How He Found Her, How He Left Her

He found her in an old, wooden bar in a nowhere town with Tom Waits playing in the background. She had notes written on her arm and a cigarette in her mouth and a thousand stories to tell him about Nietzsche. He fell for the murder in her gaze and her wild theory about The Death of Bunny Monro.

He kissed her in the smog that night. She was quick with her affections, so their love story launched quick as a panther.

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His painting fed her poetry. Her poetry fed his painting, but in truth, he was more besotted with her clumsy, ever-growing pile of broken crockery and glasses. She had a way of turning every song she sang into a minor key. He could listen to her bring darkness to ballads all damned night. She was gothic and sarcastic, but she also had that new-coin shine that comes with infatuation.

They acknowledged their one-year anniversary with a shared rental in the natty part of town near her work. He became obsessed with Bunny Monro and developed a habit of singing in a minor key while he worked. If you looked at them closely enough, you could almost tell that they were two separate people.

They spent their second year floating in a serene kind of indifference, and their third fighting over Nietzsche. He grew bored of her constant breakages and tireless songs so he packed away his paintbrushes and got a white-collar job that would get him out of the fucking house eight hours a day.

In their fourth year, he took to doing overtime, but stayed with her nonetheless—because he’d loved her once. Because of that kiss in the smog. Because the murder in her eyes had once seemed exotic. Still, every time she wrote poetry on her arm, he wished she’d quit being so damned pretentious.

In their fifth year, he found a woman in a trendy club with dubstep playing in the background. She had a cocktail in her hand and emptiness in her eyes and a thousand stories to tell about her Facebook newsfeed. She was a little ambivalent about many things, but that new-coin shine glinted spectacularly in the strobe lights.

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