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The last time they’d spoken had been two months ago, but it had been a mere week since her last confrontation with one of A’s sycophants, an exchange filled with biting words and studied cruelty. The last time she’d heard one of the rumours that had been spreading ever since- well.

“Hey, dyke!” A boy yelled from across the pavilion. She favoured him with a cold smile – did he think a single word would make her wither up and die with embarrassment? – and continued on her way. She had Anatomy lectures to attend, after all, and she’d be damned if she let her 2.8 GPA slide any more. She was joined by her friends along the way, a rag-tag bunch of abrasive jocks and fawning girls.

My disciples. About as loyal as Judas, too. She was well aware that it was her father they hung around for, their lust for the trappings of power she enjoyed. Oh, and her looks, she supposed. How disappointed they’d be if they knew that the whispers going around were indeed true; her father was all but bankrupt after the collapse of Merrill Lynch, and she’d much rather kiss a girl than fuck a boy.

Which led her back to the quagmire she was in, or rather, had gotten A into. She caught A’s eye as she settled into the dirty yellow plastic seats in the amphitheatre. For once, A didn’t look away, narrowing her eyes in hate even as her cheeks reddened. She smirked, thrust her tongue out and licked the air, up and down, for a single obscene second.

A looked away, flushing a dark red. The blush accentuated her high cheekbones, so reminiscent of her alcohol flush that day, fourteen weeks ago, when they’d first caught each other’s eye- it was A’s first time in a lesbian club, and she had seen to her losing all the other firsts as well. And the next morning the sweet, supple girl of the night before had presumed on a lasting relationship and demanded secrecy, and so she’d gleefully provided the details of their tryst to her friends. A’s protests meant nothing; she was a U.S. Senator’s daughter and the Union’s vice-president, her word was all but law.

Deny it all you want- you still screamed when I made you come.

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I hate you all.

I hate you in your callousness, how you shove others out of your way in the struggle to leave a crowded train, how you flinch away from friendly hands when the bus jerks. I hate how you’d rather stumble to your knees than have your skin sullied by the steadying touch of another. A heavily pregnant woman (a mother, surely you can understand that word) enters the carriage and every person sitting down immediately falls asleep. The rest alternate between glaring at them and checking their phones.

She stands for the next forty-five minutes.

I don’t have the decency to ask them to give up their seats, either.

I hate you in your fervor, how you try so earnestly to convert others to your cause. I hate how a smattering of letters scribbled by long-forgotten ancestors became sacred and used to justify unspeakable horrors. When a tragedy happens, you thank your god for favouring you – as if your life is more valuable than those dead or dying. You think the Big Guy Up There is the very embodiment of what is good when, for millennia, your fellow believers – in the name of your ‘just’ deities – have oppressed and raped and burnt their way through half of civilisation.

Then you tell me that I’m going to hell for asking uncomfortable questions.

Most of all I hate our inconsistency. We carry heaven and hell in our heads and there is a seed of selfishness even in the most altruistic deeds (and the beginnings of love in the greatest atrocities). Look at our wanton destruction of everything we have- the earth and relationships and other people and idealism and youth, and yet that’s all fine and good: if we were monsters and nothing besides, perhaps we could hope for something greater to put us out of our misery.

But every now and then we give each other hope. In our damnation sometimes we fall in love or sacrifice our lives or fix other equally broken beings and that’s all that keeps humanity from the precipice- but sometimes I wish we’d just fall off the cliff and be done with it.