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“Why aren’t you listening to me!” she screamed for what felt like the thousandth time. She swore there was a hole burned in the red carpet from where her knees had rubbed through to the concrete beneath. The whole basement was worn in this way, faded, marked upon, but mostly destroyed by the raging mind, the failing imagination of a man she hadn’t thought would fizzle out this way.

His head, as always, was titled back upon the cushions of the couch – these propped against each arm since Eddie didn’t like the feeling of the buttons pushing into his spine. He had taken to spending most hours on the fold-out, already sagging so closely to the floor because of it’s age and decay, for he thought nothingness was peace, and found most of his nothingness there. The sight of him sprawled out like a dead spider as he was, smack wracking his mind, gave her nightmares every evening that the world of this fate would never end.

As the day found her, she was yet again on the ground at her knees, her tears streaking the dirt on his feet. She, who once thought him an angel, sweet and mild and kind, now found him fallen, arms splayed out on either side, palms facing upward toward a God he felt scorned him. However his mind might have been occupied, hers whirred with pictures of a past she wished her own. Anything but the filthy basement that had become a cage, a prison where she was not watched, but couldn’t leave.

She reached for his hands, words failing. She had only feeling to send in his direction, only hope, only one last exertion of energy, to see if he would return. At this, his fingers curled and uncurled, and for a moment some part of her believed he wanted to reach out and touch her, but all that had happened came crashing back like a cold splash in the morning and she knew, knew he did not know she was leaving. He couldn’t even see her, not in the state she was in, and that was what hurt the most: that she’d been leaving for a long time now, and he hadn’t the decency to notice.

So she turned away, lifted herself from the floor, though slowly for her arms were weak from all she had held and had let go. Without looking back, a single tear fell to the red carpet, staining it black with it’s poison, as if it held all that was left of the love she could give.

She would leave.

Taking a step forward, she knew he would not chase after her, would not plead for her to stay. He was gone, long gone, into a world where she could not catch him, and no longer wanted to do so.

But she also knew she would make it in the world that waited her one step outside the door.

 

 

 

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