Part One can be found by clicking here (right-click to open in a new window)
indelible (part two)
Daylight pierced through a crack in the curtains and dazzled him awake. Matthew threw his arm over his eyes and worked his mind quickly to put everything into place; a daily ritual that ascertained this was his home, it was winter – today was a Tuesday – and that, yes, she was still here. His body felt weighed down. For a moment he wondered whether it would hurt to move. Without allowing the thought to take hold, he swung his legs to the ground, quickly pulling himself upright as he did so.
Matthew walked to the bathroom and pulled the light switch. The bulb immediately blew and he swore under his breath. He took the three steps to the sink and pulled the short cord to turn on the razor light.
It was as though the sudden whiteness screamed Matthew’s senses alive. The blinding fluorescent light showed him the deep crevices in his face and the black rings under his eyes. The sickly sweet smell of all her perfumed bottles and jars that lay around in a rainbow of colour, made him feel lightheaded and angry at the reminder that she was all around him. He lashed out with his arm and swept all those around the sink crashing down to the floor. The sound of breaking glass rebounded off the tiled walls, as the delicate bottles shattered at his feet, sending splintered glass flying across the room. He clutched the sides of the sink and held his breath; waiting to see if the noise would wake her. After several minutes, when he was sure she was still asleep, he looked up at his own reflection once more. He knew it was stupid to goad her like this. She’d always told him to be a man. Maybe he should step up to the mark.
He turned on the cold tap and splashed it onto his face. He felt a momentary satisfaction as his hands ran over his beard. It felt good… different. She had always preferred him clean shaven. He wetted his hands again and ran them through his dark hair. As he turned, he stepped on some of the broken glass and winced as the shard broke the skin on the sole of his foot. He looked down before purposefully taking a stride onto a larger shard and then another, trailing traces of blood as he left the room.
Matthew returned to the lounge and sat down on the sofa to pull on his trainers, ignoring the fact that glass was still caught between the fibres in his socks. As he left the flat, he hesitated before closing the door. He decided against slamming it shut and instead used both hands to ensure that it closed as quietly as possible.
to be continued…