Friday, November 30, 2012

Home Alone Part 2

She's gone.

The thought blew through Damian's brain, spreading like wildfire on dry brush, igniting an inferno in the pit of his stomach. It was the mug that paid the ultimate price. With a wordless cry of pain and rage, Damian wound up and threw a strike, directly into the waiting mitt of the plaster catcher that masqueraded as an apartment wall.

Unfortunately, the mitt wasn't ready. It cracked under pressure, quite literally. The mug caught firmly in a pocket of plaster, but the handle ripped free and went cartwheeling through the air. The newly liberated piece of plastic tumbled to rest inside of the dusty rectangle that indicated the former location of an end table.

Ha ha! Inigo exulted.

Damian sighed. He didn't like letting his temper get the best of him. In younger years, he'd been known to punch things. Not people, mind you, but things. Like lockers. Or random cinder-block walls. It wasn't uncommon for Damian to return home from school with busted knuckles. He'd probably even broken them on occasion, though he never went to the hospital or anything. The pain was refreshing. It cleared his cloudy mind.

But Damian was an adult now. He had put aside childish things like unrestrained anger. Besides, bloody knuckles looked foolish on him. He was an engineer, not a bouncer. Were people to believe that he beat his spreadsheets into submission?

Shoulders slumped, the young man crossed the room as if approaching a funeral pyre. His steps were a dirge. His downcast eyes, a requiem. Death cut a livelier figure than this poor soul. Beneath it all, the rage smoldered.

The mug came free of the wall with a puff of white. Damian ignored the mess. He crossed the room to the kitchen and rinsed out the drinking implement. His eyes fixated on the water swirling down the drain, and his thoughts became a similar spiral. Coffee detritus and rage drowned with equal efficacy. White dust still clung to the mug when he set it aside.

Damian marched back across the floor and sank into the lone recliner. The footrest would no longer retract, so Damian had no choice but to prop his feet up. Scuffed loafers stared at the lone bulb burning above. Damian's green eyes found the spot where the TV had been. He stared at the wall.

This is quite the melancholy, Inigo noted. I believe you are even making me sad.

She's gone, Damian repeated. Finally, irrevocably… gone.

Of course she is. That is the way of women, my friend. They come and they go, eh? Might as well get used to it.

But... she was everything to me. Damian’s left thumb scratched at its associated ring finger, a nervous habit he’d developed lately. It found only a strip of slightly paler skin.

Inigo chuckled. Perhaps. However, I believe she did not share in your devotion.

A partially strangled snort escaped Damian’s mouth. Obviously. Damian wanted to cry, but the tears would not come. He simply felt hollow. He continued his loyal patronage of the wall channel.

Trust me when I say it is for the best, friend, Inigo said after a long moment. She was not right for you.

Damian wanted to argue, but couldn't. The relationship had been rocky at best. He had seen this end coming from miles away. It had always only been a matter of when.

I say we find a tavern and drink her away, Inigo suggested.

Solitude seemed dangerous right now. Damian stood up and walked to the front door. It was still open to the night. The keys were on the floor. He scooped them up.

I'll drive, Inigo offered.

Damian nodded. He let the voice take over. It was nice just to… drift.


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