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"We have to allow the wound to scab"

"Fuck that. Just stitch it shut"

"No, that will leave a scar"

"I don't care. Do it"

"You might not care now, but you will later. Scars are permanent, pain is temporary"

She applies the ointment again, and is again met by a stream of curse words. His thrashing causes the kitchen table to shake, rattling the rest of the small apartment along with it.

"Can I get some painkillers?"

"We both know it's not that bad"

"Some alcohol at the very least?"

"Make it through and then maybe"

"I've been making it through. What the fuck do you think these are?"

His fingers probe the other wounds across his chest, gently brushing over the scabs. They ranged from the fresh black of newer scabs to the light flaky red of those about to fall off. Various shapes, sizes, and ages of scabs textured his torso and arms, lending him the appearance of snake failing to molt.

"Fine, but stop poking, you're not doing yourself any favours"

"Deal"

As soon as she turns to reach into the small fridge he drags a sweaty palm across his abdomen. Once a smooth landscape broken only by the gentle knots of muscle, now turned into warzone by the broken flesh. Soft skin stripped and torn, rendered into small ribbons stretched across his body.

"I told you not to touch!"

"It's not that easy. And anyways, you've already opened the beer so I may as well drink it"

"No, that wasn't the deal"

Bringing the can to her lips, she takes a deep drink.

"Ahhh, so cold and refreshing"

"Fuck off"

"Don't worry, I grabbed two." pulling another can from her pocket "I'm not that much of a bitch"

"Don't push it"

"Can we get on with this?"

"Yeah yeah, one sec"

"Go easy. The alcohol might help with the pain, but it's going to make the bleeding worse"

"Whatever"

"I'm just saying don't come crying to me when it takes longer to heal than it should"

"I never said anyhting about crying"

"We're also going to need to let the wound air out for a bit, so don't cover it up with a bandage before it starts scabbing over"

"Why not? Gotta make sure it has a good view?"

"If the blood scabs into the bandage it's going to incorporate it and you'll have little bits of stuck in your skin for a long time"

"Again, I'm not hearing a problem"

"You can't keep screwing yourself over in the long term to make the short term a little more bearable"

"And why is that?"

"Because you end up like this"

Written: Wed Jan 31 2018