Chapter 25

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"The mere thought of doing this awakes the demons in me. I hear them screaming, licking their claws, ready to take over again. They know I'm a lost cause without her, and they're just waiting for me to dive into the darkness."


I'm speechless, once again.

Because that's what happens every single time Mia enters my peripheral. And the second she walks into the apartment today I almost fall apart from how beautiful she looks. Somehow sad and exhausted, too. But I guess that's what living with a suicidal egoist does to you.

It's that exact thought that gives me the courage to pull through with this. "We should talk," I squeeze the words out of my lungs, hoping she can't hear how fucking nervous I am about this.

Mia looks at the pamphlets I left on the sideboard and picks them up, waving them around as she walks toward me. "What is this?"

The thought of having her close to me kills me. I know I will give in to her, will forget about my resolve the second she touches me, and so I get up from the couch I was sitting on and walk right behind it, bracing my hands on the headrest.

Deep breaths, Lincoln. In. And out.

"I'm moving out," I croak out the words, my heart thundering in my chest as I try to steer my words into the needed direction. This might very well be the hardest thing I've ever done.

"Okay... Good... Okay..." she almost speaks to herself when she nods, running a hand through her hair as she walks over to the armchair.

Mia looks almost defeated when she braces her forearms on the head on the chair, her fingers playing with the pamphlets in her hand as she looks at me, her gaze almost empty.

"I got a job. I'm starting next month," I speak again, knowing I need to get this over with. Soon.

"Okay... That's good! Good," Mia whispers, but I see the pain in her eyes. Fuck. This is not how I wanted to tell her this.

Seeing how exhausted she looks, how tired and empty her eyes are, I know that I'm doing the right thing. I'm physically breaking her, she looks more fragile than I've ever seen her. And it's all because of me.

"I need to leave." I try to speak with as much conviction as I can muster up, and she immediately looks up at me, studying me as if I talked to her in another language.

"What? To the new apartment, you mean? That's fine, we can..."

"No, Mia. I need to leave. Completely."

She just looks at me for a second, standing still as a statue, and for a second I think I actually broke her. But then she shakes her head, walks out from behind the lounge chair, and throws the pamphlet on the table, her eyes still firmly set on me. "Why?" she asks, her legs moving forward, causing me to take a step back.

I can't be close to her now. I just can't.

My movement makes her stop in her tracks, and she looks at me with wide eyes, wide eyes that hold so much pain all of a sudden, that I almost throw my reservations overboard and just take her in my arms. Knowing that I'm the one who caused it is the only reason I can hold myself back, really.

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