oh well. *cracks knuckles*
He sat amidst the crumpled sheets and stared at the sky through the window across the room, watching the night wind whip its way through the trees. The sound of it was all he could hear. All he wanted to hear. They said that if you listened closely enough, you could hear things- secrets and rhymes that hovered for an instant before melting away into the darkness.
But all he heard was her name.
He stood up silently, and walked over to the window. His bare feet on the cold floor were noiseless, almost as if they knew he needed no distraction. He closed his eyes as the wind suddenly swirled around him, bringing in a deluge of visions from the past. They passed through his mind, violently, with no seeming purpose other than to mock him.
Always her face.
He hated himself for letting her mean that much to him. He had a lifetime of carefully cultivated indifference behind him, and yet his breath caught every time he saw her. Every time he thought of her. All the time.
It always came back to her. Her smile, her tears, her face, her hair. Always her. Frowning, he reached out for a well-used candle and box of matches. There were things he wished he could have said to her. Things that sometimes frightened him. Feelings he never knew he was capable of.
The candle flickered, as the wind reached out repeatedly to grab at the solitary speck of light. In the distance he heard the hoot of an owl. Eerie, and strangely familiar. There had been so many nights like this. Nights when the boy he used to be, and the man he had become, sat and regarded each other with mutual hatred.
Suddenly his life felt empty. Nothing but shadows on the wall- dark and intangible. She had been his light. The tiny flame he had let in, all those years ago. The flame that he had snuffed out, bit by bit, with cold words and silence.
The candle flickered again, and then silently gave up. A thin spiral of smoke rose, and instantly vanished as another sharp gust of wind ripped its way mercilessly through. The wind tugged at his hair, pleading with him to remember.
He stepped back. Some things were better left forgotten.
He shut the window and walked back to the bed. He couldn't forget. He thought of the time he had told her that he didn't need her anymore. That she meant nothing to him. He remembered the perverse pleasure he had felt- as if by destroying her, he was somehow set free.
Her face had been indecipherable. Silent. Stony.
Sometimes he wondered if she had really cared for him. If the only reason she allowed herself to be with him, was because she was afraid of letting go. Afraid of the unknown.
He thought of the day she left. She had quietly told him that she wanted more than he could ever give her. She had stood there for a minute, as if daring him to stop her. Hoping perhaps, that this might change things. That this might finally make him see.
He had just watched her go.
He sat motionless on his bed. He could still hear the wind screaming out to him, hammering against the pane. He had seen pictures of her occasionally after that. Smiling alongside her husband. Rich, successful and perfect. He told himself that she was happier. That maybe this was what she needed. But he had noticed the faint circles under her eyes. She had tried to hide them, and no one ever noticed. But he could always tell. He knew her. Inside out.
His lips tightened imperceptibly. He didn't care. He couldn't care.
He frowned slightly, thinking about that again. He had known she was right. She always was. What they had could never last. They had never made any promises, and there was no reason for them to be together. Maybe he ought to leave as well. Leave town and go away as far as he could. Maybe then she would cease to exist for him. Maybe then he wouldn't feel that unexplainable ache whenever he thought of her with someone else.
After all, she was no one special. Just another plaything, easily discarded. He would leave, and all those thoughts of her would dissolve into oblivion. Just as all thoughts of him had faded from her mind.
It would be so easy to leave all this behind.
He faltered for a minute, and looked out of the window again. The wind was dying down slowly, achingly- as though reluctant to leave. Dry leaves lay scattered, the only evidence of its fading presence. It still called out to him, faintly.
He turned and looked at her, asleep beside him, her red gold hair dark in the moonlight.
He half-smiled bitterly. They both knew they would keep coming back.