“View From the 20th Floor,” by Jo-Ann Zhou

word and colour

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content warning: abusive relationships

When the tiny rays of light were desperately grasping at the sky, when almost all the lights in the city beyond had turned black—that was when he came alive. His wine-stained teeth, the colour of dried blood caked into the crevices, would start to quiver as finally his lips moved at a rapid pace. At last, I would think. At last he is here. Here was the version of the man I liked and knew: interesting, articulate, prone to philosophical rants about metaphysics. He shone so much brighter than the version of himself with clean teeth—the version that only appeared when the sun was up, when the sky was too blue and bright—timid, uncertain, unwilling to express much more than the occasional nod by way of emotion.

I don’t know what drew me to him. Maybe it was because he was smart in ways that…

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