Absence (#15)

He opened his eyes, exhaling slowly into the dark.

The tears had gone, the punishing waves of sorrow and anger ebbed, their vacancy replaced by the aches in his stomach and jaw, exhausted from hours of repeated clenching. He’d lost track of the details – holes in the walls, scratches and bruises, unsilenceable screams. They, like the others of laughter and love, companionship and support, were unraveled threads in a comforting blanket of familiarity. But then, with the realization of its vulnerable absence, he felt the menacing swell begin to build on the horizon.

He steeled himself, eyes closing again.

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