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clockwork heart

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Spencer Hastings' life was a complicated yet clear set of gears fitted correctly in place, well-oiled and fully functional. Some would say her heart was nothing but clockwork, and sometimes, it was obvious when she was wound too tight.

Life was bullet points, graphs, flow-charts.

Life was hockey goals, application forms, summer schools.

Life was also getting what she wanted. (Or rather, who.)

Life was a well-mapped plan, with practical pit stops, with strategical breaks, with clear directions and a distinct goal.

Therefore, she had no idea that life would throw her a detour.

A detour in the form of five-foot seven inches worth of perfection (flawed, cracked, beautifully blemished). A certain someone named Emily Fields who made her clockwork heart beat slightly out of time. The same someone who had been an unassuming part of her glorious seventeen years of life, who had been the cornerstone of her rock-solid friendship with her (only) three friends.

But life decided to throw a spanner in the works.

(Because there's no fun riding a train unless it gets derailed.)

Spencer had tried to plot the steady (she was sure it hadn't materialized out of nowhere) accumulation of her feelings for Emily. She had sat down (four nights and seven afternoons) with a piece of paper in front of her, a marker in hand. A smudge on her chin (if she ever noticed it, she'd be surprised at her clumsiness) and rusty gears in her mind. She had tried to put a date to the acceleration of her emotions, tried to pinpoint the spot where her path had forked, and she had strayed.

She had even tried to put the symptoms in a chronological order. If there was something Spencer was good at, no, great at, it was the history of things.

She wanted to have a date for the first time she noticed the sublimity of Emily's feminine curves under her too-big clothes. The first time she caught herself staring at the contours of her lips. The first time she had looked at the poetry of Emily's form in the pool at a swim meet. The first time (when all of them had been waiting in the rain) she had taken one glance at her friend and wanted to quote Neruda, then and there.

She wanted to understand the chemistry of her emotions, she wanted to study the cause of her rapidly beating heart whenever Emily was around. She wanted to abduct Emily between classes and examine her face, her hands, her shoulders, her waist. She wanted to understand.

(Understand how someone so innocent could slowly destroy her. Slowly annihilate her. Without even trying.)

She tried to explain the logic behind her sentiments. (Why couldn't it be Hanna or Aria? Why couldn't it be Toby?)

She tried to analyze and chart the sequence of events that had left her marooned on an island of helplessness in a vast sea of emotion.

She experimented. She gave the object of her (insane) adoration the cold shoulder, shunned her in between classes, directed all her responses to her other friends. She covertly contemplated the shift of Emily's features (tried to liken them to the movement of glaciers, the graceful descent of a youthful waterfall). It was all a case study. A study on whether she could go without her poison. Her drug.

Result: She couldn't. She wouldn't.

But Spencer Hastings always got what she wanted. (Except when Melissa did.)

So she did what she'd never done before. She ended up at the door she'd been haunting (for what felt like forever), unplanned and unprepared. She hadn't rehearsed words, hadn't written little notes to remind her of her purpose. She hadn't even dressed up for the part. (The part of what? Desperate creep or tormented lover?)

When Emily finally answered the door (looking like Aphrodite incarnate, no, even better), Spencer had nothing to say. Nothing to do except feel the gears inside her freezing, clanging, screeching against each other. Except feel the intricate machinery inside her being rewired. Except feel the ticking, the furious, mad ticking inside her heart that clouded her ears with a roar and a plead.

So all she did was lean forward and kiss the lips she'd been longing for in her nightly reveries and wide-eyed dreams. (No explanations, no theses, no proofs or evidences or apologies or anything that she'd thought or hoped she'd end up doing.)

Imagine her surprise when she felt strong arms around her shoulders, felt the blissful tingle in her stomach intensifying when those heavenly soft lips refused to back away and yield to the pressure, when she felt undeniably warm support under her short-circuited frame.

Imagine her surprise when Emily Fields kissed her back.