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Fell on Black Days by Pilar

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Notes

Carries over to this one too... Don't own characters, DC, any of it... The song "Fell on Black Days" is by Soundgarden, lyrics by the fine and fabulous Chris Cornell...
Whatsoever I've feared has come to life
Whatsoever I've fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded
And now I'm doing time
Cause I fell on black days
Whomsoever I've cured I've sickened now
Whomsoever I've cradled I've put you down
I'm a search light soul they say
But I can't see it in the night
I'm only faking when I get it right
Cause I fell on black days
How would I know
That this could be my fate
So what you wanted to see good has made you blind
And what you wanted to be yours has made it mine
So don't you lock up something that you wanted to see fly
Hands are for shaking
No, not tying
No, not tying
I sure don't mind a change
But I fell on black days
How would I know
That this could be my fate


* * *

I stayed late at work, I've been staying later and later as the weeks go by. I just don't want to go home anymore. It's not only that she's there, it's not her at all. It's me.

God, how trite does that sound? I should be ecstatic. I have a brilliant, beautiful woman in my life who loves me more than anything on this earth. What else could I possibly want? From the outside, my life appears perfect. But I'm not on the outside, and I don't feel perfect. I feel like a rat trapped in a cage, caught in a trap. I'm ready to chew off my own legs to break free. And she has no idea. And I feel like shit.

How can I do this to her? She's always supported me, loved me, taken care of me. Through everything, and God knows, we've been through a lot together. She was there to hold me up when I felt like I couldn't stand on my own. She made me a man. She made me the man I am now. The man who's eventually going to tear her life apart.

She'll be fine, of course. Not at first, but she'll be able to get it back together. She's always been the strong one. But she's not going to take this well.

I have no idea what I can even say to her. How do you end a relationship, a marriage, after eighteen years? Eighteen years, we've been together. It seems almost crazy. It's more than half of our lives. How can I make her understand when I really don't understand it myself? I don't think that I can.

I have to go home eventually. I know that I'm not going to go through with this yet, leave her now. I haven't got the balls. Our lives have been entangled for so long, I need to think all of this through. Part of me, a huge part, just wants to write a quick note and run like hell. No explanations beyond my disappearance. But, she deserves more than that. I do love her.

I've never stopped loving her. I can't see myself ever stopping.

Sometimes, it's not about love.

********

She was dozing on the sofa when I finally made it home. I stood over her and kissed her hair, softly waking her. When she smiled up at me, her questioning eyes clouded with sleep, I hoped against hope that I could shake this thing.

I'm hurting her, I know that. We've tried to talk. It's not like she hasn't noticed the changes I've gone through, or that I'm not the same person that she's known for 99 percent of her life. Really, she's tried to talk, but I just sit silently, my arms crossed over my chest, and nod. I can't tell her how I really feel. I don't know the words. I'm afraid. I'm afraid to leave, and I'm afraid to speak, and I'm afraid to stay. I'm so fucked. I don't want to hurt her, but I know that at this point that's unavoidable. No matter what I do, I'm hurting her.

She offers me her hand and I go with her into the bedroom. It's late, very late. She watches as I undress and put on a pair of pajama bottoms, and I lie next to her. There's a mile of space between us on the small bed. We haven't made love in weeks. We both pretend that it doesn't mean anything, but it does. We pretend that we have our entire lives together to make love; and a few weeks, a month here and there, doesn't make any difference. It's not true. It makes all the difference. When she touches me, I want to recoil. It's unbearable. We're moving further and further apart.

When she speaks to me, her voice is like a hiss in the back of my brain. Conversation is a chore. When did I become such a bastard? What the hell am I doing? I don't want to hear her, and I have nothing whatsoever to say. We have been living on small talk and pleasantries for way too long now. At some point, I'm going to have to open my mouth. If only to hush the murmuring motif that's enveloped our home.

Our home. Bought with the money both of us earned and both of us saved. I don't even know what's mine anymore. Is anything? Is anything just plain mine? I'm not sure. I have lost track of the rules of this game. All of our material possessions will stay with her. When I leave, nothing comes with me except my clothes and what few objects are solely mine, only for the fact that she would have no use for them. The vase that was my grandmother's and then my mother's, the one that I shattered when I was ten, the one that she and I glued back together painstakingly so my mother wouldn't notice; will stay with her. It's the one thing that I want. It's the one thing that if I took, would kill her. It's always been a symbol of our relationship.

When my mother gave it to us as part of our engagement gift she said to me, "Pacey, when you were a little boy, you broke this vase. You knew how important it was to me, but you were careless and broke it anyhow. And ever since that day, I've realized what a phenomenal man you would turn out to be, and I always knew that you and Joey would end up happily ever after, together. Because two people that can work together to mend something so completely, so it's almost imperceptible that there's ever been even a crack, those are two people who are destined to be together forever." We so totally believed that then, and for so long I held onto destiny. Forever. I really believed in forever. Until recently.

I don't know the exact minute that it happened. I feel like I should have noticed, that I should have written it down, that I should remember it as some sort of bleak epiphany. I don't even know that there was an exact moment, but I'm not sure that it's been building either. I can't tell anymore, the days run into each other and the only thing I know is how unhappy I am. And how unhappy I'm making her.

I roll over onto my side, my back to her, and I set the alarm. I close my eyes and pretend to fall directly to sleep. I don't want to talk, I don't want to do anything but lay here and try to sleep. Every night it's exactly the same, and every night it's worse. I can feel her eyes boring through the back of my skull, willing me to say something, anything. I know how lonely I must make her feel.

When her breathing steadies and she is asleep, I turn to her and study her face. What the hell am I doing to myself, to her? What the hell am I doing to us? I look to her for answers that I know that she doesn't have. I look to her for a release that I know she can't grant. I watch her gentle sleep until I am under myself.

***


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