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Monday, June 6, 2011

She stood staring at his doorknocker, debating what would happen if she left. She remembered her neighbor, who left from work early to buy flowers for his wife just because; he ended up being crushed in his vehicle by an eighteen-wheeler whose driver had fallen asleep. She was pretty sure his wife would have preferred him staying late.
Figuring fate had a reason for placing her at 452 North Brook Apartments on that fall night when the air was still crisp, she raised her hand to knock: the first hit to the door was barely audible even to her ears, so she steadied her trembling hand, lifted the heavy knocker to it's full height, and let it drop. She should have been terrified, the unknown lying behind the thick door, but she wasn't. She knew who would answer.
She heard a low growl behind the door, but she didn't bat an eye; she'd grown up with dogs, been bitten by dogs, slept curled up around dogs. Tonight wouldn't be any different, she supposed. She could feel her heart beating madly in her throat, giving her the sensation she would throw up all over the "Welcome" mat which sat bristly against her bare feet. She could not remember where her shoes were. When no head appeared at the window and the door did not open, she sat down on the cement block outside of the apartment, her back against the chill steel door. Sobs racked her lungs, begging to be spilled, and yet she maintained composure. Feeling pain in her mouth and metallic taste on her tongue, she put a hand to her lip. Only then did she realize she had punctured her lip through and through with her cuspid. Even though it was late fall, she did not shiver in her sundress. She couldn't remember why she had worn it, but she knew there was a reason.
The door pulled away from her back, even it not wanting to touch her as she sat curled over herself.
"Eva?" His voice washed over her, and she could feel her groin muscles tense. Feeling her mouth filling with blood, she spit onto the ground and wiped away the trail of spittle resting on her chin.
"I don't know why I'm here," she said, her back still facing away from the door as she rocked herself into a false calm: it was the best hello she could muster.
"Come on," he said, and she heard his sigh softly hit her ear drums, mingled with the jingle of his keys: his apartment key, his car key, his gym membership id, the fleur-de-lis he had purchased, her car key... Her car key glinted in the moonlight. She saw the backward glance he cast into the dark room, the longing look up the stairs, and she knew, she knew in that moment how the twilight sparkled in his eyes without even seeing, and she saw the deadness in them when his eyes met hers. The twilight was his everything. She was his nothing.

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