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addicted

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The day he presses strawberries to your lips and stains them a lush nail-polish pink, you have your face tipped to the sun and you can’t see anything else, can’t taste anything else. The concrete pillar behind you is sweaty with graffiti. Your own sweat is sweet and shiny in your mouth. You snap your lollipop in half between your teeth. He’s kneeling next to you, the oversized buckle of his belt making a sound like something breaking as it drags on the uneven floor. Playtime, he whispers, with a smile like lipstick swiped messily across his face.

 


 

There’s a song light as candyfloss in the air when you turn to see him on the other side of the Scramble. It’s like a slot machine stuck on cherries when he crosses the diagonal to you, just cherries over and over and over again until the pits are burnt candy in your mouth, and he opens his when he reaches you, presses it to yours so together, your tongues can tie the heart-shaped knot in the stem. He spits it out and gives it to you. You are standing in the middle of the road dripping juice from your fingertips. When you lick it all off, he claps his hands and laughs like he has never seen anything so wonderful.

 


 

You have your sparkly sunglasses perched on your head today and your hair pulled back into a little ponytail. He wears his down. It’s grown longer at the back, and he tells you this is how you will wear it in the future. He tells you that in the future, everyone who loves you still does, only you don’t know how to love them back. He tells you you are sweet, and that he is sweet left in the sun for too long, sweet gone sticky, sweet drying out on some sidewalk somewhere where the ants are waiting to swallow him whole. You take the baseball cap from your satchel and jam it on his head. His smile is every colour in your eyes. You tell him you don’t know what he’s talking about.

 


 

You are going to rend Shibuya and pull the stuffing out of the seams. You are going to stitch it up with great swathes of pastel fabric and a needle that fits just nice in the palm of your hand. You ask him to come with you. You can tell from touching his cheek how frayed he is all over, even if there isn’t a stray thread or loose button anywhere on his fashion-magazine perfect outfit; you can tell from the way he cups your face in his hands, the way he bites your lip. He tells you not to let him go too far. You let the needle in your hand dig into your flesh, just a little, and when you lean over to breathe into his ear you say, he already has. It’s not your fault he got addicted.