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Without You I'm Nothing


I can hear him in the other room. Hear his angry tears. His sniffs as he tries to calm himself. Hear the drawers opening and closing as he retrieves the few things he bothered to pack away.

He's made himself scarce as of late. I could tell that he was testing the waters upon his return. Today, though, something had changed. I've never really been able to decipher his feelings; he keeps them well masked and close to his own heart. Yet I know him well enough to know something has been amiss from the moment we awoke.

I don't know for sure what had set him off. That's always a mystery. But it's something that has forced him to leave immediately and not sneak out in the middle of the night, as is his usual routine.

I shuffle my way over to the doorframe and lean my face against it, as if it's the only way I can even keep my body from collapsing in on itself. In a way, it kind of is.

He allows me the fortune of watching him for a few moments before he turns to me, his eyes clouded with anger and wet with tears.

"What?" That single word, so icy with hate, earns him a visible cringe.

I don't answer him - can't get the words out of my mouth - and he sighs. Tears are brushed away from his face with a careless swipe of the hand. The packing continues.

"Please re-think this," I whisper weakly. My voice cracks. I curse myself for that. "Just tell me what's wrong, and I can-"

"There is nothing you can say or do that's going to solve this," he tells me. The words hurt more than they should.

"There must be something."

"There isn't."

Those words hurt even worse.

He retreats to the bathroom for a few moments, likely washing his face, making himself presentable. Gathering his last few things. I force my jumbled mind to work on one thought process. To figure out those last few words to smooth things over just enough.

When he returns, I still haven't thought of a damn thing. Yet I still beg, "One more night. Just a few more hours. Let me prove to you that you belong here."

His body stiffens, as if I'm loading a new burden onto his already overwhelmed shoulders.




Fresh bouts of tears overcome the both of us. Bitter, hurt, desperate ones from my end. I can't tell what emotion it is that causes his body to shake so fiercely with his sobs. I want to comfort him nonetheless. Yet I know that if I so much as take a step forward, it will only make the situation worse.

He wipes his eyes. His attempt at cleaning up has been nullified. He picks up his bags - such few possessions that I wonder if he even had any intention to stay for longer than a few days to begin with.

I remain in the door, staring at the spot where he had stood, even as he brushes by me with a coldness that I can feel inching its way into my own heart. Without a thought, I reach out and grasp the sleeve of his jacket.

"I need you."

He won't even give me the satisfaction of turning to look at me. "You don't."

"What do you mean, I don't?" I demand. Frustration is the only other emotion I seem capable of feeling, although it's not directed at him. I can't blame him for this. It's in his genes, in the way he was raised, in the way he'd always been treated. "I need you more than you want to admit. If you're not here, then why should I even-"

"Stop." He looks at me with a cold, hurt expression. It pierces my soul, stop my words dead in their tracks. "You have friends. Family. A house." And then with that voice - oh god, that wounded, pained [i]voice[/i] - he looks into my eyes and states with as much determination as he can, "You. Don't. Need. Me."

"I do need you," I protest, gripping his sleeve that much tighter. "Please. I love you."

"I'm sorry."

He shakes my arm from his sleeve as he begins to cry. As I begin to cry. With a few long, hasty strides, he takes his leave. I watch the way his coat swirls behind him as he goes. Feel the slam of the door echo its vibrations through the wall.

And I let him go. Because that's the only way we've ever know this to happen. I'm taller than him. I could easily overwhelm his smaller frame. I could drag him back in, could force him to sit down and see reason.

But if I did that, I know he would just wait for me to fall asleep before creeping away in the middle of the night, where the shadows will be his only witness as he walks from my life once more. And I'm not sure I can handle waking up to an empty bed again, questioning if our days spent together have just been a fleeting dream as opposed to a tangible reality.

I collapse to the floor. The burden of a breaking heart is one that brings me to my knees. Each time he leaves, it's as if a vital piece of myself goes with him. It leaves me empty for days, for months. I can never quite shake that feeling of emptiness. He can be gone for weeks, and I'll still wake up with my hands searching for his warmth.

For what seems like an eternity, all I can do is cry with my forehead pressed to the wall. If any of my acquaintances could see me now, they would wonder what monstrosity had reduced a man of my stature and emotional soundness to this state.

Moving is a burden. It seems like an eternity before I can even consider standing, and that simple action is an ordeal worthy of note.

I wander into the bedroom, to his place in the bed. And I fall there. His smell is still lingering in the sheets. We share the same shampoos and soaps, yet this scent is so unmistakably [i]him[/i] that it wrenches my heart. He's always smelled so nice. Like it permeates his skin.

He'll come back. He has to. He always does. I don't know what I'll do if he doesn't. When he's gone, I just wander about like a soul in limbo until he graces me with his return once more.

But he'll come back. The scent will leave his pillow before he does, but he'll always return, knocking at my door with that guilty look on his face. And I'll welcome him with open arms and dote on him until he decides that this place isn't worth his time anymore.

The vicious cycle will repeat again. I'll live my life, waiting upon his return. Because he always comes back. Because he's [i]going[/i] to come back.

Won't he?


I think it's really cool how you didn't specify who was who, leaving it to the reader's imagination. The story is so bittersweet. I love both endings, but being the reader who is drawn to angsty and sorrowful one shots, the first was my favorite!
cestlavie cestlavie