Grace

"We're falling apart," she whispers. "And then tape can't even hold us together anymore."

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2. One

"In the winter," she sips at her tea, steam clinging to her sharp cheekbones. "I like to sit outside while it snows." Her hair hangs over her right shoulder, pinned in the back by many bobby pins. Her jumper, loose fitting, stretched and long enough to reach her thighs is pulled down over her knees, her legs locked to her chest. The stretched sleeves are pulled over her hands.

He sits in the lawn chair next to her, teeth chattering and eyes stinging from the icy wind.
"Oh yeah?" he muses, rolling his eyes and folding his arms tightly across his chest. 
Despite wearing two shirts, one long sleeved, and a thicker jacket - bought from the GAP two years earlier by his mother - he wasn't surprised to be cold. In general, he was always cold.
"It's nice, isn't it?"
"Maybe," he answers, checking behind him through the living room window, wondering if maybe her parents were to come home soon. "Where are your parents anyways?"
"Out," she scoffs, brushing it off, not wanting to talk about them.
"Okay."

She felt very empty, but it was hard for her to explain and hard for him to see. And as they sat there quietly, her drinking tea and him holding his knees tightly to his chest, neither were quite sure what could be said. In her head, she was thinking about how it could be said, if it would be said, and above all, why she was feeling this way to begin with. She thought maybe it was because of the past year, the absence in the house, the silence in the night. Though, she thought, she believed she had passed that emptiness and into something else. Something larger, or maybe smaller, and very very hard to observe, whereas she had watched herself wither down before.

This was a different kind of emptiness and it occurred most at home. Recently, just this morning, when she was sitting across from her mother as they discussed what to do with the living room walls. Her mother had turned to redecorating to cope with the silent, dull ache in her chest. She claimed, though, that this was nothing to do with anything, only that the white walls bored her eyes and made her feel cold and unwelcome. It occurred then, when her mother shook her head at the suggestion of a maroon color, that a very sudden, very uncomfortable emptiness began to bubble in her chest.

She looks over at him, and he looks right back at her. And he thinks he sees it in her eyes as she opens her mouth and says, "I feel empty."

She releases her legs from being inside of her top, letting them hit the concrete beneath them with a thud. 
"Then talk to me about it" He urges, turning his body to face hers. "Stop bottling it inside. Stop being so mysterious. It's driving me crazy"
He stares at her, watching her fingers lightly grip the handle to her cup; her eyes as they blink every few moments; her lips as they part slightly before closing again.
Like maybe she were going to say something, but wasn't able to complete the thought. 
She just softly shakes her head and looks at the ground.

She doesn't see him anymore, her mind is wondering off in the falling snow.

"I, um... I think I should go," he says after minutes of silence. 
She looks at him shortly - her eyes then cutting away. He waits for a short moment, for some kind of goodbye, but she makes no intention of getting up - of acknowledging his words. 
He sighs and stands, his bones stiff from the cold. 
"See you tomorrow then." 
She nods, sipping her tea and he leaves, closing the door softly as he enters the warmth of the house.

They both feel frustrated; not sure what to do with themselves. 
As he reaches his car parked in front of her lawn, she throws her cup to the brick wall, tea spilling out, and he slams the car door shut and hits the back of his head off of the back of the seat. 
She doesn't know why she's thrown her favorite teacup as she bends down to pick up the broken pieces, and he doesn't know why he's left as he leaves the neighbourhood.

 

Notes

Pls excuse my crappy photoshop skills on the cover

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