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This is an excerpt from a larger body of writing I am working on. It is pure fiction, and any resemblance to a real place or person is only a coincidence.

That first night I was alone felt eerie. It was the dead of winter and the rustling of the frigid wind kept knocking the old windows around in their frames. Cocooned in my throw blanket to protect my naked body from indecent exposure (the swingers across the way always peered in), I could hear the water running in the bathroom as I prepared to wash all my feelings away. I worried though. I worried that I would submerge my body, limb by limb until I felt panicked. With my head submerged I would feel as though I couldn’t breathe… yet truth be told I felt just the same with both feet firmly planted on the ground.

He left.

No explanation beyond an, “I can’t.” With one suitcase in tow and his old beat up leather messenger bag he had left me for the first time and the last time and I was alone to figure out the moment it went wrong. I could still smell his scent lingering like a hangover.

I walked on my tippy toes as to safeguard my whole foot from the cold bathroom tile and turned the steaming water off. I stared at it watching the swirls of bubble bath until unplugging the drain. I waited until it had all disappeared. Where was I to go from here?

Winter is the loneliest time. I was thrilled that this year would be different. We were going to snuggle up and watch old reruns of “I Love Lucy” on the couch until I fell asleep and he’d have to carry me to bed and plant a kiss on my forehead. I dreamed of dinner parties with friends using the plates we had found in a mismatched set along with my wine glasses from college. I imagined the glances and the Eskimos kisses and Christmas spent traveling between our multiple families. So forgive me for not being able to cope well with this loss. I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready to be abandoned while the snow was falling and twinkle lights were brightening the sky.

Collapsing onto our, no, my bed, I felt an odd calm wash over me. I could see the painting we had made together on the far wall and remembered how much I hated that he insisted so much red be added.

“It’s the colour of passion and fire. Just like you and me.”

He was always too spicy for me, too easy to kick off and make a scene. But never with me. Not as much as a cross word was spoken. If nothing, not an argument in sight, could make him leave than I was thankful to be rid of him. I caught my breath, for the first time in 3 days.

Tomorrow I would take down that painting and venture outside my doorstep. Besides, I needed more to eat than a tin of soup.

With a slight buzz of my phone I groaned and barely rolled over to see his name light up. The other him. The one who always knew the moment I needed him – which was of course the same moment I needed him to stay away. Damn you.

“How are you doing sugar?”

I could be sweeter.

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Pic found here.

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