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Literature Text

You crawl across the obstacle course of crunched metal as best as you can, the deadweight of your useless legs hindering the task.

"Hi," she breathes when you haul yourself to a stop, your elbows scraped raw and lungs heaving. The air tastes like the red that courses down her face, clumping in her lashes.

"Hey." You let yourself sink down, your fingers walking across the distance it takes to get to hers. You brush them and she links them together and you think it might hurt her because they're swollen and black, but if it does, she doesn't even wince.

You feel something thick and unbearable stuff up your chest, squeeze your heart and scratch the inside of your ribs like one of those itchy wool sweaters. Then your eyes itch too and you want to say something, but you can't find anything other than a decayed apology and that just doesn't quite fit.

"Hey, don't cry." She makes a face and cheekily sticks her tongue out, some more red trickling down the corners of her mouth. "There's nothing to cry about, you big baby. We tried."

"I'm not crying," you protest even as hot droplets roll down your cheeks. You wish it was blood.

She makes a fond little noise and you think that if she had another hand to spare she'd wipe away your tears just to tease you.

"We tried," she consoles again. "We were really good. We did everything there was to do."

Yeah, and you didn't do it good enough. You can't get the words past your lips, so you brush her knuckles with your fingertips just gently, hope she can feel it in your touch.

"Almost," she murmurs and she smiles, her teeth smeared where they aren't broken. "I think it would've been nice. Don't you?"

"...Yeah...It would've been nice."

"We could've seen the seagulls, right?"

"Sure. Flamingos too." You close your eyes, trying to imagine that and not what you've left behind.

"We could've been friends."

"I think we accomplished that, at least."

"Mm...Friends." Her voice is warm, maybe like the home you almost had.
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