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Moments after the sound of shattered glass along with the deafening thunder of a slammed door, she retreated to her empty, disheveled bed. Pillows scattered, bedspread crinkled, wrinkled, battered.

No more than a broken mess, she listened in bitter silence as the sound of a car engine started up before fading, fading away. Away from the agonizing, unfamiliar house once known as a home, away from endless nights in violent uproar—or worse, mere silence; away from anything and everything that was—that used to be.

Emptiness blew its dry desert wind through the dreary chambers of her heart. Without sufficient warning, the dam that had held everything caged in for all these years had finally ruptured, releasing a sudden flood that came crashing down her cheeks. Suffocating, submerging her into deep water as she heaved, grasping for urgent breath.

Emotions swarmed into her mind, an angry hive of bees, stinging, biting, until finally numbing. Tears suddenly froze, preceding to dry. What is this new feeling? It's not feeling at all. She sank deeper into the bed, her form comparable to that of a starfish. She laid there stiffly, slowly fashioning a mold into the dull ivory tainted sheets. Her abdomen expanded upward as she finally grasped a much needed breath.

But she inhaled something far more unorthodox than she had ever experienced before. It was hallow, as if she had not drawn breath at all. Her fingers gently gripped the sheets, nails digging into the mattress before casually releasing. But it was as if she had lost her sense of touch.

Two years had passed in this deadened state. Two years of sulking in mistrust and self-afflicted pity. Two years until the realization that her last love was never meant to be.

She looked into the rectangular gold rimmed mirror plastered upon the snowy white wall by the front door, her silky black dress falling gracefully just above the knees. Her face, freshly painted with cover-up and rosy red blush, revealed only the slightest signs of aging. She focused on her eyes: dark chestnut brown, reflecting the past that held the pain, yet containing a sparkle of hope for the future.

A knock issued from outside the front door. Butterflies intruded her stomach. Her cheeks burned an even darker shade of rose as her lips composed into a warm smile. He's here.





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