• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 06
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Life Without

Half eaten meals and dirty plates begin to collect around the room. At first she does not notice the mess, slumping from bed to desk chair when needed. A week after winter ends she notices the first fly, buzzing unsteadily across her half-hearted vision. She tries to kill it, the fastest movement she has made in weeks, but misses badly. It bobs out of vision and she makes no second attempt on its life. It is hardly worth it.

The oak table is where he used to work; big enough for him to sketch widely while she perched on the other half, her legs swinging as she watched the concentration on his face. Now it is littered with the remnants of ill-timed meals and late night trips to the kitchen. Gathering dust is a bowl that may have once contained noodles or cereal, she fails to remember which.

A few tissues remain underneath the long simple table, the night after he left she had slept under it – as though this act would shield her somehow from reality. She had hidden from the room, the new perspective somehow reflecting the drastic and irrevocable change.

Pathetic and alone, she walked around in one of his shirts. He wouldn’t be coming back for the rest. Eventually his sketchbook and pencils would be the only surface in the room not covered in discarded bowls and cutlery, signs of life. She couldn’t sleep in the bed either, still half made from where he had left her that morning, having decided not to wake her. She continued to sleep curled up under his oak desk, wondering how she would ever live again.