Until this very moment, the night had been a collection of sharp comments and very noticeable silences. Yet we laughed and spoke with such co-ordinated flair in the presence of Steve and Alice, who I assume were none the wiser. We looked normal. We looked fine.
We exit the car. Jess doesn’t wait for me. Instead she enters the house, throws her coat somewhere near the coatrack and marches into the kitchen – where all the knives are. I follow, bringing my own storm, making angry noises down the corridor until I reach the kitchen. Jess’s handbag hits the dining table like a Warhammer. I slam the fridge – beer firmly in hand – and now she’s looking at me as if to say ‘I hate you so much right now’. I drink, angry. Then I wipe my mouth in an exaggerated swoop of limbs like I mean business. Not a word said. Yet our eyes speak such violence. Our stares: unbroken. It’s a war and she sure as hell ain’t going to win. Not again.
The beer bottle makes a numb clunk as I set it down next to her bag. I move into her space and she hates it; she breathes fire hard and long. Fuck, I love it when she can’t stand me. And I love it when I can’t stand her. Hands curl into fists at my sides. I’m ready to fuck or fight. Her eyes snap upwards to my face which reads: ‘What are you going to do now, honey?’
Bluffs are called. She gently shakes her head. Her lips sucked into an aggressive pout. Her hips open up and our shapes lock. The sleeve of her blouse moves like an apparition between my fingers and her arms stain red. I want to share her mouth. Then my hair is clumped into a fist and my head is yanked through her face. We kiss. Teeth. Wetness and more teeth. Anger, pain, hate, bourbon and fuck. All rolled into one.
We spill heat. And breathe with each other. She sketches into my back with her fingernails. She’s an artist. I bite chunks out of her neck and shoulders. A pain exchange: blood for blood. With powerful lurches we start the long process of destroying each other. We try to break each other into smaller denominations. The carpet is rough and a dreadful colour. I blame her for choosing this carpet – and the curtains. Beige and boring as fuck – shows dirt easily. We move like dirt and stain the floor. We make it look better. We make it look less boring, like it has life. I mention this to Jess and she briefly smiles before telling to go fuck myself.
Shapes shift and we change into a new beast. Heavy sex-breath hangs between our mouths. In moments of coming up for air, I tell her I hate her and that she is incredible. Eyes rolled back: heart attack. I’m ready to fuck or fight. Or both.