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Snow falls in a flurry outside his bedroom window. He glances up occasionally to stare at the cold, empty, streets without as much as a tire track running down them. The day before had been sunny and dry, with farmer's peddling apples and grapes at the weekly market. Now there was nothing but a stray leaf or two being blown across the building snow.

He returns his head to his wet hands, sobbing uncontrollably. She's gone now, actually gone. For months he expected she would leave, would tell him that it's “Not working out,” and for months he numbed this thought with liquor and memories of better times. He was worrying too much, he used to think. “She still loves me,” he would think to himself, “she's just busy tonight.”

Looking back now he removes the mask of perfection that he had placed on their relationship. The excuses for strange behavior, the disappearance of her friends when he came home, there had been obvious signs for months. He refused to put the puzzle together until she did it for him.

The coldness made no sense to him. Not of the weather but of her heart, how one day she was more important than his brother, his best friend, even his mother, and today she could drop him like a rock into a stream. Free to sit and be wasted away slowly by time, how could a person so close so easily throw him into the waters? A brother wouldn't do that. A best friend wouldn't do that. A mother wouldn't do that. How is it that the most intimate person of all could? The puzzlement of this question floated with his deep sorrow, and the overflow of emotions confused him to the point of becoming desperate for drink.

The gin. The cheap gin was all that was left, high in kitchen cabinet, rarely seen. Used for holiday cocktails and weekends with old friends, there was plenty left for a time like this. He reached for it like a smoker reaches for his pack after a hard day's work. There was no wasting time as he poured the clear medicine into a dirty glass and swallowed it down, slamming the cup to the table. He hissed at the burning in his throat and poured another, downing it with even more disgust.

Stumbling back to the bedroom, he picked every blouse, every dress, every bra of hers and threw it into the back of the closet. The reminders of her were everywhere, and he hopelessly tried to hide them. The wine glasses from his birthday celebration last week, the book she bought for him, the painting on the wall they argued halfheartedly over keeping. Everything was tied to her, to them, and only the empty white ceiling above was devoid of memory. He lay on the hardwood floor and stared straight up at its emptiness, still being reminded that this ceiling stood over so many smiles, kisses, and warm embraces they had shared.

Love is shared between family. Between friends. And in these cases it is a truly undying endeavor, a promise to never give up on the other no matter what distance or bad history separates them. For some reason the greatest love of all, that of two people intimately sharing every little detail of their existence with one another, is subject to instant termination for the ficklest of reasons. It was these facts that haunted him as he collapsed into a deep sleep, only to wake up early the next morning to repeat the process once again.

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The following comments are for "Splitting a Diamond"
by flymos

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