Broken Promises

Writing is not what I do, it's who I am. I write because these words, they prove that I exist, that I'm alive. That I'm real. Without words, I am nothing more than so many wasted moments and lost breaths and broken promises, so many forgotten dreams and lonely nights and empty, empty hands. My words, they are all I have, my only companions in the dark corners of my mind.

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1. Prologue: A Moment Wasted

 "Promise me," she whispered, bold in the darkness, "that you'll remember me?"

 "I promise," I vowed, trying desperately to see her through the blackness that surrounded us like a shroud. "I could never forget you."

 I leaned toward her then, glad for the haze that hid my furious blush as our breaths mixed, our faces only inches apart. I was so close, closer than I'd ever been to a girl before, and I wanted nothing more than to do it, to lean over those last inches and kiss her.

 But not like this. Not in the dark, where I couldn't even see her, crouched beneath a blanket so that no one would find us talking past curfew. I wanted to feel it in every way. I wanted it to matter.

 And here, blind, in the darkness, it wouldn't be real. I wouldn't be sure that I hadn't imagined it. Those little voices, they would be so much harder to ignore if I had no proof.

 So I pulled back, and I could feel the air grow tense for a moment as we both fought our embarrassment. "I'm sorry," she whispered, "I just... I'm sorry."

 And just like that she was gone, shrugging out of our makeshift tent and padding down the hallway almost silently. I stayed there, wondering what came over me, why I'd hesitated, why I'd stopped. Why?

 I stayed there for a long time that night, until early morning when the staff found me and sent me to my room. I would be punished later, I knew, but today was adoption day. An important day.

 They didn't want the bruises to show.

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