Grace

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

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7. Six

She clicks her tongue.

Once.

Twice.

She sits back in the couch. They're back at hers now. Grace has calmed down and he looks stressed. Extremely, extremely stressed. She starts to feel guilty. Was she too harsh? No; he deserves it.

She stares over at him, wondering if there is something wrong, his silence is unusually silent. He always has something to say. She sighs heavily, not remembering how long it's been since she's felt so restless.

He decided earlier, not for any reason that he could think of reasonably, to not talk. Talking made him feel insecure, it brought out a side of him he didn't like. He wondered if this is why some people don't speak much. So he hasn't spoken, not even a hello, not even a 'how are you'. He fears his words from the last visit were still lingering around pathetically in her head like they were in his.

"Why are you here? Why didn't you just drop me off and leave? Why did you insist on coming in?" she asks finally, huffing as she falls back into her seat. He swallows, not sure how to answer. "I mean you're usually the bright and happy one." He doesn't reply, still refusing to look at her. He doesn't know why he's feeling like this. He just is. Something in his chest is pushing at his lungs. "Is this because I won't answer any of your stupid questions?"

"They're not stupid," he finally answers, barely audible. 
She scoffs, pushing her messy hair out of her face. She doesn't understand what's so important about her that he still sits here with her, still questions her sleepless nights and silent words. She thinks back to her phone conversation with her father, how she told herself how much like him she was. How easy it would be for her to walk away too. He sits up straight, clasping his hands together tightly, debating leaving. "They're not stupid," he finally repeats, standing and grabbing his jacket. "Okay?"

She stares up at him for a moment, only long enough for him to catch her eyes before looking away. "Whatever," she answers, not watching him walk away.

He is gone. She knows this. But it doesn't feel right. She thinks this in her bed as she stares at her wall, her knees drawn to her chest, her hair pulled up in something like a ponytail. It's not right without him. But he is gone. She doesn't understand, she thinks this while she tries not to cry. She resists the stinging in the back of her eyes. Why did he leave her alone? Was he not happy? What was he not happy about? Why didn't he tell her! She blinks. What is she to do? On a normal day, back when things were normal and she could be normal, she would sit in silence with him as he typed, or stared out the window, or painted a picture. She would sit with him outside when it rained and they would talk in silence. They would connect. Why did he leave her alone? He knew how it was. Why would he leave her? Why didn't he leave her a reason?

"I have a problem," he had once said to her late at night. "I have a problem, but Grace I'm going to fix it."

He thought she had been asleep.

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