Eyes closed, concentrating, he takes a long, deep sniff and holds it. He remembers, the scent brings her back. His mind swims in it, letting her wash over him. And then, she is gone. He opens his eyes and throws the perfumed shirt to the ground. Gone.
It scares him, but sometimes when he tries to recall her face, he can’t. It’s like she’s hiding from him, like she doesn’t want to be remembered. He didn’t think it would happen so fast. The pictures in his wallet help him to remember. He opens it now and removes them. There she is again. He cradles them in his hands as something precious, and then he lets them fall to the floor. Gone.
This room, that furniture, those candles, this house, everything is like her shadow. She’s gone and everything around him speaks of her, but can’t bring her back. It’s just a thorn in his mind that gets twisted a little every time he has to think about her. He turns and looks around their room, taking it in like a heroin addict emptying a needle into his arm. From his front pocket, a book of matches comes to his palm.
He opens the book and tears out a match. He lights it and tosses it down to the shirt at his feet. Another, onto the bed. Another, into the open dresser drawer. Another, flicked at the curtains. He uses every match in the book before he can consider what he’s doing. It’s his only way out. He exits the room with the door still open. He goes out the front door and leaves it open as well. Down the walkway and to the sidewalk, he sits down and waits for his house to burn. He feels dirty, but cleansed at the same time. His mind is free, happy to have finally done something after so much moping around. Anything is better than nothing, no matter what the consequences.