“She tasted like chocolate and cherries,” the little boy said. “But sugar free. You know?”
I didn’t know. I couldn’t even imagein what he was talking about.
Even as I looked down, over the side of the bridge, into the leafy gorge below, I could feel his eyes on me, large and blue and innocent in their childishness. I barely contained the shudder that thretened to shake my body at the feel of them.
She was almost invisible down there. I could see the hem of her yellow dress, its red flowers. I could see one perfect knee, creamy and soft, bent at an unperfect angle.
The dress hadn’t had red flowers before. Those were new, since the push.
Her scream had lasted longer than the distance between the top of the bridge and the bottom of the gorge.
“I don’t like sugar free,” the little boy said. He reached out and took my hand in his. It was cold, and hot, and unnatural in every way. I wanted to snatch my hand out of his. I wanted to run away screaming, but I couldn’t.
“You taste like ice cream,” he said. “The good kind, with nuts in it. And marshmallows.”
I looked down at him as he smiled up at me. He had a gap in his front teeth. That was new.
So sweet. So precious.
“Never go sugar free on me,” he said.
He tugged my hand, and started walking. Holding his little hand, I followed.