“You’re this fuckin’ whirlwind creature, Harris,” Teddy says, deliberately using Reece’s last name like the detachment will make all the difference. “I don’t know what to do with you. What I want to do with you. Everything, probably. That’s not healthy, is it? Jesus, man. You fuck me up. You fuck me up and up and up. All the way up. You know that? Like, maybe I was always built to be some kind of sinner, but you make me into something else. Something worse, something bad, something unholy. Like, you make me understand the meaning of blasphemy. The words that I’d say for you – you make me understand religion but it’s only for you, y’know? Like, baby, it’s your lips and your thighs and your throat and the noises you make and fuck – your hands. Your hands, I could write fuckin’ poetry about your hands. Sonnets, haikus, whatever you wanted. Limericks, if you asked. Bad ones, but still. I, dammit.”
Teddy fiddles with the phone, shifting it from one ear to the other, feeling the sweat condensing on the screen.
“You make me feel like a house fire. And I know that doesn’t make sense, like, how can a boy feel like a house fire? How can you make me feel like that? But you do, baby. You lit the goddamn fuse and I’m going up in flames and everything precious is burning, burning, burning and you’re outside and I guess you’re fuckin’ watching or something or maybe you’ll be the thing that saves me, I don’t know yet. I just – I wanted to – tell you, or something. It felt like it was worth saying. You and me, man, we’re fuckin’ flammable as fuck. It’s going to end so bad. I can tell. But if you wanna come over tonight, I wouldn’t be opposed. Oh, fuck no, I would not be opposed. I guess, maybe, I’ll see you tonight. If you want. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Or, it’s not, but I get it. We can’t all be whirlwind creatures.”
Teddy pulls the phone away from his ear. He hears the prompt ‘Press one to save message’ and stares for a long moment. He thinks about whirlwind creatures and house fires and whether he’s even going to survive this. The screen goes dark, but he thumbs it awake again.
He presses one.