Can't lie

"How are you feeling?" she finally asked as they sat down to breakfast. He should have been more careful, should have chosen his answer with more discretion, but his mind was running on four hours of fitful sleep and he couldn't have made a polite sentence even if he tried.

"I feel like I'm falling apart," he replied, his eyes fixed on the cup of coffee in his hand. He should have stopped there, he had already ruined the morning, but once he started talking he couldn't stop the words from spilling out. "I can't breathe when I'm around you anymore, I always feel like I'm choking." He didn't have the heart to look up as she left the table.

The sounds of his fists hitting the punching bag echoed around the otherwise empty basement, the muffled thuds a strange comfort in the quiet. Ryuji had always turned to exercise when he needed time to clear his head. He would go for runs or ride his motorcycle when he needed some alone time, but the punching bag was his best friend when he was frustrated. This time was different though; there was no physical problem, nothing clear to direct his anger at. It was their own fault this time, their own secrets, stubbornness and brokenness that had caused this issue. There was no outside malicious force, only their own internal sabotage. The bag was all the pain, the frustration, the emptiness that was coursing through his body but no matter how many times, no matter how hard he hit it they would not go away. The threads that kept them together were unraveling faster than he could stomach and it was terrifying. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt this way, paralyzed by something he didn't understand. He didn't scare easily, he did his best to control it, but he didn't know how to fix it this time and it was the scariest thing in the world.

The End

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