Crown is Falling (47)

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It was six on the dot when Aeress opened the apartment door.

She was thrown back in time at the sight of Shaya sitting at their little kitchen table.

They had moved in during their junior year of college with a couple other girls, but the others left once they all graduated. The nights of painful abdominals caused by excessive laughing. The buckets of ice cream and endless streams of phone calls to the nearest takeout places. Times when Aeress felt most loved and supported, a time when she could be free of shame and unafraid of judgement. A period of her life she could never forget even if she tried.

Aeress remembered the one special night when the heat stopped working in the dead of weekend, so they shared the same bed and held each other for warmth, whispering to each other their deepest secrets and fears.

Or so Aeress thought...

Shaya sprung up. "You came, I miss-"

Aeress held up a hand and she immediately shut her mouth. She breathed in and out, taking in the fact that she actually put herself directly in the same space as the person she dreamed of killing over and over, and she almost did once upon a time. She also loved this person more than anything in this world, as much as she refused to admit it. Although, this in no way excused her actions, in fact, it made it worse.

Even then, she felt the urge to eliminate Shaya altogether, but this wasn't about him in that moment, it was about them, sister to sister, stranger to stranger now.

With more resolve and and a pinch of pride, she calmly took a seat across from Shaya.

She refused to look at Shaya at first and instead looked around at their place. In clear need of dusting, yet it still had the remnants of a home they once shared together.

The walls were painted a darkened orange, covered by frames and paintings and other random shit. The floors were all tile, most likely originally white, but now they were creme. Besides the two bedrooms and bathroom, everything else was open, like most city places. She eyed the random pieces of furniture they bought from thrift stores. Her favorite was the big floral and velvet couch. The cushions had so many stains but you couldn't point them out unless you were the one who caused them. How many hours had she spent on it studying, eating, and talking? Countless.

So long ago was that time of what she now referred to as tranquility.

She couldn't avoid it any longer and met Shaya straight on.

Aeress sucked in a breath of shock. Shaya was always dedicated to keeping up her appearance since the day they met, but in this moment, she looked like complete shit. She had lost weight, with sharp cheekbones and exhausted eyes. How far she had fallen.

She hated herself for it, but her heart stung with sympathy, and even guilt.

"Sorry, I must look like shit!" Shaya ran a hand over her growing, tangled hair. She cleared her throat and cast her eyes downward.

"Yeah, you do." Aeress felt the urge to make her feel better, but she snuffed it out before it could grow.

"Thank you for coming, Aeress."

Aeress shrugged, putting up a facade of indifference. It was all a lie. "I invited you, didn't I?"

Shaya finally looked up, clearing her throat. "Why, Aeress? I never thought you'd speak to me again. I never thought I'd see you again."

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