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She's gone...

He really shouldn't be surprised; these things happen, people leave. Sometimes they have a choice, and sometimes there's nothing that can be done (The farm is long gone). He shouldn't be surprised, he should be used to it by now.

He spent the entire night, and now most of the morning cleaning their home (not theirs anymore). Clearing out the room she had shared with Kurosaki-san, packing the things she left behind, and purging any evidence that their presence had once been there. Washing, sweeping, scrubbing anything that she had touched, or so much as looked at.

It's not that he wants to erase her memory from his mind, or pretend she had never lived with him; he wouldn't trade the last nine months for the world. But it's too much to walk in the door, smell her perfume, see her empty coffee cup, and know that she's not there. Will never be there (Who's going to understand now?).

He glances toward her remaining sake bottles. And oh, does he want to drink... but not those. They belonged to her, and he doesn't want to taste one damn drop when she's not there to drink with him. He'll gather them all up later, once he's done with everything else. He'll carry the sake out of the house, and pour them down the drain of a different kitchen. Not their kitchen, but theirs all the same. How many times had they sat there together drinking, talking, not really caring who else showed up? One more thing they'll never do again. Not here.

Pushing the hair out of his face once again, he goes back to scrubbing down the kitchen counter; he had already emptied and cleaned her room, and the living room. Maybe if he uses enough bleach, it will all be new. Or maybe he should pack up, get Pet-sama (he never told their "pet" about any of this), and start fresh elsewhere.

He can feel it... the emptiness she had left, the dull ache spreading from his throat to his chest, the throbbing behind his eyes. There's a huge hole where she once was, and he doesn't want to think about it anymore. Doesn't want to feel it or care. Shaky fingers tighten around soapy cloth, and he scrubs harder, more determined.

For now he'll put on a smile, think of the few friends still there, and pretend tomorrow will be better. Because nothing will change the fact that she's gone.

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吉良 イヅル- Kira Izuru

May 2009

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