Your name is GAMZEE MAKARA, and you are seven years old, dazedly sitting in the back seat of a rather expensive car with your mother in front of you and your closest friend beside you.
Your best friend is a stuffed sea-goat, light brown in color with beady black eyes and subtle black stitching. He is buckled in safely, just like you, so in case of an accident the two of you will be safe. That’s what your mother hurriedly assured you before she climbed into the driver’s seat, buckled in, and started driving off in an unfamiliar direction. She didn’t speak to you, but did give you little glances by looking at the rearview mirror. You couldn’t see it, but she was smiling nervously and tapping her fingers idly against the steering wheel. “This will be an experience,” was all that she inserted into the gap of silence, but it was directed to herself and came out as only a diminutive mumble to you.
You’re far too busy staring out the window to want to listen to her anyway. Trees speed past in a light green blur, and the yellow lines on the road go on forever and ever and ever, and you stare, becoming intrigued by this fleeting thread of gold, but only for a little while. Then you look back at the trees, until the trees turn into buildings and the buildings into fields and the fields into a small town. All the while, you keep catching your reflection in the window and startling yourself because you just can’t expect a purple colored eye drifting among the scenery, no matter how many times you pass the various mirrors in the household and find yourself staring at yourself for long moments and wondering why it’s so quiet and why there’s no one around and why your eyes are that purple.
It’s a bit surprising you haven’t fallen asleep yet, as it feels like your mother has been driving for hours (when in reality it’s only been ten long, silent minutes). You haven’t been sleeping well again, and it’s visible under your strange eyes as light grey bags caress your eyelids, but your mother hasn’t said anything about it and neither has your father, so you only assume that they shouldn’t be helping you. You’re almost eight now, you remind yourself. You’re becoming too big for them and you need to take care of yourself now. You friend will be there for you, always, but he can only comfort you by silently letting you squeeze him tight and letting you whimper into his head as you try your hardest to make the monsters staring at you go away.
This is what you think as sunlight hits your face and you squint achingly through the window. You contemplate sleeping, reaching out to grasp your friend for a quick nap, before the car finally stops racing the thin yellow line and your mother says, “We’re here, sweetie.”
Wherever “here” is, it’s unfamiliar and very bright. You unbuckle your seatbelt and lean over to grab your friend, easily slipping him from the metal death machine’s nylon grasp. When you turn back around, your mother is standing outside your opened door, her smile sweet and fake and a little hesitant, covered in a thin film of shimmery lip gloss. You step out of the car, your legs gangly and thin, twins to your naturally tan arms, and a kiss is pressed to the top of your head as a hand presses against the back of your shoulders.
You are at a playground, you realize as the bright plastic hurts your eyes. You squint for a few minutes, even rub your eyes before realizing that doing so makes the aching worse, but soon find yourself comfortably looking at the different activities and the small bodies that are playing on them.
Something dark and heavy weighs behind your eyes as you watch these other children, causing your fingers to twitch tighter around the horn of your friend. You swallow dryly.
“Mommy?” You want to tell her that you don’t feel well all of a sudden, that your eyes hurt and you feel funny, but it soon passes, and you say nothing more. Instead of wondering, she pretends to know what you’re already thinking and pats your shoulder blade gently.
“Why don’t you go and play with the other children, baby,” she says – she doesn’t ask, you notice – as she gives you a microwave-warmed smile. It’s only partially thawed from its usual frozen state, which she uses all the time, even with daddy.
You don’t point this out to her – what’s the use? – and nod, tilting your head down again to look at the other children. They run around and laugh, they pat each other on the arm and run away, they hide, they smile, they wear colorful patterned clothes and have plain eyes with plain hair and look and act nothing like you do.
This intimidates you. You walk around the perimeter awkwardly, shying away from some curious children’s gazes, and you realize these people must be familiar with one another and this is normal for them, to run and laugh and hit and run away and hide, and you aren’t known and you aren’t normal because you aren’t doing these things with them.
You look at your mother, who has settled at one of the many benches set around the playground boundaries, talking to a friendly looking woman with her fake smile. You think of going back over to her after only a few short minutes of “playing” and asking her to take you home because you don’t fit in and don’t want to play these weird games and you just want to get some sleep–
The weird heavy feeling comes back, and you rub your eyes, turning away from the crowd, and you realize it must look like you’re crying so you clutch your sea-goat friend tighter and turn back around with a straight face. None of them look. They just laugh and laugh and laugh, not at you, but to themselves, all of them encased in a chalk circle drawn on the pavement, keeping to themselves and only to those inside that circle. You are on the outside of it and cannot laugh. You can only listen.
And you listen for a while. You seldom look down at your feet, only to kick the dirt a little and make small clouds of dust that fall quickly because they don’t have the time for your petty attempts, then you look at your only friend, who is silent and staring at the other children as well, and then you look up again. You repeat this many times before your eye finally lands on something that was, for one reason or another, out of view before.
There’s a box, partially hidden by the swingset and spring riders, filled with dusty tan sand, pretty large in size but lonely in number of children. It is filled with buckets and toy bulldozers and wooden blocks and broken plastic dolls, but these small items are not what catch your eye. What does, though, is much larger. It is a boy, smaller than you and sitting alone, smiling to himself as he dumps handfuls of sand on his legs and on buildings he created. You don’t notice much else about him from the distance you’re at, so you stalk closer out of curiosity.
He has a thick tuft of brown hair that falls a little over his big eyes. He’s a little chubby with baby fat, round cheeks tinged pink in contrast to his light skin. His clothes consist of mostly browns and greens, earthy colors, and his laugh–
Once you’re able to hear his laugh, you’re less than ten feet away from him, shoes dusted with sand and the dark ghost behind your eyes making you feel a little woozy. The boy looks up when your shadow becomes apparent to him.
How can a boy so much smaller than you intimidate you so greatly?
He stares with big brown eyes, much like the other children, but smiles shyly, dropping the sand in his hands on his lap.
You realize this is the first genuine smile you’ve seen all day.
This thought makes you smile back.
You finally sit down across from the boy, who taught you that you should take your shoes off before getting in the sand so you don’t get them filled up. He has a stuffed toy with him as well, a worn-looking dark brown bull with stitches and a patch or two of green, and the two of you sit his bull and your sea-goat next to each other so that they can be good friends.
You play in the sand for a long time with the boy. He laughs at small things, and you laugh at his laugh because it sounds a little girly, but he doesn’t know because he thinks you’re just laughing with him – which you are, at some points. Children come and children go, but you two stay in your box of dust settled on the outside of the chalk circle, playing with each other until the other boy’s mom comes along and takes him and his toy away. She’s nice and smiles at you, too.
You wave, and he waves, and he toddles away clumsily, and the dark weight behind your eyes finally rises.
You try to sleep that night. You bury your nose against your sea-goat, who still smells like sand, and close your eyes. Somehow you drift off peacefully, but you don’t question it. You let your mind become fuzzy and dark and you swim inside, searching for something to dream about.
Searching for something to dream about…
Searching for something to dream about…
You find it abruptly.
You find it terrifying.
You find it bloody and colorful and you want it to stop.
You want it to stop.
You want to stop.
You want to stop hurting, and you want to stop.
You awake, and the colors go away. The puddles of brown sink and slip away as your eyes adjust.
But the darkness is still there.
You seek your mother, clutching to your stuffed friend who still smells like the sandy boy in the box.
Your name is GAMZEE MAKARA, and you are twenty three motherfucking years old. You are in Tavros Nitram’s dorm room and he is kissing you and you are pretty motherfucking surprised.
You have gotten surprise kisses before, sure. Female fans that lunge at you and mash their lip-glossy lips (or sometimes male fans with their regular lips) against your face for mere possession of your skin for half a second before you wipe the kiss away with the back of your hand, smile, and wonder if you have fooled the world into thinking that the makeup you wear is actually your motherfucking face. They seem so surprised when their lips turn purple and white…
But this kiss is different. This is someone you actually know, a friend, and you can’t seem to understand for the few seconds it lasts. You only recall him touching your face, your scars, and then.
He pulls away, flustered and small and tufts of his thick brown mohawk bobbing as his stumbles over his words. Your eyes soften as the surprise passes, and as you lean in to give the kiss he wanted, because if a motherfucker wants to make out, then you’re all up for it.
You lean over him, your long body towering over his much shorter one, a thin hand pressed against his round cheek. You can feel the heat coming from his face, and you seem to breathe it in.
A familiarity causes your brain to slow, but your actions stay at pace. The kiss is familiar, of course – you’ve had plenty of make-outs in your time on this planet, and this one isn’t very different from the other tongues you’ve played with. But a weight falls on your head. A heavy veil of a bride’s black outfit falls behind your eyes. You try not to notice it, but the darkness is strong, stronger than coffee and much stronger than that black guy you live near. He’s a pretty chill motherfucker.
This is stronger than that motherfucker.
You hold Tavros’ cheek, the heat pressed between his skin and yours distracting you for a moment from the weight that isn’t enough to make you ache, but enough to make your eyes hurt and your brain to feel wrong and flipped around. He seems flustered, which isn’t a new experience in the slightest, but it rings a bell. Some weird motherfucking bell in the back of your flipped and weighted brain that rings and rings and rings.
His breathing is unsteady, his return kiss uncertain and soft. You’re doing your job. You’re taking his motherfucking breath away.
Now to take it all away.
The veil gets darker as the dark bride prepares.
It gets darker.
Bells and bells and bells.
Ring ring ring ring.
You want to take his breath away.
A picture forms.
Ring ring ring ring ring.
Take all of his breath away.
You kiss him and he’s fidgeting.
He keeps ringing a bell from the outside of the dark veil that has covered your eyes.
Take his breath away.
Paint the picture.
Your name is Gamzee Makara and you’re confused.
Your name is Gamzee Makara and you feel heavy.
Your name is Gamzee Makara and you’re making out with a bro.
Your name is Gamzee Makara and.
And and and and.
Your name is Gamzee Makara and you want to kill your motherfucking friend.
Let’s paint a picture, bro.
We’ll start with a sandbox.
We’ll start with brown.
(9/25/11 EDIT: First of all, asdfghjdfgfldsflasfvale thank you all so much for the kind words on this ;-; I didn’t expect it.
Second, have a [sort of] sequel: This is a story of relationships.)