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In the dark

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He opened the front door with a loud creak. Inside it was dark and cold, even though he was still with his coat on. He took a few heavy steps and then just stood there, in the middle of the room, his hands into fists looking right in front of him, not seeing anything because of the dark surrounding him. He closed his eyes and just crashed on the old sofa.

He stayed there for some time, he didn’t knew how long could have passed. Eventually, he got up, pour himself a good glass of scotch and crashed right back, on the sofa. He took a few sips from the hard liquor, enjoying the feeling of burn down his throat and even further, in his chest.

He felt like he did not have any more power left to fight, to survive until her forgiveness will come, he felt as if every time he was close to have her back in his life, every time they took a couple of steps in the right direction, something would happen and it would all go to hell and he would just lose her, she was slipping through his fingers again and again.

The pain in her eyes in the courtroom, the way she really made an effort not to cry, her eyes spoke volumes to him, he knew her like nobody else did, he saw the effort she made to look composed while her personal life was being exposed again in front of strangers and colleagues. Being there, at the stand, feeling like the bastard he was, while it was one of the hardest things he had to do, it was also so liberating for him. Yes, he did hurt her and that is not even starting to describe what he did.

But it was nothing this time, he was being honest, he didn’t think it would be even something worth mentioning. He was so afraid to break the fragile progress that they’ve made. He just bumped into Holly at a bar, in a night like a lot of other nights, when he just went there to drown his pain. He was just sitting at the bar, with a beer in his hand, eyes on the screen where a football game was being shown. He saw through it, he wasn’t in the mood for football games, he wasn’t in the mood for anything lately. She was the only one on this planet who had the power to lift his mood. Holly just came to him, with a drink in her hand and they’ve just exchanged a few words, mostly about work and that was it. Why would he even mention this to Diane? He was so afraid of saying something that would ruin the vulnerable equilibrium that they found, he constantly felt like he was cutting wires and in any moment he could have cut the wrong one. He didn’t told her because it wasn’t worth mentioning, what good could that do, it didn’t had any importance to him.

This will never go away, there were days, like this one, when he almost lost hope completely, she would never come back to him. Yes, there were times when she felt weak and gave in to him, but that didn’t mean a thing. It still gave him hope, make this exile a little easier. And then there would be weeks of silence, until the next weak moment, when she would lose her firm ground and she would come back to him for a little while. But lately he felt that they were doing real progress, she seemed more willing to move forward and then this.

He couldn’t anymore. He just… He put the glass down and covered his face with both of his hands. Then he remembered, who was that guy, in her office? He wasn’t a client, the way she looked at him, that accomplice look, the sort of playfulness and intimacy that he saw there, it made his heart tremble. He lived in constant fear that she might actually meet someone and move on. She was what, dating? In all this time, when he thought they were trying to rebuilt what he destroyed she was also dating someone else? And even if she did, could he blame her? He felt a ping of jealousy spreading to his body, making his limbs weak and his head spinning. He called her maybe ten times that day, nothing. It was clear that she cut him off, that she didn’t want to communicate with him anymore

He imagined her in the arms of that guy, even as a revenge for what she thought happened between him and Holly. He tried to make the thought go away, he couldn't even go there, not even in his imagination. A tear started to go down his cheek and then a loud sob escaped his lips, a sob that he was holding back for so long. The painful noise filled the room. Other tears followed and he wiped them with the back of his hand, like a lost child.

He suddenly jumped on his feet and took the phone, dialled her number and waited. He knew she won't answer. He let it ring until it went to the answering machine. He will leave her a message and that’s it, no more calling. He couldn’t do it anymore, although he already knew that he will stare at the phone relentless in the days that would follow.

" Diane…I, I am so sorry that you had to go through all of this again, but believe me, I …I did nothing wrong. If you would have just let me talk. But I ..I understand, I deserve this. I won’t call anymore. Just wanted to let you know, if you have any doubt that I love you. I…I just love you, ok?" He couldn’t talk anymore, because the tears were already running down his face. He put the phone down, pour himself another glass of scotch, drink it in one sip, put the glass down and then he just lay on the couch, with his coat and his shoes still on, in the darkness that surround him, and fell asleep in a pool of tears.

In the city, in her apartment, surrounded by dark, she listened to his message on the loop, until she fell asleep, head resting on her wet pillow, sheets having the smell of a stranger, tears still falling down in silence.