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He is Everything: or why I blew my face off

Warning: shocking content.

This story was created in reaction to a true-life tale. The events told herein are purely of the author’s imagining.

I look in the mirror and I am not there.

I walk through my life and I am not there.

I see my friends, I see my family. They smile at me and talk to me and I am not there.

There’s a boy. He’s everything. His love is all I need. I am his.

He’s so gorgeous. My eyes follow him as he walks through the room, he rolls slightly, left to right as he walks, like he’s at sea. His eyes are vivid blue, ocean blue, sky blue, forget-me-not-blue. His smile is radiant, he shines that smile on me and I melt and I am his everything and he is my everything. You’ve never seen a smile this bright before, he is beautiful. See, can you see? He is sun and sea and sky. He is perfection. I drift away at the sight of him, at the smell of him, at the touch of him. But don’t love him too much. Please. He’s mine.

He kisses me, soft and gentle, sometimes hard and passionate. His body wakes at my touch, hard and insistent, my body longs for him, melts into his. We are like one person.

Wait, he’s there! He’s coming, he’s walking towards us.

“Morning beautiful!” He kisses me full on the lips, squeezes my boob. He is the sun.

“Hey you!” I kiss him back, he slips his tongue in my mouth. His friends laugh.

“Get in there!” Always

“Get a room!”

He throws his bag on the floor and grabs the chair next to me, my friends tut and shuffle round the table. I lean into him, his arm wraps around my shoulders and he twists my hair. His heart beats, thudump, thudump, thudump.

“You wanna go out tonight? I know a place..”

Dammit. “I can’t tonight. I’ve got to babysit.”

He sits up, pulls his arm from my shoulders. I shuffle back to sitting, it was easier melting into him. I feel dazed, like I’ve woken from a nap.

“You.. you could come round if you like? My brother goes to bed at 8.. My parents won’t be back till 11, they’re at a..”

“Yeah.” He grins at his mates, “yeah I’ll come.”

“Great!”

“I’m supposed to be coming to yours tonight.” My friend says, with a pout.

“Oh, yeah.. could we make it another night?” She pouts harder and sniffs her nose up in the air. God she’s annoying sometimes.

He leans in again, strokes my neck. Tingles run from my neck down my arms, my back, my nipples go hard.

I’m going to marry him. We’re going to be the first of our friends to marry. There’s no one else for me in the world.

He knocks on the window, I jump up and run to the door. He’s standing on my doorstep grinning, arms wide. I laugh and open the door wider, he scoops me up and carries me through to the lounge. I’ve heard that guys used to do that to their wives- carry them over the threshold. He drops me on the sofa and falls on top of me and kisses me and I kiss him back and our bodies touch everywhere. He pulls a bottle from his coat pocket, vodka.

“I’ll get glasses.”

“Nah, don’t bother. It’s better like this.” He twists open the lid and pours vodka in my mouth. It’s disgusting. The liquid burns my throat, I sit up and cough and splutter. He laughs.

“Urgh, why would you drink that?”

“It’s the best – makes you high!”

That sounds like a good thing. High. Could I even feel higher than being with him?

“You got any coke?”

“Nah, I don’t think so.”

“Lemonade? Anything?”

“Nah, my mum doesn’t like those drinks. She says they’re too sugary..”

He sighs and looks disappointed.

“Juice – there’s juice.” That cheers him up. I get juice and glasses and he pours vodka half way up and I add juice and oh my god it’s disgusting. What kind of high is he on about?

“Go on.” He says, “it gets better.”

I can’t imagine how. He sees my face.

“Alright then, let’s make a game.”

“What game?” I love games.

“Cards – you got cards?”

“Yeah. I’ll get them.”

He deals me two cards and says I have to count them. I’ve got 17. He tells me to twist. I twist. Bust, he says. That means I drink. Ugh. A finger full. I think I’m gonna be sick. He deals again. I twist. 20. He tells me to stick. I stick. He goes bust and drinks two fingers full. Funny game.

I finish the glass. He tops it up.

Then he kisses me and I’m dizzy with love. His hands are everywhere, his legs, his tongue, his kisses. He squeezes my boobs, massages my legs, my bum. He pulls me to him, he’s hard and breathless. My hands are in his hair, stroking his face, kissing his lips, his cheek, his eyebrows, his nose. He is so gorgeous. I’m breathless too, he pulls me closer, kisses my mouth with his tongue, licks my teeth, flicks my tongue.

My head spins, I can’t think. He’s taking my top off. I lift my arms up and he pulls the sleeves up them and then he’s working at my bra. He doesn’t know what to do with it. His fingers slip and fumble on the hooks. He gives up and pushes my bra up over my boobs. Then he’s kissing them and licking my nipples and oh my god that feels amazing and oh my god is this high? And oh my god I feel weird.

I try to sit up and he pushes me back. I try again and he’s still pushing. He’s heavy. I have to shove him.

“What you doing?” He asks, agitated.

I feel a rumble in my throat. I burp and throw up. All over us. He jumps up and makes a fuss, I fall back on the sofa and groan, if I move, the ceiling will fall in. He says something I don’t hear, I’m tired.

I must have nodded off, ‘cause now I’m looking at the ceiling with a disgusting taste in my mouth and I’m chilly. I sit up and my head pounds against my skull. Water, I need water. Where is he? I wobble out of the room, up the stairs to the bathroom. I’m sick again in the toilet. I sit by the toilet and rub my head

He’s gone. I drink a glass of water and pull my bra down. It stinks of sick..

He doesn’t answer my call. I try again and again and again. Nothing.

I walk downstairs and look at my vomit on the carpet. Something’s shining under the table. His phone! He left his phone! That’s why he’s not answering. I see my missed calls, he might get annoyed at them. I open his phone (passcode 010702 – his birthday) and delete the missed calls. He’s got messages from my friend. Why would she? What could they have to say to each other? I open the last message he sent:

Are you up? Wanna come and meet me? X

There’s a kiss at the end. Why is there a kiss at the end?

She answered:

Yeah – see you at the park xx

Two kisses? Why would she? The park?

I hand him his phone outside the college entrance. He shrugs, says thanks. Walks away.

“Wait!” I say, confused.

“What?” He says, annoyed.

“Where’d you go last night?”

“Home – I was covered in sick.” He says, disgusted.

“Just home?”

“What?” He says, defensive.

My friend walks up, smiles at me. He smiles at her.

“Look..” He says, “we tried it out – you and me – but it won’t work.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’re finished.”

“But..”

He walks away. I follow, I call his name. He keeps walking. He takes the sun with him, the sea, the sky.

“Did you meet him last night?” I ask her.

“What?” She asks, innocently.

“Did you meet him at the park? I saw a message. You said you were going to meet him.”

She blushes.

“I..”

“Did you meet my boyfriend last night?”

“Technically he’s not your boyfriend.”

“What?”

“He just broke up with you.”

“Did you meet him?”

“Yeah – he needed a chat.”

“A chat?”

“Yeah – he said you were crazy drunk or something.”

I let it go. I don’t want to know if it’s true. I don’t want to imagine anything other than a chat.

I walk past them at lunchtime. They’re in a classroom. Kissing.

I walk home. The world is blank. I have no place in it. I look at my life and I am not there.

I crawl into my bed and hug my teddy. I feel young again, protected, happy.

I wake up and chuck the bear across the room.

I call him. There’s been a mistake. The sun can’t go out like that. I’m nothing, I’m no one without him. No answer. I call again and again and again and again.

Did you know that my dad keeps guns in his safe? He collects old war guns. I know the combination (02132423 – our birthdays). I twist the dial and open the safe, I pick the smaller gun, take it from its padded case. It’s cold and heavier than it looks. I check for bullets. They’re there alright.

I call him again and again and again. I think someone’s come home. I walk to the bathroom and lock the door. I call him again. Nothing.

I look in the mirror and I am not there. Red eyes and a dripping nose. No wonder he doesn’t want me. Who would want that?

I hold the gun to my chin and look in the mirror. I feel powerful.

I pull the trigger.

That was the last time I saw my face. I don’t have one now. They say I’m lucky, that the bullet didn’t kill me. I’m not sure what lucky means.

The bullet blasted through my chin and nose and lodged in the bathroom ceiling.

They say they’ve looked after me for weeks. They say they can make me a new nose from a piece of my thigh. My mum doesn’t stop crying. My dad is horrified. My little brother won’t look at me.

Where did the sun go?

Why didn’t the bullet work?

I don’t do anything now, I don’t see anyone. I don’t go to college, I don’t study. I don’t see people, unless they’re in uniforms.

My face, when they give me a mirror, is hideous.

It is not there, I am not there.

For the first time ever, I’m not scared of life. For the rest of my life, I’ll be scared of myself. Do you know what’s funny? I was looking for love. Looking so hard that I missed it. My mum and dad love me without a face. Truly love me. I guess I am lucky, after all.

To learn more about the events which inspired this story, click here:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/09/face-transplant-katie-stubblefield-story-identity-surgery-science/

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