almost instantaneous, feeding through one line at a time…

The one person in this world I trusted implicitly sold me down the river to save his safe little portion of suburbia.

I cried and screamed and begged for him before they took me down to surgery to save my life, but he never came.

He never even called.

So yeah, I know I won’t be able to trust anyone, especially not some random stranger online.

But that’s okay.

I know how dangerous this fantasy is, it’s been haunting me my whole life.

But I need it.

Believe me, I need it so bad.

I should talk her down and back away, but my fingers have a life of their own…

So did the woman I lost.

She replies in a heartbeat. She did? She needed this too? Like I do?

I shouldn’t say it. But I do.

Yes, she did.

Another heartbeat. And what about you?

I stare at the skyline through the window. The orange glow from the town nestled down below. I hold back from answering, afraid my own darkness will swallow me whole.

Another message pings…

You’ve done this before, yes? Could you do it again? Is that why you messaged me?

My scars itch. My heart pounds as I realise how hard I am.

Another ping…

I’m sorry, I just. I’ve been having these dreams since forever. They’re the only thing that feels right to me anymore. I know how fucked up that sounds, that something so dark could be the only thing I’m sure of.

And it does sound fucked up. It sounded fucked up from Mariana too.

I was as hard then as I am now, as tempted by the darkness as much then as I am tonight.

I fight the urge to palm my dick through my pants.

The girl is skirting disaster. My black swan has no idea how close she is to danger. A little bird flapping on the ground as the predators circle.

If I’m the one who answers her call, she’ll come out the other side to tell the tale at least.

Maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time I can…

I bury the thoughts as they arise.

She’s not my problem. I’ll do my bit, take what I need, give her what she’s craving, then walk away without even a backward glance.

My words glare from the screen at me before I press send.

Crazy. This is crazy.

Two weeks.

Prove to me you’re serious about this over two weeks.

Prove to me this isn’t just a moment of recklessness, or some crazy self-destruct mission.

Prove to me you really do need this. That you really do know what you’re getting into.

If you do that and mean it.

Really mean it.

Then maybe I’ll be your monster.





Abigail



I feel so raw. So exposed.

But I feel.

I take a breath, and for the first time in months my words don’t feel trapped in my throat. It’s strange how such a simple confession, one tiny moment of truth amongst the pretence, can mean so much.