Sorry for the bad summary. I wrote this series for English, as part of a vocabulary project. Enjoy.

He missed it.

He missed everything, really. He missed her, the apartment, his friends- the life he had carved out for himself. But it was all gone now, gone forever, merely vestigial memories in his fragile mind. He wanted them to be real, to be more than the hazy dreams and illusions his mind simulated whilst he slept, in fitful periods, a full night escaping him, only really being able to catch an hour or two of hiatus from consciousness.

An ambulance rolled by, the loud siren still an alien noise to him, despite his long time being here, in the squalor of his flat, with moldy walls and plywood floors. Each night he succumbed to sleep here, to brief, lurid nightmares that nearly had him screaming upon reawakening. The lack of sleep and food had taken its toll on his body, giving him, once again, sunken, desperate eyes with gray circles encompassing them, protruding ribs and joints, and skin so taught it revealed an oddly prominent clavicle. His hands were thin, once delicate, now bony and brittle, seemingly hands of the Reaper itself. Decadence had its grip around his heart and was slowly squeezing the life out of him.

They used to call me an angel, he thought, getting up off the sordid bed and walking into the bathroom, to find the half-shattered mirror tacked there on the wall, amidst the peeling plaster and crumbling bricks. But that was before I took my 'fall from grace.' It astonished him, really, to see just how far he had fallen, for the reality of his state far transcended his expectations and estimations. He wiped a strand of auburn hair from his face, revealing the hollow hazel eyes and sharply extruding cheekbones. Looking at his emaciated face, he couldn't remember the last time he had eaten. A few days…maybe perhaps a week ago? All he had ever possessed had been beauty, and that was gone, now, too- swiftly taken from him, in a period of months.

He touched the tightly stretched skin on the right side of his face. It looked unnatural, almost too horrific to be human. He looked away from the mirror, ashamed of his own appearance, until his eyes caught the small, folded piece of paper tucked near the mirror's edge. It was folded, crinkled, with smudges in the ink writing from the rainwater it had been exposed to, but the penmanship was nonetheless readable. It had been from her, when she had interceded for him to avoid his incarceration. The black letters spelled out, "If you need me," and a neatly printed address.

It felt humbling, almost degrading, to find her, but perhaps it was simply that he was too jaded by his independent life to realize when he needed help nowadays. He blinked, slowly, reading the numbers over and over to be sure that it wasn't a dream. The address was real; he knew where it was, on an uppity part of the city, a good block, one of the safer neighborhoods. And he knew this was no innuendo, she wasn't simply hinting here- she was telling him. She was, more accurately, ordering him.

He sighed, his whole skeletal frame shifting with the action. He had done no meritorious act to warrant this, to warrant her hand helping him. He had pulled away, struggling down his own shoddily made path of darkness and destruction, only to have her bail him out again and again. Each time, the situation he found himself in was worse and worse, leading up to this point, and yet she had never turned her back on him, always keeping some small amount of faith in him, which was a remarkable test of patience. Never petulant, always waiting, with that tired, worn-out look in her eyes, always ready to clean up his messes and fix his mistakes- that was the way he remembered her.

The bed's few worn out springs creaked as he sat down on it again, despite his light body weight, and he held the note between his hands, reading it as though it were sacred. He sighed again, slowly, feeling the last breath leave his lungs, and then he stood up, found his shoes, opened the door, shutting it neatly behind him before he started down the hallway.

Because, truly, he missed her.