His empty eyes stared longingly out the window. Sun rays blazed through the dirty pane. He squinted at the sun. The warmth upon his haggard face felt refreshing, felt peaceful, felt like home. A crooked, half-smile crept across his lips and remained a split second before his upper lip trembled ever so slightly. He felt the tremor creep up his cheeks and squinted harder to close out more than just the bright sunshine. Through his closed eyes he could still feel the warm sun on his face, it made him smile but the slight quiver had grown into a gentle shake which was spreading throughout his body. It fought the smile away. He wouldn’t, couldn’t let the sun warm him. The warmth led to soul burning, or so the past had taught him.
His trembling hand dropped the freshly opened, empty whiskey bottle and it clattered to the floor. Closed eyes never left the warmth of staring at the sun. It didn’t see the bottle roll away. The eyes didn’t see the fly buzz around the bottle, hoping a few drops were left. His eyes didn’t see the outwardl world for they were focused inwardly. Focused on the sun of the past. The bright beautiful sun he snuffed out before he would burn.
In a sudden fit of self-loathing rage he slammed his hand against the glass. A slight crack appeared beneath his clenched, shaking fist. Pulling the string on the blinds he snuffed out the sun again.
She peered into the mirror. Her eyes shone bright despite the hurt inside. With her head held high, she smiled as proudly as she could. No amount of hurt could dull her fire. No one could quench her burning desire to succeed for herself. She gazed across her large bathroom mirror at the inspirational quotes painted in cursive. “When one door closes, another one opens.” “Live, Laugh, Love, Wine.” “The worst endings can lead to the best beginnings.”
The third one almost broke the smile she wore. “I thought this was my best beginning,” she thought to herself. She stared at herself for a long moment, wondering where it all went wrong. Wondering why he shut her out. Wondering if she could have saved him. He was a bright moon on a clear night and she had hoped they could always stare into the night sky together. Yet his demons were stronger than her warmth and caring.
She closed her eyes and pushed the negative thoughts away. They vanished as quickly as they appeared. Opening her eyes she saw the last cursive quote, “Always forward. Never back.” This steeled her resolve. She smiled again to cover the doubt and hurt, and pushed it as far away as he was. She placed her palm over the quote on the mirror and smiled.
His bloodshot eyes peered into the mirror and he was disgusted with what he saw. His palm against the glass to keep him from toppling over. The warmth from his hand caused the mirror to fog around it. He stared at the hand on the mirror and saw a flicker in the condensation. A finger moved yet his were still.
Shocked he pulled away and for an instant he saw bright blue eyes staring back from where his hand was. He watched as they looked at him with tenderness, passion, and forgiveness until they vanished along with his palm print on the mirror. They vanished and the only eyes which remained were the dead eyes in his head that stared accusingly back at him. The face in the mirror spoke to him, “Why did you give up?”
“I don’t know. I couldn’t take it anymore,” his voice trembled as he replied.
“Couldn’t take what asshole?” the mirror asked.
“Couldn’t take,” he stumbled across the words. Quietly he said, “Couldn’t take being loved.”
“That’s the stupidest shit I’ve ever heard.”
“I know!” he screamed at his image in the mirror. “I know,” he sobbed quietly. “She meant more to me than anyone! She was my everything. And….” his voice trailed off.
“And what?” demanded his furious mirror image.
“If she hurt me I don’t think I could handle it.”
“You’re such a stupid, weak asshole,” sneered the mirror self.
“You know asshole! You know no one stays with you! No one stays forever! They always hurt you,” he screamed as he pointed at his reflection. “And you couldn’t let her hurt you cause that would be too much!”
“I’m right and you know it!”
“No,” said the reflection with more caring. “I know she was different. I know she would have been your sunlight forever. But you were too weak to let her.” He sneered. “You just had to push her away! You had to grow distant, knowing it hurt her.”
“I didn’t want to hurt her,” he pathetically sobbed.
“But you did! You chose your weak insecurities over her love and look at you now. Crying like a bitch in the bathroom. Talking to yourself. Drunk enough to think you are having a conversation with yourself.”
“Shut up,” the man muttered with his head in his hands. “Just shut up!” He got up and turned his back on the mirror self. He walked towards the window and opened it to let the fresh night breeze hit his face. He stared down the five stories to the ground below.
“You know you lost her forever. You can’t go back. You fucked that up!” the voice from the mirror screamed at his back.
Peering down at the sidewalk below the man responded to his mirror self. “I know I can never go back,” he climbed onto the window ledge and peered at the moon which filled the sky. Staring at the street below he simply muttered, “Always forward.”