There is a part of me, a terribly small part of me, that loves to see you in pain.

Terribly small. I treasure you; I always have. But you know me, Mamiya. You know me better than any human should ever be able to know another. You must know this: that in my own dim recesses, I am pleased when you gasp, or close your eyes too tightly, or turn your face away from me flushed with what never should be done to a body so young. Not that I would ever deliberately hurt you; could ever; I treasure you too much. Is it even pain that makes you tremble so in those moments? Or mere intensity? But I lust for your reactions, even as I touch you gently as porcelain.

It is not a dichotomy that should surprise me, I suppose. Not with regards to you. You know everything that you do to me. And I would never have touched you had you not invited me, had you not spent endless time in a silent and subtle and shamelessly mocking path of seduction. Your body, poised eternally on the brink of adulthood, too young for cruelty, too young for defilement, should never have been mine. But now that you have drawn me into it, I have discovered the way you whimper when I slide my hand between your legs. That I can almost span your waist with my hands. Things I should never have known, for I am enslaved to them. I say you are mine. No, I am yours. I will give you anything, for our eternity. I will topple all the world, for you.

Do you know that? You must.

Your roses are inverse purity, every shade of human weakness distilled to a black so refined that it is as consummate and divine as the princely white. So your roses, so you. Your sins are deeper than the ocean, yet you shine pure like a child. You know me, Mamiya. You speak of me as a monster and a horrible man. So you must also know this part of why I love you so. I have seen you stab women through the heart with your roses. You are a malignant thing and a canker too exquisite to be allowed to perish. Perhaps it is partially awe that fascinates me as I make you writhe beneath my hands. That a mere intellectual like me is able to do such things to you; and that you always plead for more, in silence, with your eyes greener than leaves.

Your roses are inverse purity, and so you lay me down and strip me bare and light every nerve from head to toe with more diligence than a clear-faced boy should ever possess; and you suspend me in a neverwhere of unfulfillment for endless whiles and smile faintly as I plead you for more, and never grant it, with your eyes sparkling, greener than leaves. You are crueler than I, perhaps, and I am a horrible man. Yet at least I am a man. Yet when it comes my time to reach for you, and you put your hand lightly on my wrist, almost as if to stop me, but come to me so solemn and willing; and when you throw your head back and gasp, as if in pain, as if your roses had drawn your blood again, a sort of base happiness twinges within me.

I must qualify. I am a mere intellectual; I must always qualify. I love you. I could never bear your agony. If I strike you in anger or cruelty, let me perish on the spot. I treasure you. Eternally. Do you know that? You must. My ingenue and beloved.

I play with the world to watch its little cries of pain, to watch it fall into its little gasping pieces of people. You know this. You tend the roses to claim their hearts. My shame and my terror is that some days I do the same to you. Is it made different because I love you? That is not in any books. I do not believe it is. Then what is there between you, my beloved, and the world which I shall topple for you? There must be something. There must be. Something besides my own shame.

No. I am worse than you. And in your expansiveness, you shall love me tenderly for all that I am horrible, as if you were in truth much older and kinder than I. Perhaps that is the only difference.

There are some days I can barely face you for my shame.

Do you know this?

You must.


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