117 : this queen don't need a king

When I was seven, we all got the idea into our heads that the creases on our palms were they key to the future. And my hand rested in Kira's lap, and her finger ran the length of the spider-silk line and said that I would live 'til eighty-three. I would fall in love three times. I would live in a big house and have either three or thirteen children. And we were seven, so we were invincible. The future seemed an awfully long way away. So we forgot it - we shelved it and went to drown in those sun-soaked days that will always be remembered as simple, as easy, as the times before.

I constantly had mud under my fingernails, then.

When I was ten, I had bruised knuckles. I was a scrappy kid. They turned black and blue from fighting all of the things that were so much bigger than me. Connor Rytz. My parent's arguments. The ground. I started hiding them in my pockets when we went to tea or to the theatre. I'd been taught from the day that I could walk that you don't take your dirty secrets out in public, dear.

So when you wonder why I cant just take your "I love you" at face value, please understand that I've heard it before. They loved each other. They loved me. I love you - I don't take things sitting down. I was raised a fighter.

Over the years, I gathered scars.
To the heels of my palms, from picking the dirt out of them. A long straight scar across my left fingers. Frostbite to my index, ring and pinky finger. I was on a collision course and they will teach you a lot of things, but no-one ever knows what to say when you are fifteen and eighty-three seems impossible. They said sweet nothings and I grasped for some kind of meaning behind it, but my hands came away empty. I was clutching at air. And when life handed me just too much, they slipped a pill in. To calm me down, they said. All I remember is my hands shaking, my bones aching. All I remember is wondering how long before something gave - the curve of my spine was more of a question mark than an exclamation.

But at seven, I was promised three loves. And okay, he left with fire in his eyes and you left in an ocean of sorrow. That leaves one. And I was promised eighty-three, so if writing is what gets me there, then so be it. I will write about the future. I will write about courage and rainstorms and victory. I will kiss and I will break. I will write about the way that you made me feel, because I knew that your fingers were one and a half centimetres longer than mine, and that you loved me. I will fight, and I will love.

I will always keep my hands open.