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Fell on Black Days by Pilar

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Chapter Notes

The song "Zero Chance" is by Soundgarden, lyrics by the fine and fabulous Chris Cornell...
I think I know the answer
I stumbled on and all the world
Fell down
And all the sky went silent
Cracked like glass and slowly
Tumbled to the ground
They say if you look hard
You'll find your way back home
Born without a friend
And bound to die alone
I'm thinking of your highness
And crying long upon the loss
I've found
And on the plus and minus
Zero chance of ever
Turning this around
Why doesn't anyone believe
In loneliness
Stand up and everyone will see
Your holiness
They say if you look hard
You'll find your way back home
Born without a friend
And bound to die alone


* * *

I left work on time to be with her, and now I sit in the driveway watching her shadow through the draped window. The car is still running and I want so badly to pull out and take off. Just drive. She knows I'm out here. I put my head against the steering wheel and think. Away is the one word I hear over, and over, and over.

I resolve to talk to her. Everything in me is saying that I can't keep up like this, doing this to her everyday. This woman who trusts me, who loves me selflessly, who has always done everything in her power to be fully honest with me; is being crying for me and she doesn't understand why. I'm not being fair to her. I'm not being fair to myself.

I cut the motor and am left in a world of throbbing silence. I walk slowly to our front door and feel as if I should knock, though my keys bulge in my pocket. I am a stranger in my own house. I'm a stranger in my own life. Auto-pilot. The key slides easily into the lock and I'm almost surprised by it. I keep wishing that something is really wrong, like I'm in a parallel universe right now and soon I'll be home and everything will return to normal. I might be going insane. Or maybe, I'd just like to think that because it's a concrete explanation.

Pushing open the door, I step into the brightness of our front room. She doesn't come to welcome me home, and I don't expect her to. When I look for her in the living room, I have every intention of talking to her. But when I see her curled up on the couch, every word leaves my mind. She looks up at me, her eyes slightly squinted into half-moons, and I can tell she's been crying. Again.

She cries and I'm silent. She cries and I don't come home. She cries and I'm an asshole. That's pretty much all there is to it. I have to leave her. For both of our sanity.

"You've been out there for two hours."

"I'm sorry."

My voice is a croak, it sounds almost alien coming from my throat. I hardly hear myself talk anymore in this house. There's a amall echo that I've never noticed before. It's the first thing I've said to her that even slightly acknowledges my abhorrent behavior.

She's not asking me for an explanation, and I don't offer her one. I watch her dark eyes fill with sadness and her tears fall down her cheeks. She doesn't want my apologies, she wants her husband back. And I don't blame her. I find it hard to look at her face.

If the words I'm sorry could even begin to cover everything that's happened between us, or more accurately, not happened between us, I would use them over and over. Nothing is going to make this better. Nothing is going to make this easy.

Looking at her, I know that she needs a tenderness that I can't seem to bring to her. Human contact. She needs me. I have to force myself to near her on the sofa and touch her arm lightly. A minute gesture, but the only one I am capable of. My head throbs and I press my eyes shut. She grasps at me like straws, urging me closer to her. I have nothing.

"I love you, Pacey. What more do you want?"

Her voice is filled with such resignation. I want to touch her face, but my arms don't cooperate. I want to tell her that everything is going to be okay between us, but I know that's not the truth. I hope that she knows how much I love her. God I love her.

"I don't know...."

She pulls me into her arms and my body stiffens. I want to relax against her, but my muscles won't comply. She doesn't let me go. She won't, I know she's trying for response. I want so much to give her one, even if it's a lie. I feel dried up inside, as if there's nothing but sand running through my veins.

When her fingers tangle in my hair, I try to remember what it was like to want them there. It wasn't so long ago that I had but to feel air pass between us, and I knew that I wanted to touch her. It's not like that now. I feel her wet cheeks against mine and I feel like I'm betraying her. Who is really being betrayed when I want so badly to love her the way that I used to be capable of, and I want so badly to leave? I fight to bring my arms around her. They've been hanging limply at my sides, held close to my body by her embrace. Her back is warm.

I don't know how long I can stand this. I know how badly she needs me close to her. I have to break away.

She follows me to our bedroom. I need to sleep to escape my own life. It's the only time that I experience true silence. She stands between me and the bed, her eyes pleading with me not to disappear on her again. Her strength is the only thing that she has left. When I can't look into her eyes, she sits on the edge of the bed and buries her face in her hands. I'm breaking her heart.

I'm lifeless. I can't do a damn thing on my own. I can hardly breath anymore. I don't know. I don't even know who I am anymore, I am empty. Gone. That's the only thing I want to be, away. The things that I love about her are the same things that I can't stand. But watching her cry kills me, whatever there is left inside me to kill. I move closer to her and rest my hand on her shoulder, squeezing it gently under my fingers. She looks up at me with those eyes, and I feel angry.

I want her to force me to do something. I want her to get angry, to scream at me and throw things. Someone in this house has to, and I don't have the energy. What do I have to be angry about, even? I'm only mad at myself for falling out of love with a woman I should have kept my promises to. I've almost wished that there was another woman, someone to blame all of this on. Someone to leave her for. But I'm not leaving for anyone but myself. And I want her to hate me for it. All she does is cry.

I need her to see that as much as this is about me, it's for her. I can't keep doing this to her. I have to leave and let her go on with her life. I will only make her miserable. I can't shake this thing, whatever it is. It's not going to go away. She puts her hand on my wrist and pulls me down to her, my body succumbs to her pressure. I'm glad of it. She needs me near her and it's the least that I can do. I sit next to her and she wraps her arms around me again. This time, I'm going to give her as much as I can. Whatever I have left.

She knows.

When her lips travel to mine, I don't pull away, I don't want to. I kiss her back and try to make that say all of the things that I should be able to verbalize. I know that it can't, but it has to. I have nothing else. I can taste the salt of her tears on her face. She presses against me and I can feel my body responding to her. I want to make love to her.

Our clothes come off quickly, as if we both know that there isn't much time left for us. I take all of the passion that's left inside me and channel it towards her, but we both know that there's something missing. When I slide myself inside her, I press my chest against hers so I don't have to look into her eyes. I know that they're still wet with tears. I can taste them. It's over quickly.

I roll off of her, feeling like more of a bastard than before.

She is the one to turn away. She puts her back to me and I can hear her crying even though she's pushing her face deep into the pillows to muffle herself. I should be able to touch her, but I can't. I should be able to allay her fears, but I can't. I feign sleep until her cries cease and we are left with the same horrible silence. I have to get out of here.

I slip off the bed quietly and go to the dresser, pulling on a pair of sweatpants. It's times like this that I wished that I smoked. I would have a reason to leave the room. I can't bear looking at her. She sleeps, but it's not sound. Her face is twisted with pain even in slumber. I go out to the living room, turning around once to look at her again. She knows. She knows I'm going to leave.

***


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