Some sexual themes, and themes of depression and self harm.


1. Prologue

Waking up at dawn has always had it's advantages, when you're awake before the birds, no one can disturb you. The disruptions of everyday life melt away and we are only left with the reminder that the world does have silent moments, moments of uninterrupted, unrequited peace. The peace never comes alive during the waking hours.

I love sitting on my swing, the one I've had since I was ten, and listening to the world awake. It's getting colder now, and the hairs on the back of my neck stiffen. Winter is the only time that I am truly content, the ground develops a permanent frost that crunches below my feet, the trees tease me with their whistling. 

The sun is rising now, and I can hear car horns beginning to sound.

I feel a hand on my shoulder. Familiar, yet always new. 

"Rya, you've been out here for hours..." my wife whispers, as if not to disrupt the quiet. 

"I know, I just needed to think, I'm sorry," I explain as I take her hand in mine, her hands are balmy compared to my raw, chapped fingers. 

"You've got to stop coming out here now that the cold is settling in... you'll freeze just like an ice cube!" She smiles at me and I feel much warmer. 

She leads me into the house and pours me a cup of fresh coffee, all the while chatting about her plans for the day. I never have been so in tune with her. I hear every breath she takes and every sigh that escapes her lips. 

I approach her from where I stand and wrap my arms around her. I sigh as I feel her warmth envelope me. She is home, she is contentment. 

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