My face is cold, and wet, and warm, at the same time, and my split lip is stinging. I'm face down in a puddle, and it is turning cloudy from my blood. She's walking away, and he's walking with her, and I'm not moving as I watch them go. I thought I meant something, but clearly was a fool. As my front turns damp and the puddle starts to taste metallic, I think of my delusion, and wonder. I wonder if I ever mattered, if my gestures mattered, if my outpourings mattered, or if she had just gone along with it all the while, and then gotten tired of me and found an excuse. The puddle starts to turn salty.
When I rise it doesn't feel like pushing myself up, it feels like pushing the earth away, and I sigh as the idea of pure love leaves me, replaced by a harsher reality. All that's left to fuel me is a fire in my veins as I spit out blood, and venom, and idyllic romance into the gutter. A thick, misty rain begins that turns the streetlights' rays into orange orbs around them and penetrates layers of clothing. It envelopes my face and cools my cut as I turn to walk to the station, or perhaps a bar, and I weigh the options in my mind, as I walk with my face upturned for cleansing. I sigh, again, through half closed lips and run a hand through my hair, somehow feeling that appearance still matters.
Cars swish by and I wonder where they are going, and then ask myself the same question. I'm halfway to a friend's and I feel all right about that, I guess, because I keep walking. She was always there and I knew I had been out of touch, but I needed someone now. I rang her number. She buzzed me in and I climbed the floors to her apartment. She's already standing at her door. She's wearing a large white shirt off one shoulder, her tresses in disarray. She looks like salvation; my face bares all.
Tender hands guide me and I just make it inside before breaking down. My clothes are soaked through so she makes me change into a spare pair of men's pyjamas, which I take to the bathroom. Hanging my things I ignore my reflection and go back to the main room. The flat is small so it doubles as the bedroom. Her bed seems huge and, piled with cushions and thick duvets, like the softest I've ever felt. She wraps herself around me, smelling like mandarine, and bergamot, and fresh soap, and I fall asleep listening to her breathe.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."