Splinter

December 4, 2009
The security guard checked the backdoor exactly at 11:00. Shadow stained the pavement around the glowing “O” of the light post, a headlight sifting through endless black. His fingers traced the light through the glass and he thought of ice. Solid ice that masks itself as impenetrable, beneath the soft weight of his moon.
That’s how he thought of her, a single drop of light that fit in his cupped hand, a force to separate his dark.
And when she was gone, he was just as lost.
The flashlight suspended from his belt hit the glass as everything turned to ribbons. Colors of the world were blurred streaks and he could not see anything but her, spinning and twirling and calling him in hot puffs that lingered in tints of gray. She smiled at him as her lilac skates twisted in aerial pirouettes.
He used to be a proud man. He used to watch the sun thread orange and red through the blinds of his bedroom, color the maple floor. He used to pull her pillowcase closer to himself while changing her sheets, to breathe life. He used to, he used to.
He used to be a lot of things.
Crumpling, he kneeled with his palms clammy on the pane, fingers splayed like markers. His whole life could be counted in the spaces between his knuckles. Born, loved, died, died. The gaps connected by hollows.
He knew he would always blame himself. He should have been there, he should have been there with her. He knew the ice was so thin and she was so small and how many times she had slipped between the cracks of his own world; she could just as easily fall past everything.
He should’ve told her “no,” like he never told her mother.
Ice, ice, ice. When it broke, so did he.





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