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    I always hated overused clichés. "Strawberry-tipped nipples" for example, is one which all erotic writers fall back on at some point or another, but in Mia's case it was true. Hers were the exact shape of the smaller end of a strawberry, though perhaps a little deeper in colour, and had I ever just bitten a little deeper I could imagine my teeth sinking through soft flesh, the sweet sticky juice spraying over my tongue, water springing from my taste buds as the powerful sweetness spread over my tongue.

   That was the first thing I noticed as I gazed over the lifeless body before me. Those once-pink rosebuds now had a bluish-purple tinge, they were flattened against her chest and there was a small trickle of dried blood above the water level. The rest of her blood had flowed out into the bathwater, giving me the macabre scene I now viewed, Mia laying in the tub as easily as if she was just taking a bubble bath, only the water was clear crimson and her eyes stared up at the yellowing ceiling, unblinking.

   I had a vague feeling I ought to be upset, cry perhaps? I wasn't sure what I was feeling but it wasn't sadness. Mostly annoyance, that I would need to call... someone? The ambulance service seemed pointless, unless someone taught paramedics to perform necromancy at some point since I last watched the news, they wouldn't be much use. The police seemed like a better option, though what crime had been committed?

   I sat on the edge of the tub and looked down at Mia. She had known what she was doing, the cuts were deep and clean. That on her left was slightly shakier than her right, she was left-handed and had obviously chosen to take the first cut with her dominant hand. The blade had been placed neatly at the far corner of the tub; she knew she would not be needing it again. It appeared that before losing consciousness she had made some effort to wipe the blood from the tiles with a flannel, now folded neatly next to the blade to prevent, I suppose, the clean-up operation from being too messy. Typical of Mia. I smiled, and I almost expected her to smile back at me - "Gotcha!" - as she was prone to doing just as she was giving me a heart attack.

   I rose from the bath edge, leaned down to plant a kiss on her forehead, her head bobbing a little with the movement, and left the bathroom. I had phone calls to make.

   There was a policewoman in my bathroom and another in my kitchen. Both were treading on eggshells around me, they were expecting me to fall to pieces at any minute. Officer Hartman in the bathroom was taking photographs of Mia - Mia's body - and Officer Cleary in the kitchen was sitting across the table from me, gazing at me sympathetically. An ambulance was outside and the paramedics were sitting in my living room, awaiting their turn. Their only trip was going to be to the mortuary anyway, so I had made them some tea and coffee while they waited. Both police officers had politely declined, and I found myself wondering if the Government had decided that along with alcohol, officers should no longer ingest the drug caffeine whilst on duty.

   When I went back into the bathroom to find out how long Officer Hartman was going to take so I could take a piss, I noticed Mia's eyes had been closed. Respect for the dead, apparently. Mia would have laughed at that, that great hearty laugh she reserved for when things really tickled her. I looked down at her again, her now-closed eyelids so transparent I could clearly see the outline of the deep brown irises under them. There was a half-smile on her lips as if she had died while being told a really good joke, but I knew that it was more like the relaxing of muscles – or was it contracting? Biology was never my strong point.

   The living room, several hours later, silence. The police and paramedics were gone, along with Mia's body. It had been taken to the morgue while Mia's family and I made funeral arrangements. This, I knew, would be difficult. Mr and Mrs Thomson were the worst kind of conservatives. Having a daughter in a lesbian relationship had been hard enough, explaining to their church friends that she had died by suicide would be another pain altogether. They would doubtless want a Christian funeral, and this troubled me slightly, but I knew Mia wouldn't care. “When I'm dead I'm gone, you can do what you like. Whatever appeases the majority.”

   The majority would never be appeased, not in my lifetime. Officer Cleary had offered to call Mia's parents to break the news, but I knew they would prefer it coming from me. Though they disapproved of our sexuality and living arrangements, the Thomsons genuinely liked me, they knew that Mia loved me and we made each other happy so, in private at least, they accepted us. I stared at the phone, willing myself to pick it up and dial.

   I have never been to a funeral before so I had no idea what to expect. Mia's parents had been wonderfully accommodating for my preferences for her sending-off; they knew Mia as well as I did and were well aware that she was not one for fancy parties. The casket was closed; she would have laughed at anyone who had wanted to come gawping at her lifeless, bloodless figure. Nevertheless I had instructed the undertaker to dress her well; the jeans and blouse she had worn on our first date. I had also asked him to make sure she wore her favourite bright red lipstick. She never went anywhere without smearing her mouth with Strawberry Bliss, which made her look endearingly like a child who had found the raspberry-patch.

   Mia would have laughed at this too, the dressing-up of her carcass, as if it made any difference to the worms which wrapping their food came in. It mattered to me however, though I had no idea why. Maybe I got some morbid pleasure from dressing up my dead girlfriend like we were going to a party. A part of me, of course, was still in denial and felt that when she woke up, it would be pleasing for her to be dressed nicely. But mostly I was just doing what people were expecting me to. I had still cried no tears. I stood, statue-still next to her coffin as people came up to pay their respects, to kiss me on the cheek and give me their condolences, playing their parts. I felt them looking curiously at me, my dry eyes and almost hostile stature. They pitied me and imagined that I was still in shock. I stared back and smiled when they smiled, offering my cheek over and over again whispering; “Thank you... thank you...” as they trailed by.

   There was, of course, a priest – Mia's parents were insistent that she be given a proper Christian burial. This amused me, and would have had Mia in stitches. I could hear her clear as day, as if she was standing behind me murmuring in my ear. “There's no way I'm goin' to heaven, baby. A homosexual heretic, and worse, a suicide! Bury me at the crossroads to be forever lost!” She would crease up laughing, and I would try so hard to stay solemn for the occasion, but eventually she would get to me and I would snort, and laugh in a way only she could make me.

   People were staring, I was laughing out loud. The priest had fallen silent and was looking at me along with the congregation. I must have looked hysterical. Mia's mother came to me with a face full of sympathy, she pulled my face into her shoulder and I stood, shaking with laughter. Now my face was invisible I looked like I was trembling, sobbing, and the priest went back to his sermon of pretending Mia was a good woman, a woman deserving of salvation.

   She wasn't. I loved her with all of my soul but she was no angel. Back in our home – my home now, I supposed – I absentmindedly began going through her belongings. Her desk drawer, always locked, was open to me, and I felt no shame in reading through her papers. We had no secrets in life, why in death? To an outsider it may have looked like I was searching for some reason. The Thomsons, through their tears and grief on the telephone, had asked me “Why?” and I could not answer. I knew though. Mia was bored, she was too fast and slick for this world, she needed release from her mortal body to pursue whatever it was she saw in her dreams. I understood Mia. But I knew her parents would not, that they could never understand why her daughter would leave them. Mia felt it was her time. She wrote in her diary – no melodrama, no overemotional rambling, just pure knowledge – that she had to leave. She wrote these diaries for me, I realised, she addressed me by name throughout, and I felt vindicated that though she gave me no indication of what she was going to do, she had at least said goodbye, in her own way.

   I don't write, I am neither eloquent nor skilled enough to portray my feelings on paper. Mia however, had a gift, and she had left more notebooks than I knew what to do with. I read each one carefully before placing it carefully into the chest I had bought for the purpose. I couldn't bring myself to throw them away; there were years of Mia's life here, captured as elegantly as with a photograph. She numbered each page and each notebook diligently, creating a perfect chronological image of her mind over the years. The further I read, the further I realised that they were all addressed to me, every one. She spoke to me in those notebooks in a way she had never been able to speak to me in life, and I was glad to know her better, even to fall deeper in love with her, even after her death. She had known, even as far as ten years ago, the exact date she would sever her major arteries underwater and leave this earth painlessly, and what she could not tell me in life she had been discussing frankly in her letters to me, letters she knew I would never read until she was long gone.

   I didn't understand her, yet I loved her. I admired her, she was my equal and my best friend. I wished I could feel some sadness over her death, but I knew that would only be selfish. I would not be feeling sad for her loss of life; she did what she wanted, what she had planned to do for nearly a decade. I would merely be sad for my loss, that she was no longer a part of my life. I loved her too much to wish I could bring her back to a world which was too small for her. I loved her enough that my only wish was that she attained her truest desires, and that she had done. I loved her enough to know that she was waiting for me.
I just opened Google Docs to make a note on something and found this sitting there. I wrote it in August 2007, and titled it 'First Draft'. I have no idea where the idea came from, I have no idea what I was planning to do with it; whether I meant it as a short story or the first part of a longer piece. I remember writing it but I don't remember thinking it, if you understand what I mean. Nevertheless I just re-read it and kind of liked it, so I thought you might too. I still don't know what I'll do with it... I just didn't want to leave it there, alone, isolated and unread.
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hannah-bere Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2010
xXkamichamaXx Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009
wow! you are a great writer!!! BTW: is it true???
Void-Intricacy Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
The descriptions are very vivid.
I liked the emotion captured within it.
Good job.
quentinwrites Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks very much. :)
Pixelchamp45 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2009
Truly touching and very interesting. Nice work.
quentinwrites Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. :)
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Professional Photographer
Very realistic and full of details that make you feel as if you are right there in the room with her at all times
quentinwrites Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a great compliment. :D
Doubtful-Della Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Professional Photographer
Its true
ashee112893 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008   Photographer
Wow, that was really good. I think you should pursue writing if its something you enjoy.
draecana Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Good gravy! You have a gift! You definitely should write more. I would actually buy your novels if you published any(and not just borrow them from friends and the library). :D
vermilion--vermouth Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2008
I think this is amazing the way it is.
MrsNox Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, this is amazing! It was a great read! The part where the narrator laughs but then cries at her partner's funeral is very emotional. =D
barking-at-cars Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
I love this!
I was just browsing dA accounts and the first lines scrolling by in the gallery hooked me. I couldn't stop reading and I wish I could find more.

This is amazing.
quentinwrites Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Well thanks very much! :)
LoveLaurenX Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2008
Wow. That was fabulous.
quentinwrites Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
medeaggd Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think it's great. And I think it's just fine as a short story. You get the character development and the action and resolution - all the main components are there. It's a good piece!
MrsWazabees Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2008
There, I finally set aside some time to read this. And Anji.. wow! I loved it. Like you said the last time I met you; Some day in the future I'm going to be so happy to say that I knew you before you got to be a famous writer...

Go on.. write more! Please!!!! :)
IndieBeatles Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2008
Amazing As Always
CrystalSister Featured By Owner May 16, 2008
This is amazing.
Breone Featured By Owner May 16, 2008
Amazing. Simply amazing.
I don't know what else to say.
uaigneas-nicolin Featured By Owner May 16, 2008
Wow. Very very good. You should run with it or embed it somewhere in another story...
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