I get lost in the blinking lights of the casino. I float away in the haze of cigarette smoke and my thoughts ping like the slot machines.
Sweet alcohol slid through my veins.
I wiped the sweat from my brow. And a man looked at me.
You are faking it, he said.
What do you mean?
You dance like you have confidence. We both know you don’t have any.
I sat down.
I lit up a cigarette and stared at him.
I must have a tell. I am a terrible gambler.
I used to walk up and down those streets. I thought I was happy.
Sometimes he would walk with me. We never held hands.
We didn’t need to.
I was eighteen. I still feel the cool desert air kiss my skin. I still see him in the glow of the street lamps.
He started to unravel the rope, thread by thread. Until all that was left coming out of my heart was a single thread of spider’s silk. It’s one of the strongest materials on Earth. It could hold a car, or a building, and be taut.
There was a flash of the shears. Blood. But from me, not a single tear.
I blinked. He looks down.
He didn’t even know he was holding the scissors.
And his ocean of sorrow parted. He crashed and stormed and thundered around me. But I stood still. Unmovable. Still as stone.