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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.

Chapter Text

She had to get out, had to get away from him, she couldn’t stand seeing him anymore, she couldn’t stand having this talk again, she couldn’t hear that woman’s name one more time. How did this happen again? Why wasn’t him with her then, if she wanted her so much that he couldn’t stay away from her? Or why did he keep trying to get her back then? The tears were clouding her vision and maybe it was for the best, she couldn’t stand looking at him anymore.

Just the night before he was in her bed, they made love and talked the rest of the night. Eventually, she fell asleep with her head on his chest, his hand drawing circles on her bare back, kissing her forehead from time to time. Just one day apart and it felt like worlds apart. She couldn’t do this anymore…she just couldn’t. The anger felt like the most atrocious pain she ever felt and she couldn’t do it anymore. She couldn’t just set it free right there, in the middle of the firm, for everyone to witness their fight, for everybody to know that her husband was a cheater, for everybody to judge her, the big Diane Lockhart married to a guy that is constantly cheating on her. She couldn’t do it anymore, it was all too much. She slammed the door behind her with all the strength she had left, didn’t even hearing the sound, just noticing the people turning their heads. They were already listening to their fight as it was, the glass walls not doing too much to keep their discussion private. She took a few more steps and then heard him call her name.
“Diane, wait a minute! Diane!”

She walked faster and entered her office, where she started to gather her belongings, trying to make a quick exit. The door opened widely and there he was. She knew he would follow her, but hope that somehow will avoid him by being fast enough.
“Diane, just please, listen to me!”

She took a few fast, furious steps closer to him. She felt her entire body shaking.
“Are you insane? What do you think you’re doing here? Humiliating me on my firm wasn’t enough, you also want to do it here? Keep your voice down, please!” she said staring at him.

They looked at each other for a few seconds, she was panting and she hated that she was losing control over her body. Then she turned around, putting her coat on as fast as she could.
“Ok, I’ll keep my voice down, but please listen to me Diane! This is stupid!”

She turned around, the pain, the sorrow, the disappointment, the resignation, the anger, all written all over her face.
“Oh, is stupid? She asked, with a sad grin. “Which part, when you slept with her the first time or now?”

“I, he started loudly, then inhaling deeply, he continued almost in a whisper, "I haven’t slept with her. Would you listen to me?”
“You mean now, you haven’t slept with her now, but either way, you still slept wit her. So it wouldn’t have been a big deal if you did it a few more times, right?” She hated how this whole thing made her feel, she felt so insecure, so vulnerable, she hated that he had this power over her. She loved it in their best moments, thought of it as something so special, because only he could make her feel like this. Never thought that this will cause her so much pain, just as she never thought that he would do this to her. And never she would have imagined that he was still seeing Holly. She was a damn fool.

“Diane”, his voice cracked when he pronounced her name. He grabbed her arms, trying to force her to look into his eyes. “ I know what I did, but I am telling you the truth now. I swear to God, I had one drink because we accidentally bumped into each other in a bar and we didn’t even talk personal stuff. That’s it. She means nothing to me.”
She looked past him for a moment, then into his eyes and said, her voice down, trying to control all the rage that was slowly poisoning her.
“ People are looking at us, so please take your hands off of me. I don’t want to hear you, I don’t want to see you, I am done right now, i'm done with everything, I should have been from the first time.” She couldn’t hold her tears anymore and she didn’t want to cry there. He saw her eyes filling with tears and tried again, on a softer, loving tone.
“Diane…” and took just a small step closer to her. Her eyes became sharp blades.
“ Get out of my way”, she said in a whisper, with her eyes closed and in the next second she was out of the door.
She felt like an eternity passed until the elevator arrived and the door closed and only then, in the solitude of the closed metallic box, while she leaned in the cold wall, she let her tears run freely.