She needed to step (outside) beyond entrance and exit. Standing inside of a moment… existing within a (secret) unseen pulse that has her planted like…

Madeline bit her nails (down) to where there was nothing left. She despised the habit and tried to break it once a week… lemon juice pressed into raw fingertips. Hot sauce in her cuticles.

She met Miles in a diner on the corner of 12th Street where the autumn leaves blew in tornado swirls of burnt orange and blood clot red. Raising a left middle to her hungry teeth, Miles interjects.

‘You shouldn’t do that.’

She looks at his apologetic eyes, brown and soft like chocolate cake mix. She cocks her head to the right, to the left.

‘Do I know you?’

The waitress refills their coffee cups. Madeline thinks about this, considers how they were both empty until being unexpectedly filled them with something… (hot).

Miles shifts in his seat. He pushes up his sleeve to where the scars are exposed. Madeline reaches for him and he doesn’t think it can hurt; it can’t be as painful as…

(Scars.) Naked fingertips press into his skin but can’t leave a mark because she’s gnawed the rough edges down to something…

smooth.

He tells people it was an accident. With a locked focus on the pale pink streams her exposed fingers gently carve down his strong forearms Miles asks, ‘Have you ever felt that way?’

She’s standing up to leave.

… He’s following her out.