The Neon Cathedral

Six Silver Bedlam: The Break-Up

“It’s not you. It’s this situation I can’t handle any more.” At least Andrea had the decency to look distraught. He stood near the door with his shoulders slumped, his hands clasped before him.

Bébhinn was not really surprised. She had sensed something for a while. Even so she felt anger rise. “Oh yeah, and so you dump the freak, and poof! the situation goes away.”

He frowned and looked down. “You’re not a freak.”

Bébhinn bellowed a short laugh. “You mean there are even better reasons for choosing her over me?”

He shuffled his feet. She took some small satisfaction from the way he writhed under her accusations. “I had to choose, and I didn’t make it easy on myself.”

“No, of course you didn’t. But still you arrived at the obvious conclusion. The future belongs to her, not me.” She looked him up and down. “I used to think you were different. I was wrong. You’re all the same. The moment you find out what we are, what we can do, you either pull away, shun us, try to forget us, or you lock us up, put us in silver shackles, try to control us. Men are the worst, of course. Your fragile egos cannot handle the fact that you cannot have what we have, be what we are. It may be exciting to play with us for a while, but eventually you get scared, and then it’s fight or flight.”

“That’s not fair,” Andrea protested. “I’m not responsible for what other men do. I’ve always been straight with you. You can’t just point to the fact that you’re a banshee whenever something goes wrong. That’s a little too convenient.”

Bébhinn gasped. “Convenient?” The spark of anger was turning into a steady flame. “Don’t you dare. It’s not convenient, it’s the plain truth. I’m not the one looking for the easy way out here.”

“Neither am I,” Andrea snapped. His posture had changed. He was looking a full inch taller now. Bébhinn was suddenly aware of the subtle pressure of her hand gun against her ribs. “You’re not happy with my decision, I get it. I wish I could come up with something better, something that makes everyone happy. But don’t make it political when it’s really about you not getting what you want.”

Bébhinn ground her teeth. “Fuck you, Andrea,” she hissed. “Really. You’re not happy? You got everything you wanted out of this. You got to fuck Lexa, you got to fuck me, and now that you’re tired of it, tired of me, you get to walk away.” She paused. “No,” she corrected. “Not today.” She reached to her left side with her right hand and pulled out her gun from under her jacket. “You’re not just walking away this time.”

A flicker of fear went over his face. “Put that away, Bébhinn.”

She ignored him. “You have no idea, Andrea. No idea what it feels like to be treated as less than human, to constantly have to look over your shoulder, to be denied things that others take for granted. But I’ll give you a taste.” She concentrated on the flame inside her which had turned into a wildfire by now. She felt for her anger, her hurt and her frustration, and let all the emotions wash over her until they filled every fibre of her body. Andrea said something, but she didn’t hear him. She was consumed by rage and pain, and just when she felt like she was about to burst she opened her mouth and let out a deafening wail. It was shrill, dissonant and terribly loud. Bébhinn laid all her feelings into it and let them fly like so many flaming arrows. Andrea raised his hands to his ears, but it was no use. His eyes grew wide, and she saw her own emotions mirrored there. At first it seemed like he was going to cry, but then his face contorted into a grimace of rage, and he started to rush towards her. He covered the distance between them in three quick steps, his fist raised. There was no room for thoughts inside her, no time to think. She pulled the trigger. Twice. Three times. Andrea’s expression turned to shock, then to a vacant stare. He fell over backwards, his shirt a red mess. Bébhinn stood there, frozen. Her ears were ringing in the sudden silence. Slowly thought seeped back into her mind. “Fuck,” she whispered. Her hands were shaking. She dropped the gun, sat down on the floor and started to cry.