After The Fact

By: Arielle

The couple lay panting and hot on the bed, new lovers staring at the ceiling, not quite sure what to do next. The young woman - morally too young to have participated in such an activity - forgets about the drying blood on her thighs and studies the grooves on the ceiling as if they were the Dead Sea Scrolls and the sonnets of Shakespeare rolled into one. The slowly revolving ceiling fan clearly impresses the young man, and he vaguely remembers seeing a similar scene in an old black-and-white detective movie.

They lay there silently, deathly afraid to touch each other again. Just the lightest touch of skin against skin, the feel of a sweaty embrace, the mere inference of sexual desire, could set either one of them off, and al hell could break loose. The silence is unnerving, but it is also a comfort for both: by saying nothing, going nowhere, and gazing at the ceiling, the two do not have to deal with their actions...and their consequences.

The young man takes a shaky breath, and breaks the timeless silence.


She doesn't answer right away, and he wonders if she has fallen asleep. Suddenly, restless movement comes from the other side of the bed, and he can see her eyes glittering with unshed tears through the dim moonlight.


Her voice cracks from the lack of use in the past few minutes, and it startles him. It reminds him of a time years before, when this glowing beauty beside him was but a mere child, and he was the one who was there to protect her from evils that were not so invisible. Instinctively, he wants to put his arms around her and hold her, and tell her everything will be alright because they are together, but he can't bring himself to move. He can only stare endlessly at her crystal eyes, and try not to cry.

"Are...are you okay? Does it...hurt?"

He brings a hand up to her face, hovering inches above it, the thought of touching her again and shattering all they had never leaving his mind.

At his query, the young woman turns her head back to stare at the ceiling coldly, ignoring her lover's attempt at comfort. She doesn't want to be touched again tonight. She doesn't want him to touch her again tonight.

"I'm fine, Takeru."

The boy props himself up on his elbow, moving his aching joints more than he had in the past five minutes. He is startled and confused at her coldness, and is curious to find out why and afraid to inquire into it more at the same time.

"But -"

"I'm fine."

She silences him with words that could not have been more crass or stern. She tries to keep her composure as she blinks back tears, and her eyes grow cloudy with the extra moisture.

He lies back down again, and the game of silence continues.

"Maybe we shouldn't have done this."

He mutters, more to himself than to his lover, and begins to blink back his own tears of regret.

"Yeah, well maybe you should've thought of that before we did."

She is angry at him now, and it shows. Not caring about the venom flowing from her lips to the ears of the one only hours before she claimed she loved, the girl rises to sit on the bed, her legs hanging over the side of the mattress, her naked back facing the boy.


Shocked, the boy once again props himself up on his elbow in an attempt to look at the girl. His face is etched with shock and hurt, as the sight of his love with her back turned to him finally gets through to his mind. The pang of regret and the desire to take back the night grows heavier than before.

"Yes, you!"

She immediately regrets lashing out at him, for she knows it is as much her problem as it is his. He did not force her into that bed tonight, and he did not force her to love him. Though it feels that way sometimes...

"God, Takeru, what were we thinking? We're only fourteen, for God's sake."

A tear rolls down her cheek, and she knows that, even though she wants it so badly, he will not wipe it away.

He looks down at the stained sheets, ashamed at that blatant realization that they had just lost their innocence long before their time.

"I know."

He says it out of sadness, and out of regret. Regret. He seems to be repenting a lot tonight.

She sobs quietly, once, and drops her face in her hands. Forgetting his own repentance, he instinctively reaches out to her. A hand touches her shoulder gently, and she turns toward him, no longer afraid, only confused and uncertain. She looks into the young man's eyes, and she sees two people: the boy she met six years ago, the friend she's known half her life, the goofy guy she just happened to love; and the young man who had just bedded her tonight, the man he grew up to be, the one who had just stolen her innocence.

She is afraid of neither, but is wary of both.



They speak at the same time, and are flustered by their synchronicity. The young woman smiled slightly, and nods her head a fraction of an inch, her movements barely noticeable to anyone who would see them except for him. She allows him to speak first, for she has no real words to form from the thoughts swimming around in her mind.

"I'm sorry."

A tear falls down his face and onto the sheet. His words are genuine, and she knows it.

"So am I."

She places her own hand over his own, and turns her body to face him again. Tenaciously, she lies down again, but closer this time, and against the body of her new lover; her old love. He lovingly wraps an arm around her and kisses her glowing forehead gently.


She asks quietly, as the fuzzy mixture of love and weariness creeps up on them both.


He responds with not more than a grunt, as his eyes are closed and his mind is taking in the moment and savoring it. He methodically runs his fingers through her hair, reveling in the sweet smell of his love.

"Miyako, Iori, Daisuke...they're gonna find out about this, you know."

Her voice is spiked with fear, and even though she tries to hide it, her body tenses up at the realization.

"Let them find out."

The young man's demeanor is much more relaxed, and he has come to terms with the severity of their actions. He knows there is no way to change what they did. Though it could have been postponed, he knows the two love each other, and there is no need to change what has been done.

He feels her body relax, and she moves even closer to him, nearly camouflaged in the crook of his arm.


She responds only by raising her eyes to meet his. The eyes full of love, and devotion...the eyes that would never want to hurt her. The eyes that would always be there to protect her.

He pauses to gingerly kiss her lips. The fear is over. The confusion is over. The eternal romance is just beginning.

"I love you."

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Email The Author: Arielle