As Gavin placed the last box on his newly constructed table, he cast a glance around his new living room. It needed work, but the telly was wired in and all of the electrics were alright, so he decided it was fine for now. A little sparse on furniture, perhaps, but he had let Ryan keep most of that. The white walls stared back at him, and there came the pang of hurt in his stomach again, because there were no pictures of them, Gavin grinning wildly with crooked aviators while Ryan wore a pained smile because Gavin had just kneed him in the balls whilst trying to jump into his arms. No picture of Ryan trying to give him that massive blue bear from the fair and another of him kissing it on the cheek, and even though it was stupid it was perfect because it was them.
He let out a sigh, pulling the box over to the couch and dropping heavily onto the cushions. He didn't even know what was in this one, but he hadn't had it shipped over initially. Instead it had been left at the old flat and Gavin didn't know why. When he pushed the flaps open, however, he realised with a dull ache that this was a box he had never really wanted to see ever again.
The album. The photo album, the funny notes Ryan had left in his suitcase whenever he went to England, the over-sized t-shirt that always smelled of Ryan, along with that stupid bear and everything, every tiny thing that had happened in the last ten months came pouring out of him, all the things he'd never let himself feel because he'd locked those emotions out his heart and built up his walls to keep them away. He hadn't let himself cry, not properly, not since the initial break-up and now the cold heart he'd been growing cracked and it hurt, God it hurt more than he ever thought it would.
This ice began to thaw and flood him, flood his head and his heart and even his lungs, and suddenly Gavin couldn't breathe – he felt like screaming, screaming for Ryan to come and save him but it was too late, far too late-
He stood up with a gasp, kicking over the box and sprinting to the small bedroom. Collapsing face down onto his bed, Gavin finally, finally ended his drought. He cried, long and loud and wailing.
He cried for himself, for Ryan, for his friends, for the broken remains of his relationship. All of it, the hurt, the anger, the overwhelming sadness washed over him in great waves, all with undertones of regret.
Gavin laid on his bed, head in the sopping pillow, for four hours, crying on and off, and letting himself feel. Eventually, his shallow, shuddering breaths lessened, returned to the normal state. His headache began to clear, eyes began to stop aching and the tears staining his face dried.
All that was left in his system was tiredness. Tiredness and relief. With willpower he didn't know he possessed, he retrieved the masking tape from the drawer and taped up that box, refusing to look inside. Tossing the tape to the side he grabbed his keys and picked up the box, heading out to the large bins outside the back door.
It was raining, hard and heavy outside, but Gavin didn't care. He simply dropped the box into the bin, feeling as if he was binning the heartache too.
For a moment, Gavin stayed outside. He tilted his head upwards towards the open heavens, letting the rain wash away the tear stains and all the other stains he had been feeling on his body over these last ten months.
He stopped missing Ryan so terribly that day. The day all traces had been disposed of.
The day Gavin was finally clean.