After The News

She had run, sick with grief, all the way home. The announcement had come without regard to the news cycle; she wasn’t ready for something like this.

A hundred thousand thoughts and feelings ran through her. Anger like fire. Misery like a flood. She banged open the door and came in like a hurricane, grasping hands like fists, desperately wanting to hang on, or to hit something so hard it broke.

He wasn’t there.

He hadn’t been there.

He wouldn’t be there.

She uttered a short, awful scream that sounded somewhere between begging and raging, and shoved the couch so hard it put a hole in the plaster wall. Once she realized she’d done it, she burst into tears and crammed her fist in her mouth, wailing and trying to silence herself all at once.

She staggered off to the bed that was cold and hadn’t smelled of him in years, and laid out one of his suits amidst the rumpled sheets. Kicking off her boots, she crawled in.

She laid her head to where his chest would have been, and listened to her own ragged heartbeat, pretending it was his.

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