The peach’s core, far beyond the plaid picnic, had my eyes on its dagger-like hook. It reeled me in and away from the torturous hymm of a rose, tore its thorn, and lodged it in my ear’s drum. But it was bliss compared to the thousand poisons spat upon me daily, the cutting of tongue on teeth, choking back vocal cords until they felt sweet and tingly.
He just didn’t realize that he’s an apple,
and I’m a peach.
As we sat in a park just below a peach tree, I only saw a molding mush of Granny Smith in my passenger seat. He was too similar to his father, violently pulling and pushing you out to sea until you became dangerously seasick.
“Why are we here? This place is sticky and disgusting. I said to drive home. You aren’t allowed to…”
Constant complaining from the moment our momentum came to a gradual halt in a parking space. The constant complaining from the moment we met. But how could I have known he was a Gala?
From a distance, he was kind… enough. He would open the doors for me, taught me the sidewalk rule, and gave me blood-red roses often. Though flowers would never release the expected honeydew scent for me. They only bloomed into snippets after each fight; smaller buds peeled back to reveal minor petals about whether we should have gone to my grandfather’s Italian restaurant for Valentine’s Day or Buffalo Wild Wings because there was a holiday special. Larger ones tore away into images where it wasn’t just the roses that were bloody.
A typically loving Valentine’s Day gift went from saying “I love you” to “forgive and forget” overnight, speckled with leftover venom from the previous day. And as the years went on, doors were no longer an opening force and cars could easily hit me before him. But how could I have known he was a Fuji?
His grandmother, with her witchy voice I’m sure gave his mother the same gut-wrenching feeling as me, was most definitely a sign. As she would pinch his cheek a tad too hard, white invading the red of his skin, she created such a smile that had to have been breaking her lips and sliced out, “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” and gave me a look flavored with worry. I wish she spoke outright– said he was a Pink Lady. Then I would have known.
I would have known that he was one step closer to morphing into two searing horns blistering their way out of his head, skin of crimson, and a suit of black to mask his lack of soul. I would have known that he wouldn’t stop his poisonous talk, one that shook my head in a vessel every second it got. I would have known he was a Honeycrisp, but would I have known that I’m a peach?
I learned quickly that my smooth skin was easy to bruise. My mind could easily perish. My caged core was simply too quick to lean into someone’s cradle, illuminating its weakest links. Without him, I wouldn’t have known.
“I’m done being your peach.”
“What are you talking about, woman?”
When I opened my permanently welded lips, a fly must have finally found his rotting heart as his thin, watery skin began to flake away. I explained how peaches roll and roll down so many bumpy paths until their skin thickens and they no longer bruise. Or, they continue to roll to a new tree on plush grass where their bruises eventually heal. Unlike apples, peaches can leave their tree in debris and forget about its root. Peaches seem to grow legs and run to a new place. A place where Granny Smiths, Galas, Fujis, Pink Ladies, and Honeycrisps aren’t welcome. A place of white roses and peaches where we’re meant to be.
By Kaelynn Snyder