Lovable by Heather Cripps (Lucent Dreaming Issue 10)

My parents believe that when two people have sex their souls intertwine and they become one person. They think when you get to heaven the person you had sex with is still part of you, so you have to choose wisely. They pull bible verses out to back this up. They can pull bible verses out to back up anything.
I ask them over breakfast, “What happens if you go to hell? Or if one of you goes to hell and the other to heaven? Maybe your soul is ripped in two.”
My mother frowns into her mug of coffee.
“No honey, God would never do that to a person,” she says. She doesn’t give me an actual answer.
I wonder if they think he should though, as punishment, that if you pick the wrong person you deserve to be torn in half. My Dad kisses me on the top of the head as he usually does, says he loves me and then leaves for work.
“I like that we can talk about these things,” Mum says. I’ve heard her brag to her friends about this before, that she has fostered an open relationship with her daughter.
“She can tell me anything,” she likes to say.

I wait until they go away for the weekend to go to dinner with this girl I’ve been texting more than you would text a friend. When we finish dinner, I’m disappointed until I realise that the house is dark and empty of people so I invite her back to mine.
We get into the hallway and I can hear her breathing behind me, tickling my neck, and we giggle for no reason and I want to keep the lights off but that would be weird. Flick. They’re on now and here is my house, shoes kicked over, dry mud on the carpet, family photos on the wall.
We make coffee even though it’s late and I show her a mug that says God doesn’t love you because you are lovable, he loves you because he is love and I say, “These are the kind of things we have in our house,” because I hope it will help her understand me more. She laughs and asks to have her coffee in that mug.
We sit on the sofa, our feet and legs tangled together and sip, the warm steam curling into our faces. Then I put my coffee down and crawl over her, kiss her soft coffee flavoured lips. While we are kissing, and her hands are in my hair, I knock over her mug with my feet.
I lead her upstairs. I kiss her as we walk backwards into my dark quiet room and my chest and my heart feel like they’re full of something like hot chocolate or melted marshmallows and I push out the thought that I can’t be this person, not usually, only now. I kiss her back until I lose myself.
In the morning, we make coffee again and then she leaves because my parents are due home. Before she goes, I kiss her at the open door and I try not to hate myself for being anxious that they might turn up any second and find us, and I will lose ‘darling’ and breakfast and tea and ‘I love you.’
Instead, the house is empty again for a long time and I walk around it, put the kettle on and forget about it, put the pots in to soak and then forget about them. I find the coffee mug on its side on the floor, God doesn’t love you, God doesn’t love you, and the little bit of coffee that was in there has dribbled onto the carpet and stained.
I go back up to my bed, wanting to crawl into the rumpled covers and smell the sweat but instead I find another me, a second me, lying on a made bed, watching TV on the laptop and looking up at me like I’m the one who isn’t real. We stare at each other for a second and then I get into bed with her, putting my head against her shoulder and my arms around her waist, wishing more than anything we could melt into one. When I hear my parent’s car pull up, I know which one of us will get up and greet them.

Buy issue 10 today.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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