He rubbed his eyes tiredly as the full extent of his exhaustion seeped into his bones. The couch seemed to be a haven of soft serenity at this point, and he could feel his eyelids droop and his eyes cross. Surely she wouldn't come tonight. It had been two weeks.
He hadn't slept in two weeks.
As soon as he felt the pull of unconsciousness, her silky voice was in his ear, murmuring unintelligibly. He shot up, eyes wild.
"What?" he cried hoarsely. His gaze found hers. She was sitting on the seat across the room, poised, crossing her legs and presenting a neat picture of professionalism. She smiled lightly, a touch of sadness about her eyes.
"I'm sorry, David," she whispered, her voice wavering slightly, "truly sorry that this is the only time I can come."
"Why?" he croaked. "Why do you come at all?"
The sadness was tangible now.
"Why, David," she breathed, "I come because I love you."
His bloodshot eyes roved around the room, refusing to look at the woman from his past. The clock on the wall ticked mournfully, its arms pointing to the grave hour of 3 a.m.
She was right on time.
He accidentally allowed his gaze to stray in her direction. Her expression was a punch in the gut. Her deep blue eyes were seas of despondency that entranced him even in the dim light. He sucked in a breath with a hiss.
"Why do you have to do that?" he asked thickly. He felt the bags under his eyes grow. That along with the unwanted tears welling in his eyes and the lump in his throat made his head feel extremely heavy. He slumped forward, holding his head in his hands, and let the tears fall quietly onto the carpet.
He felt a feather-light touch, cool and apparitional on his hand. He lifted his head and there she was, face to face with him. She had begun to cry as well. Soft, crystalline droplets fell from her face to join the dark spots on the floor.
"I'm sorry," she stressed, her voice ringing with genuine sorrow. "I just can't keep away. Please don't ask me to."
"What do you want me to do, then?" he mourned. "Things can't just keep happening the way they are. You're… you…"
He fully broke down and buried his head in his hands. His shoulders shook with silent sobs, but he still felt the gently flickering coolness of her embrace. They stayed on the couch until they stopped crying. They stayed on the couch until he fell asleep.
He stayed on the couch until she departed.
He slept until three in the afternoon.
The next day, he did not see her again.