Evan is half expecting Maddie to be there when he opens the door, and doesn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed when she isn’t.
The flat is so quiet as he closes the front door behind him. It’s only been a little over a fortnight since he had last been here and already it feels like an eternity. If it weren’t for the objects scattered around that are his, it could have been a stranger’s home, not somewhere he had lived for the past three years.
A fragment of memory skips across the surface of Evan’s mind. Their raised voices. His gut sick with anger and frustration, and underneath them, the acid bite of shame. The argument that had sent him storming out, screaming that he didn’t need this, he didn’t need her. The slam of the door behind him, cutting off the sound of her tears, the sight of betrayal on her face. The memory still has the power to make him flinch.
He’d said he didn’t need her, and she’d taken him at his words.
Please stop calling. Stop texting. I don’t want to listen to you anymore. You made your choice and it wasn’t me. Come and get your things.
There are a stack of unassembled cardboard boxes on top of the coffee-table, scissors, and a roll of packing-tape. Leaning against the table are a couple of rolls of bubble-wrap. Unsubtle reminders.
Shrugging of his jacket, he throws it onto the sofa and after turning on the radio for some noise to keep him from thinking too much, he gets to work.
Three years. After almost an hour he has filled just two of the boxes and there’s nothing left of his in the living room, kitchen, or study. Not much to show for three years of life together. He’s left Maddie the things they had bought as a couple, even the ones he wants. He doesn’t know why. Yeah, two boxes. Not much to show for three years of living together and the two years they were together before that. But then again he hasn’t started on the bedroom yet.
Once, this room had been his favourite place in the whole world. Now, he walks in and barely recognises it. The furniture has been rearranged or replaced entirely. The bed is the same, but the bedclothes are different, new. The photos that had adorned the walls, are gone, replaced by artwork he doesn’t like and woven wall-hangings that he does.
Memories rise up and this time, he can’t stop them. Knees folding, he sits heavily on the edge of the bed, his head in his hands. He shouldn’t be sitting there—it isn’t his bed anymore, just hers. He doesn’t get up. Instead, he lies back and lets the memories roll through him. The nights, the mornings, all the times in between.
He closes his eyes, squeezing them tight to hold on to the images flickering on the backs of his eyelids. Sensations move through his body, ghosts of feelings that have been haunting him, that he has tried to exorcise, but can’t, he just can’t.
The feel of her beneath his hands, warm skin and soft flesh. The silk of her hair spread across their pillows as she smiled up at him, eyes bright and a flush of arousal staining her cheeks the same pretty pink as her nipples. His cock hardens as he remembers the feel of her against him, around him. Her pussy warm, and wet, and so tight it feels like she never wanted to let him go. The taste of her, sugar melting on his tongue.
Evan can remember it all.
The mornings when he would wake up with his cock already in her mouth, and the ones when he woke her up by sliding inside her. The nights when they made love together so sweetly, and the ones they had fucked in a frenzy of passion, so hungry for one another it felt like they could never get enough. And then there had been those crazy times, like the one when they’d gotten drunk and horny with one of her friends—he remembers looking up at her as he was balls deep in that other woman, as Maddie was grinding her pussy on her face, and thinking that he was the luckiest man in the world.
Why had he thrown that away?
Maddie’s smell is still on the sheets. Closing his eyes, he inhales, taking in the scent of her and imprinting it on his memory. It will fade, he will forget, and he wishes he had the balls to take something of hers so he could hold on to a small piece of her forever.
Getting up, he smooths out the rumples he’s made in the sheets, erasing the evidence of his presence. Here, he doesn’t need to go through the wardrobe and drawers—Maddie’s’s done it for him. He opens the boxes stacked in one corner of the room and finds all his things neatly folded. He guesses he should be grateful, but there’s only a pit in his belly, empty and wide.
He hefts them out to sit by the front door with the others. A couple of trips and then he’d be gone.
It takes three, and then he’s standing at the door about to close it for the last time. He’s got his coat. He’s turned off the radio. He wishes she had been here.
Closing the door, he locks it, and posts the keys through the letterbox.
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