Chapter Six: The Beginning of the Present

The sunshine breaking through the slight opening of my beige curtains awoke me. The light fell down in silent splotches across my bare legs and the breeze seeping through the crack in my window rustled the light curtains. I breathed in heavily, grasping at the memories of last night and I stretched. 

My hands hit the emptiness on the pillow beside me, they fell silently on the indentation of where Michael's head had been. I sat up swiftly and leaned down on my elbow to look around the empty room.

"Michael?" My voice came out sordid. 

I stood up with the same rose red covers clinging to my naked form and felt the speed of my breathing increase slightly. I walked unsteadily over to my door and opened it weakly, and hanging onto the door frame I cried his name, waiting for a sign, listening for the sound of his insecure cooking downstairs. But I heard nothing. 

I nearly tumbled down the long set of inclined stairs as I craved to forget the emotions of the night before, but on cue they began to flash before my eyes. My home stood semi broken by the shadows casted ever unnaturally in the corners--the darkness daring me to explore its depths. My footsteps creaked and echoed emptily. 

I found a note on my kitchen table. It was crinkled and smudged with indecision. It read:

I will always love you.

Mike.

 

The shower rained hot water on me, callousing away my disgust. It caused scars over the scars that could perhaps never be taken away. I lost my balance in my silent stupor and fell down hard against the inside of the bathtub. I don't know how long I stayed there, bruised and lost in my thoughts, but I know that it was Alice who found me. I shivered gently as she walked me, wrapped in a towel, to my room. I fought against her weakly, fighting to stay away from the smell, the sense, and the feel of my bedroom. 

She settled for the wall that ran down the hallway towards my room and held my wet head in her hands. 

"Listen to me," she whispered. Her voice sounding scared. "Please Mel, listen."

I stared straight ahead, her voice was distant. 

"You don't have to tell me anything, but please calm down. Listen to me, I'll stay the night with you, I won't leave you alone."

She wiped tears that I had unwillingly been crying away from my hot cheeks and kissed my forehead before hugging me tightly. 

***

It took me two months to go a day without thinking about Michael. It took me until the end of June to finally awake from my dreams without ghostly tears on my face. 

It was the first day of July when I had felt the turning of my stomach and the rim of my toilet under my fingers. I remembered the sound of the toilet flushing and seeing my pale face in the mirror. My brown eyes were questioning and my hair was oddly tamed under a scrunchy that I had found. My thin lips pressed together and a few lines wrinkled my forehead in concentration.

My naturally tanned skin glowed under my bathroom lights and for that one instant I thought of Michael differently. Not as the love of my life, but as the bringer of something that would overtake the emotions that I have ever felt for him.

 

The End

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