Two lost young women exchange meaningless and sinister declarations of love and hurt with each other through Twitter, by Emily Calvin
Your beauty astounds me and your maturity will always blow me away. If I had my way, we'd be together this instant. Unfortunately, I don't write the laws, and neither do I write the distance between us. It seems our lives have gone through too many tough paths to ever cross, and it seems we must come to terms with this.
Our love can never be. We both knew this all along. My life was bettered the day I began talking to you, but we can never find one another. We both must remain in hiding, and our love must be kept a secret.
Your love could get me arrested, and mine would ruin your life. We're better off apart. We met on the Internet, through Twitter. Sparks didn't fly when we met; gunshots scattered. The ghost of Hunter S. Thompson lived in me - we shared the same birthday. The ghost of Tupac lived in you - he died the day before your birth.
You burned your neighbor's house down, and I kidnapped my baby.
Two ships crossed in the night; two ghosts met on the Internet. One ghost shot game and chugged whiskey while writing half-true stories about adventures real and imaginary. The other ghost shot gangsters and drank blood while writing legendary raps about his epic life.
One ghost lived on in me: a jaded writer named Corabelle who didn't believe in anything but misanthropy and codependency. The other ghost lived on in you: a prodigy named Nita who jumped around the country in search of independence.
You tweeted me from ten years in my past.
@NitaMcFire: I love @corabellz!
I didn't know you, but I had just lost my baby.
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire... I love you too.
All of your sentences ended in exclamation points, as if you couldn't be more excited to talk to me. All of my sentences ran together with ellipses... as if every thought led into another, and I never wanted to end our conversations. Your energy filled my brain with enthusiasm.
You spoke in excitement.
I spoke in pauses.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I've never known of a bullet to ask for hammers, a human to ask for masked last breath-death!
You spoke in metaphors and rhymes. I thought you brilliant... too smart for a fifteen-year-old. You thought me perfect... too wise for a twenty-five-year-old.
You moved away from home at age fifteen. With no family and nowhere to go, I worried about how you would support yourself.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I still have hands so I can paint better pictures of me!
You pursued me. You found me, flirted with me until I fell for you, and then told me your age. By the time I found out I loved someone ten years younger than I, I had already fallen face first into your witchcraft.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Let's run to the woods and live life lovely in the trees!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire What's the worst thing you've done?
At age thirteen, you burned down your neighbor's house because he called you a cunt. It started with the rug... one of those Oriental kinds with the silk fabrics. You went to your neighbor's house to play, and after being taunted for your tiny size and then being called a cunt, you lost your temper. You ran to the kitchen, grabbed one of those grill lighters, and set the living room rug on fire. Your neighbor screamed; you laughed. You ran across the street, into your house, and to your bedroom. You watched as the entire house turned orange and red and black with smoke and fire. The neighbors all made it out in time. (@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Unfortunately)
You used to fill water balloons with bleach and throw them at girls. (@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Only girls who were mean to me!)
Your anger and recklessness turned me on. You reminded me of myself at your age - full of potential but also totally fucked up.
You carried a box cutter around with you everywhere you went, just in case some stranger pissed you off. You used to have a gun, but you gave it to your sister, who, coincidentally, had the same name as my sister. Our worlds melded together strangely, violently, and beautifully.
Life dealt you many more troubles than mine.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz If bleeding is for listening, my life story would make the sea turn red!
Your mother kicked you out of the house when you turned fourteen. Since that day, you had been traveling around the country trying to survive. Your two sisters missed you dearly, but you could not return home. Your mother might try to hurt you... maybe even kill you. You had to live in hiding. Even if the law didn't prohibit us from meeting one another, you wouldn't be able to tell me where you lived for fear of your mother's finding you.
@corabellz: I'm in love...
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz In love?
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire With you...
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Oh yay! How are you? We haven't talked in a week!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Good... I've missed you... how are you?
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz My family is in Indiana now, and they still have no idea where I am!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Where are you?
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I want to come out west!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Do it...
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I almost have enough money! By this time next week I should be good!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Then where will you go?...
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz To you! If you'll have me!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I'd love to take care of you.
You didn't even have a social security number. You moved from the Ukraine at age ten and had lived under the radar, off the grid, ever since then.
A sexy little mystery.
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Depression has taken over like a fire blanket.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I'm so sorry! Is it my fault?
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Of course it's not your fault... I love you.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I'm glad! Because I would hurt myself if I did something wrong!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire No... don't do that... not even for me, my love... you're too wonderful to hurt yourself.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Hurting myself is a kind of magic, and I haven't practiced a bit of magic in a while!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire You can find better magic... I just wish I could.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Let's cut ourselves together so we'll bleed together! We'll leave love scars on our arms to cover up all the hate!
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz What's the worst thing you've ever done?
I stole a baby from my boyfriend in high school. I always wanted a baby growing up. As a child, I played with dolls just like the rest of my friends, but when I entered my teenage years, I still couldn't put away the dolls. I snuck food from dinner into my room. I chewed it up and spit it out for them like a mama bird. I pretended to breast feed them, holding their plastic lips up to my prepubescent nipples.
By the time I hit puberty, my hormones couldn't wait any longer. I entered high school, found a boyfriend, and started having sex. Truth be told, I hated the sex. That's when I knew preferred women to men, but I had a boyfriend. No one needs the high school ridicule of coming out. Call him my "beard," my fake boyfriend to make everyone think I was straight. But really, he was just a turkey baster of semen, waiting to impregnate me.
He might not have been ready, but I wanted a baby. I told him I took birth control so he didn't have to wear a condom. I kept a box of pregnancy tests in my room at all times and used one every day. The day that little pee stick turned positive and I stopped bleeding, I threw myself a baby shower. Of course, all my friends thought I had just decided to throw a party because my parents went out of town for a second honeymoon. No one knew of my baby obsession... not even my parents.
My parents loved me, and my sister adored me. They took care of me during the pregnancy. They went grocery shopping for my strange cravings, like cottage cheese on pancakes, and bought me a shaved ice machine.
My family might not have felt pride about their high school daughter getting knocked up, but they would never desert me. I blamed my boyfriend. I told them he forced me to have unprotected sex. They told the principal, and he lost his college football scholarship. I didn't care; I had a baby in my belly. I couldn't have been happier.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz How was your day?
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire It was ok... my mother threatened to give my ex-boyfriend my location... but talking to you makes up for it.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I hate my mother! Want to adopt me? I woke to my mother and sisters calling me trying to find out where I am and who I'm with!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I'd love to adopt you, but it'd get in the way of our love. You're all over the place... where are you now anyway?
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz This lady told me that my fear of the dark was all in my head! I looked at her and said, "So is everything else!"
You always evaded my questions.
My sister drove me to all my doctor's appointments. She pitied me. She thought I wouldn't go through with it. My sister kept asking me what the doctor said about abortion, and I kept lying about having complications, or maybe in a week. My parents eventually handled my pregnancy with grace and ease, but they had some initial shock. My mother cried when I told her, and my father threatened to "beat the shit outta that little punk," but I convinced them to remain calm.
When I reached my second trimester, my family stopped asking me about abortions and started shopping for cribs. They turned the guest room into a baby haven. They fed me lemonade and painted the walls blue and pink. I refused to know the gender of the baby until it came so everything could go either way.
"This might have been a total accident, but in a way, it's kind of a blessing," I told them. "You always wanted a third child. My sister and I always wanted another sibling."
My mom, after overcoming her grief about my teenage pregnancy, couldn't hold in her excitement. She would be a grandmother. Convinced I'd have a girl, my mother could spoil the child, feed her ice cream before bed, buy her cute dresses, and take her to the zoo. Convinced I'd have a boy, my dad could teach him how to play catch, watch sports with him, and take him fishing.
My boyfriend, after overcoming his own shock, got excited too. He couldn't wait to be a dad. He resented me for ruining his chance at a good college, but he made plans to go to the community college so he could stay home and take care of the baby with me. He opened up a savings account and started preparing to buy a house. He even bought little outfits for the baby, some for a girl, and some for a boy.
@NitaMcFire @corabellz I'm glad it isn't a crime to be as pretty as you because if it were you would be in jail for life!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire You're too kind... you're stunning as well, my dear... plus, the both of us should be in jail for life, probably...
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Your love kept me from doing something really stupid!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire What were you gonna do?
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Your love always saves me!
Nine months after my parents returned from their second honeymoon, they brought my screaming, pot bellied self to the hospital. My boyfriend rushed to the hospital shortly after. Then came twelve hours of agonizing labor, sweat, blood, shit, tears, and afterbirth. Finally, I held my prize in my hands. I had a baby girl, and she lived, breathed, and cried in my arms. I could throw away all my dolls. This one actually suckled on my nipples, and even more exciting, milk actually came out. I lactated like I always pretended to do as a child, and I had a child that wanted to drink my breast milk and fall asleep to my lullabies.
My boyfriend, parents, and sister all watched as I taught the baby how to breastfeed, and I glowed with joy. All I had ever wanted in life had finally come true. Except one thing: I didn't want a father. I wanted this baby all to myself. She could have wonderful, loving grandparents and an awesome auntie, but a father was out of the question. Why would she want to look up to a deadbeat dad who couldn't even go to a good college on a scholarship? Of course, I didn't pay any attention to the fact that I ruined his life. I only knew my baby girl wouldn't be raised by someone who couldn't even finish high school. I had dropped out of high school, but I had gone to the community college and was working on my GED. I'd have it by the time my baby girl could walk, and then her mom would become a successful writer.
So I stole my baby.
After all my friends graduated from high school, one of them moved to Boston for college. I made plans with her to move out there with my baby and live in her apartment until I could get on my own two feet. Sure, she wouldn't have her grandparents and auntie around, but she'd have my best friend, and that counted as auntie enough for me. I worked at a bookshop at the time, so I saved up the money for a plane ticket, bought the redeye, and took a taxi to the airport. My parents, sister, and boyfriend slept while my baby and I rode to the rest of our lives.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I was watching this move on Fearnet called We Are The Night! It's about German, female vampires! It reminded me of us!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I'd love to suck your blood.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Let's cover ourselves in blood and write our names on one another's chest!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Better yet... let's carve our names into one another's chest so we'll never forget this love we share.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I'll carve my life into your soul so you never forget my spirit!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I could never forget you even if I wanted to... it's just too bad none of this will come true.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I'll be sixteen in a month! When I turn eighteen, I want you to pop out of my birthday cake!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire When you turn eighteen... there will be no stopping me... I will be at your door... naked.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz That makes me all tingly!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Once you're old enough... I'll make you tingly everywhere.
You and I both had our issues. Neither of us judged the other for what we had done.
My boyfriend re-kidnapped my baby away from me on her fifth birthday. Ribbons lined the walls and balloons announced the fifth year of her birth, so he found the house quite easily. It didn't help that my mother gave away my neighborhood when he finally broke her down on the telephone with one of his famous, manipulative guilt trips. He burst into the door (it was unlocked for party-comers). I grabbed my baby and held her close to my chest. "Corabelle, you have to give me that baby, and you know it," he said.
He stood tall in the doorway. His figure scared me as if he had been a cop. I had no idea if he planned to hit me when I handed over the baby. I had no choice, and he knew it.
"Corabelle, I swear to god I'll call the cops if you don't hand that baby over."
I grasped for straws. "I'll call the cops on you for breaking and entering!"
"You know you can't do that. They'll arrest you sooner than they'll arrest me. You can't even prove any struggle. The door was unlocked."
I broke into tears.
"Hand over the baby before you start your theatrics." He walked toward me. I held the baby out to him like I assume Mary held her baby Jesus up to the Heavens. He grabbed it and spit on my head, bent forward in tears. He kicked me in the stomach, while holding the baby, and then ran out the door. I didn't stop crying or spitting blood for minutes after I heard his engine rev and his car speed away.
You were about ten years older than my baby would be. I wondered about my baby a lot, but I talked to you more.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I'm going crazy-crazier! I'm starting to see shit!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I'm jealous... I need drugs for that.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz There's nothing more sexy than you talking about drugs!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I want to keep you in my house and feed you drugs and take care of you.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz And I want to do whatever makes you happy!
I talked to my father every day but still had to hide from the police just in case. I refused to speak to my mother. I had stolen my baby in the middle of the night, had her stolen back from me, and worked at a bookshop in Boston. You had to live in hiding and fear of your abusive mother. You had committed arson and worked in a retail job that paid under the table. The specifics of your job you never relayed to me. You could not tell me for fear of someone finding you. The government watched over the Internet, after all. Two peas in a pod, we found one another thanks to social networking.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Your everything is overwhelming to the lesser! That must be why we both float on the same rhythm like a thought wave!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire My science is based on you... you're in the stars.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Stars are based on your type of science! Everyone is made up of the same thing stars are made of! Just some of us are made with better and brighter parts!
We both cut ourselves until we met one another online.
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I can't stop crying.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Never cry! Be the happy forever bee and forever be happy!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire I wish it were as easy as a rhyme... but my baby's gone and no one can replace her...
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz When you're sad, I get sad! So be strong for both of us! I can replace her! I can be your baby in every way you need one!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Can you also help me write a story?... because none of the ones I write are good enough... my coworkers say my work is too metafictional to be accessible and sellable.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz You're too metaphorical to be basic though! I love the way you write!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Thank you... and I love the way you write.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I got kicked out of my writing class! They said something like that to me! So I wrote everything backwards in Ukrainian!
You loved the birds, but your wings had been clipped too many times. You could not fly, so you snuck around the world, stealing hearts and burning down lives.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz I'm going to start using wordplay as a cover!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Your life is wordplay... and mine is cosplay... together we'll play forever.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz We can speak in prose-like-prose, and no one will know the math hiding behind our logic!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire Poetic prose is our language... my heart has turned to gold so come mine my chest because the words won't come until you set them free.
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Free like fire-flame candle stick-wick flickering in the most dim-lit cave-like setting!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire We fight to the death to be heard for just one breath...
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz We will fight our own worst fears with brick like fists! I'll fight yours, and you'll fight mine!
I loved cats, but my collarbones would never be small enough to dislocate themselves. I could not prowl, so I pranced around the world in search of my baby girl, breaking hearts and leaving the remains in my dust.
@corabellz: I want wigs
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz You want wings? But you're the forever dove! You'll always fly like jets!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire No, I want wigs for my head. Will you scalp some people with great hair for me?
@NitaMcFire: @corabellz Yes! I'll do it if it makes you happy!
@corabellz: @NitaMcFire We already have wings... the both of us... that's why we've flown to one another over many a cuckoo's nest. We'll scalp together... it'll be fun.
One day we will meet, when you turn eighteen, and on that day, I will have the companion unjustly stolen from me so many years ago. We will kiss and make love and live together in hiding. There will be no fireworks when we first kiss; there will be global arson. We will make love to the screams of the world burning. We will destroy the world with our love. The day we meet, the world will end.