The narrow, excrement-soaked corridor was a bleak sight to all who had the misfortune to lay their eyes on it. The stained concrete and graffittied walls were a cliche of inner city poverty, the vomit-inducing smell potent enough to bring tears to even the most hardened denziens of anti-social behavior. In all, it was a place to avoid, no matter who you were. A handful of doors suggested flats, but most were damaged, clearly empty. No one in their right mind would call this place home. It was exactly why he had chosen it.
Several weeks had passed since he had sold the majority of his possessions and left university with a passable degree. By all rights, he should have been gainfully employed. Instead, he owned a powerful laptop, a change of clothes, a sleeping bag, a frying pan and a large bag to put it all in. He had picked the attempt at a flat precisely because of its lack of appeal to visitors. He did not want to be disturbed.
In stark contrast, on the other side of the door to the squalid corridor, lay a small yet neat collection of matchbox rooms. One served as a shower room with toilet. Another, the largest by a small margin, was a tiny kitchen, the third had a single bed squeezed in next to a desk. While the kitchen was small enough that he could stretch out his arms to touch each wall. He had spent a precious week repairing the rooms enough to be usable before he had been able to go to work. Power, gas, electricity and water had never been cut off and so he was able to live here while he carried out his task.
Call if you ever need me x
He could not call, so he would see her. He needed her. Those storm blue eyes tormented him, her last gaze more than any other. Had there been regret? Surprise? Scorn? He decided instantly that the love she had once borne him had never gone, that she had meant for him to find her before she had left.
One more moment.
The timing of that day tormented him alongside her memory. There was no other explination for her note, her waiting so long to travel, the inscrutable look she had left behind. It had to be more than it appeared. She still loved him, there was no question. At least, not to his mind.
He had used guesswork and social networking to find her current location. She had found herself a dream job, filling her page with evidence that she was happy, with a healthy social life, with friends that had accepted her without question. A life she had always dreamed of. No hint of their past remained public. Her page boasted a picture of her with her arms around two other girls in a club down the road from his flat. Her storm blue eyes blazed with laughter, the trio almost doubled up. Her hair shone, picking up the coloured lights. She was beautiful. Possessive anger coiled in his stomach as he saw comments from male friends of hers, telling her so. That was his right alone. Yet she replied, thanking them, clearly flattered by the attention.
Call if you ever need me x
Had she dropped the phone on purpose? He threw the thought from his mind as forcefully as he could. No, she couldn't have done. She loved him. Why would she sever the only link they had? No reason. Manners insisted that she responded, nothing more. She still loved him. He had to find her. He had her phone, fixed now. Surely she would want it back?
Yet, he had found her. Despite his convictions, he lacked the courage to approach her again. He was content to be a spectator of her life for now. He knew all of her favorite haunts, both daytime and after-hours. She had picked up new habits, new routines, new friends but she was still as beautiful as before. She had reverted to her old self, letting her kind-hearted nature show. He feared, after losing her, that he had killed that side of her. Now, he saw that she had buried it for his sake, putting on a vaneer of the girl she thought he wanted her to be. He would watch as she danced among writhing, sweat-slickened limbs. It was like there was a spotlight trained on her. Her image seemed to leap out from the heaving mass of people in varying staged of intoxication.
Tonight, they were in one of her favorite clubs. Loud rock music caused the very air of the room to vibrate, heated as it was by the bodies of the dancers. The track changed and she showed her appreciation with the girl by her side. Then, storm blue eyes dancing, she dragged her friend into the mess of flying limbs, to be swallowed by the dancers. His eyes followed her, safe on the upper floor, hidden from view by the shadows and shifting lights. He loved the way her body moved. She was leaner now, toned by increased excersise and a move to the healthier fare of a graduate worker, as opposed to that of a student sliding into debt. Watching her now, laughing, lost in the music and dancing in a way that stirred the man in him to painful evidence, it was all he could do not to leap over the railings and satisfy his lust.
A figure detached itself from the crowd to join the pair. Instantly, his lust turned to implacable fury, black and all the more potent for its cold detachment. The figure was a prime specimen of the male species, which only deepened his disgust and rage. His figure was all lean muscle, flaunted by the skin-tight tank top that he wore. His features were all the image of perfection, a head of dark, messily long hair to complete the look. Several female heads turned, passing him heated inspections before turning away, sneaking back hopeful and lusting glances. The guy in question, however, had selected the girl with storm blue eyes for his attentions tonight. He watched as the pair spoke to the guy, her friend eventually leaving to return to their table. Her storm blue eyes flashed laughter at him as he steered her towards the bar. He all but snarled as he placed his hand low on her back.
She's not a piece of meat, get your filthy fucking hands off her. She's got no time for chancers like you.
She moved slightly, causing his hand to fall to his side as their drinks arrived. They were talking, but he felt her smile was a little forced now. He said something and she laughed, though he was convinced it did not reach her eyes. He said something, moving closer to her and he swore she leaned back a little. His hand was on her waist and every muscle tensed at the urge to smash it and that pretty face that was too close to her beauty. Close enough that he felt he could lay his lips on hers, at which his fury exploded.
Apparently, he wasn't the only one. As he watched, her knee came up with practiced speed. He was doubled over before he had registered the movement and collapsed on the floor before her foot had returned to the ground. A feircely proud grin settled over his features as he watched the other man frozen with agony on the floor, his hands clamped between his upper thighs. Eventually, a couple of bouncers had to carry him away. He watched as she returned to her friends. Shortly after, she was sat with them and laughing as though nothing had happened, though he noticed that she did not return to the dance floor and they left about an hour later. Unseen, he escorted her home, before returning to his own.