Meant To Be Prologue

A pair of large hands, a gold band marking the right, relatively clean of work and well-manicured, touches an old-looking black tape recorder and tentatively presses play.  A female voice floats out of the tiny speakers, distinctly Southern in accent, soft and feminine but not especially high in pitch.  The hands freeze.

"You know, you're funny.  'Cause you seem to think everything I do is related to you, that this is-- that this is some kind of love affair, that this is love in the slightest.  And it's not, and this thing you've got your head wrapped around, this thing you think we are, well it's not anything at all.

Yeah.  I mean it when I say that, you know.  Are you surprised?  I don't have to see the look on your face to know the truth.  Well, I met you three years ago.  I was fourteen.  I moved in with you a year later, and somehow we managed to make it stick despite what you are and who I used to be. 

You took and intimidated a little girl and you stole something precious from her throat, ate it out, and I can't go back to that place.  I'm a woman now, a grown-up where my peers are just learning how to take care of themselves.  Maybe I'm a little bitter.

But I can move on.  You'll notice, I think, that my car's gone, that my clothes are, too.  I took all the money I earned waitressing.  You can support your coke habit somehow, don't worry.  I'm going back to school-- independant study courses just aren't working anymore.  And you know what?

I'm leaving you and this ritzy apartment your mother and your corporate job pays for.  Your fetishes don't suit me anymore and to be honest neither do you.  You always were a good-looking guy but I never fancied myself somebody's whipping girl.  I had dreams once and you listened to them, me fourteen and lying in the bed of a man ten years my senior.  You pretended but only because you liked how you could hopefully break me.  You didn't break me though.  Just maybe bent me a little.

I met someone new in the mirror today, and she's way better than you could dream.  Sorry, love.  Guess we just weren't meant to be.