Prologue: Life Without Him

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Prologue: Life Without Him

You have become a silhouette, as if you walked away from a photograph and left behind blackness. There is an ache that comes and goes, always returning in quiet moments. I want so much to keep you close, to talk and laugh like we once did and I know that your absence is down to me. Please understand that nothing good can come of this right now and I'd rather take the pain sooner than later. Maybe in a few years we can be together again, close, happy... Then we can have something that is actually good, that has a chance of lasting. I see you everywhere I go - feel you in everything I do - in nature, in music, in silly things. So though you are gone, your aura remains, making the pain all the worse, keeping the feelings so raw. In time maybe I'll learn new skills to cope. I always do, I am a survivor after all. The passage of time can dull many things, allow the brain to redirect, reinvest energy elsewhere. In these tough times know that I still love you, that I'd come running if you ever need, but for now our paths diverge and every step is heavy.

-Schiavo

I put the pen down and rub my wrist over my eyes to wipe the tears that have formed. My head tilts back and I take a much needed deep breath. It's a broken, haggard breath, but a breath nonetheless. After I've composed myself slightly I look back at the short letter and fold it. I open the envelope and stuff the letter inside before sealing it with my saliva. I stick the stamp in the corner and stand from my seat.

I've walked every inch of this house, yet it all feels so unfamiliar. So empty. I don't have his address. There is no way to get into contact with him. No phone number, no address, no full name. There is absolutely no way for me to find him. So I put the letter in the box with the others. Maybe one day our paths will cross again and I'll be able to give these to him. If he can see how I'm doing, if he knew how badly I've missed him... maybe he won't leave again.

A double beep sounds and I look down at my watch. It's time to get my day started. Leaving the bedroom, I head for the front door and grab my jacket before shrugging it on. I snatch up my wallet, keys, and phone before stuffing them into my pockets. It's a nice day outside, warm and sunny. There is a cool breeze, though. After I lock up the house and jog down the front steps, I walk around the side of the house and unchain the bike I bought. It's just a cycling day. My eyes drift towards the car in the driveway. I only use it when I need it. There really isn't a point. Everything is so close here.

"Hey Lorcan," Jimmy, my co-worker, greets as I walk into the office.

I nod in acknowledgment and duck into my cubicle. Flopping down in my chair, I turn on the computer and as it starts up I take off my jacket. It gets hung over the back of my chair and I empty my pockets of my phone and keys. My phone gets put on vibrate and I look through my keys until I find the one that will unlock my desk drawer.

"So since it's Friday, we're going down to the pub for drinks after work. Will ya join us this time?" Jimmy asks while leaning on the wall of my cubicle.

His thick accent makes talking, listening really, to him tolerable. I appreciate him trying to include me, the new guy who relocated to Ireland for this job. I don't know how he did it, but he made this very easy for me. I didn't have to look for a job because this one landed in my lap just days after I was left here. Since my first day, everyone was so welcoming. Was it his influence or are Irish people just that kind? From all the rumors and movies, I doubt they're so kind.

"Sorry, I'm busy tonight. Maybe next time?"

"Ya always say that, sham. What has ya so busy after work? Got a special lady friend keeping you company like?" He wiggles his brows suggestively making me scoff.

"No," I shake my head.

"Well then, come on sham! Just a few drinks. We won't keep ya out too late." He smirks so I sigh.

"Fine, just a few drinks! But I rode my bike here so I'll have to go home and drop it off then cab it to wherever we're going."

"Muppet! I'll drive ya. No need to cab it anywhere." He smiles and smacks my cubicle wall. "See ya at 5:30, sham!"

"Yeah, see you."

He walks away and I quickly pull out the book of Irish slang. Muppet... fool. Nice. I'm a fool now. Putting the book back, I log into my computer and get to work. Payroll is a pretty dull job. A lot of inputting numbers and making corrections to people clocking in and out of work. At noon, I take my hour lunch by going down the street to one of my favorite places, Abrakebabra. Their burgers are the best I've ever tasted in my whole life.

"Hey, Lorcan!" Gemma greets when I walk in and I smile.

"Hey, Gemma."

"The usual?"

I nod and pull my wallet out. She puts in my order - an abraburger and an order of loaded taco fries - before taking my card and swiping it. I take my card back and head for an empty table to wait for my food. It doesn't take long before it arrives and I start eating as I pull out my tablet. It's the one he gave me. I found it in my bag when I finally got the will to unpack all the clothes. Reading while I eat makes my lunch hour fly past and before I know it, it's time to head back to work.

"Lorcan, can you come to my office for a minute?" Mr. Murphy, my boss, asks while passing my cubicle as soon as I sit down.

"Of course, Sir." I get up and follow him slowly.

His office is all the way across the room, but we get there eventually. Unlike the lowly workers, he has a beautiful view of the natural lake that's behind the building. We got a view of the parking lot. He tells me to sit and I drop before I can even think about it. My breath falters, my cock twitching at the innocent yet erotic command. I rest my hands over my slacks, hoping to hide my semi-erection. He sits at his desk and begins to explain about how well I've been doing my job and how he wants to give me slightly more responsibility. It'll be an increase in my pay as well. I just nod, my mind muggy with sexual frustration. He dismisses me and I hightail it out of his personal office and hide in my cubicle for the rest of the day.

I don't even take a bathroom break.

When 5:30 rolls around, Jimmy appears at my desk with an excited expression. He acts as if it's going to be so much more fun with me there. I'm a boring person. So he's in for some major disappointment. I log out, clock out, and collect my things before following him out. I lift my bike into the bed of his truck and we head to my house to drop it off. Nobody has ever been to my house. Then again I've never hung out with anyone since I got here.

"I finally see where ya live like. Nice house, Lorcan!" He whistles as he drives up to the house.

"Thanks," I chuckle and climb out as he does. "I'm just going to change into some jeans. You can come in if you'd like?"

"Ya, thanks." He smiles and I unlock the door after we unload my bike.

I point him to the living room and he sits before I head up to my bedroom. I change quickly, not wanting to keep him waiting for too long. My slacks are replaced by jeans and my button up is changed for a polo. I step into my white Sperry's and call it a day. Going to the bathroom, I look at my reflection. My eyes are dull with dark shadows under them. I pinch my cheeks to get some color in them. Splashing some cold water on my face, I try to shake myself out of the funk.

It's been nearly a year since he's left. I need to let it go. Move on. But how can I move on when he's ruined me. I clutch at my forehead, the familiar ache coming back to haunt me. I need to move on from him. For myself. I can't keep doing this. But I need something more, something darker and twisted. He's ruined me. I take a deep breath and look back into the mirror. There is resolve in my gaze, determination. Tonight. I'll start tonight. I'll take the first step to moving on. I have a new life and I won't waste it pining away for him. I'll find another Master. One who will take care of me and my needs, not just his.

Life without him will be great.

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