[Click and Read.]


She only realized now, hunched over a glass of liquor that had long turned warm, that he had said goodbye to her several times. She simply had not been listening.

It had been months of drinking to forget. She kept it carefully hidden though. She forced her smiles to be cheerful, though she was sure one of these days her smile would fail to be convincing enough.

She could see images of herself moving about the room. She pressed a worn hand to her forehead, ?Now I?ve really done it.?

She heard the image pacing at the foot of her bed say into a telephone, ?Pray tell, how did I betray YOUR trust??

She gave a sidelong glance to the image lying next to her in bed. ?I needed you, and you left me? but I forgave you because I know you.?

Those words hollowed her out.

She lifted her head, and looked into the bathroom. Two images resided there, one standing in front of the sink and the other sitting on the edge of the bathtub. The first was barely maintaining control. Quiet panic crept into its voice, ?Have? Have you ever done this to anyone before??

The other did not have any control left, it seemed. This image was shaking violently with anguish. The image?s voice was quaking with emotion. ?Love? You don?t even know what that means!?

She ripped her blurry eyes from that image. The glass held tightly between her hands felt like it would crack.

The last image stood in front of a mirror. The image?s face was contorted in a display of raw agony. Lips stretched wide in a scream, eyes wired shut, and torso bent forward.

This image made no sound.

Hands raised, fingers curled and nails dragging across its chest repeatedly until the white of its skin was no longer visible.

She looked down at her open nightgown and recognized the welts. She supposed in those moments where she had lost all sense she was trying to dig out the part of her that hurt the most.

She lifted the glass to her lips, and let the warm liquid burn a path of fire down to her stomach. Only half of it made it to her mouth. Her words were mumbled, and she prayed in her drunken haze she would not remember any of this in the morning.

?I never said goodbye.?

[For you. This was the gift.]