His smile is reflected sadness in her eyes. His eyes follow, and drop a notch with hers. As thumbs secretly caress each other amongst noisy passersby, he thinks of a song, and she starts to hum it to themselves alone. And so, we find significance in coincidence. She feels ill, and he feels reticent. She shapes him into comfort, so she can sink the world into silence, so she can hear nought but the falsetto piercing her heart in her head.
He stands in wait as she shuts the door, and peels back the cotton warmth to reveal freshly tingling skin. She sees him and smiles, as the cold shakes loose from her bones.
"I love coming home to you."
It spills forth, as she spills into his arms. He smells tobacco and cologne in her hair.
"New brand of cigarettes this time?"
His caustic tone did not escape into forgotten notions of possibility, and she sighed wearily.
"No. He's still smoking Davidoffs."
As am I, she thinks to herself. A cigarette feels great after a fuck.
"Do you come home to me because he refuses to hold you?"
"No. I come home to you because he doesn't know how to."
No one but you.
"Why do you come at all?"
"What sort of question is that?"
"If he's the one you're fucking, why not live in his fucking filth, instead of wallowing in mine?"
"Honey, you're not filthy at all. We both know you're ideal. Our hearts are sealed within one another, but you can't get me wet, and I don't make you hard."
"So your solution is to fuck someone else."
His voice starts to crack.
"Baby, I think you're over-reacting. You should try it too."
"I have. And I couldn't. It's not you. It doesn't feel right."
"I'm sorry. It feels just fine for me."
Tears flowing down his cheeks, he gets up from the chair he forgot himself in, and kisses her with all the passion of a yearning that has burned impotently in his pit. She gasps in surprise, digging her nails into his neck and back when she regains composure. They stay locked for a while, before he pulls away.
"Tell me that wasn't real."
"I feel it. I do. But it does nothing to..."
"I DON'T FUCKING CARE WHAT IT DOES OR DOES NOT DO TO YOU!"
His rage asphyxiates her from across the room. A silent threat pricks the back of her throat, as she searches for peace in the fear. He cries on, brimming with anguish and destruction, two far-too-familiar emotions in this house of theirs.
"...I've set your dinner out on the table for you. You should eat."
She sits down, not touching a single tear of the tens running free from her eyes. He pulls out the chair for her, sets a napkin in her lap once she is sat, and kisses her mocha shoulder once the wine is poured. His soft lips know how to brush my skin just right, she thinks. Not like those ruffians, who expect her flesh to respond with blood when they sink their teeth in.
She tastes a morsel, then takes a few more.
"I want out."
"...then have it. If that's what you really want."
He says nothing more, though she sees right through him. She sees him screaming in protest, raging like rapids in the rush of unintended emergency. She finishes her food, wipes her face clean, and drops the napkin on the greasy remainders on her plate. The coats come on once again, as she braces herself for the treachery of the northern winter.
She walks out the door. He stands transfixed, helpless, pleading silently. The door shuts. The footsteps fade. An hour passes. She does not come back.
He falls to the floor and weeps, until he forgets how this started in the first place.
She pins him down to the bed. The violin's crescendo makes her cry. He stares in devoted awe, as she chokes the life out of him one last time.